Return of the Dead (Part 12)

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Written by: Ishtiaq Ahmad
Translated By: Hafsa bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani
   Class IX Govt. Girls’ High School Tando Qaiser

The story until now:

"Ikram, stay here with your subordinates and see that nothing goes wrong,” Inspector Jamshed ordered.

"Right, Sir."

All of them descended the stairs quickly. Inspector Jamshed had his revolver ready I his hand. Then as soon as they reached the bottom their eyes opened wide with surprise.

The story continues:

 There was a splendid bed in the room and on it was sitting a woman with a baby in her arms. The woman was extremely beautiful. Her eyes opened wide in surprise when she saw them and then pleasure spread all over her face. "Have my deliverers come at last to get me out of this prison?" she asked.

“You are a prisoner here?" Inspector Jamshed asked.

"Yes, a cruel man has imprisoned me. He married me three years ago and then brought me here. My child has been born in captivity. I have not seen the sky for three years," she said and burst into uncontrollable tears.

“Who is he? Who has kept you here?”

“He said his name was Mamoon Kabuliwala at the time of marriage."

“What!" they shouted incredulously. All of them were stunned.

“Does that mean you know him?”

“Do you know by any chance who Mamoon Kabuliwala is?" 

"No, I don't know anything."

"How did this marriage take place?"

"He came to our village, ii think, on a hunting trip. He saw me as I was picking some vegetables from our field. He asked me if I could give him some water… said he was a traveler. I took him home which is near the field. After drinking the water he said, "Can I have some food to eat?" I put all the food we had before him. He finished eating and then before leaving he thrust a wad of currency notes in my hand. I tried to refuse but he wouldn’t listen. He had come in a jeep and had a gun in his hand. He came again after some time but by then my father had died. He proposed to marry me.

My mother said, ‘But you are a stranger for us. How can I give you my daughter in marriage?’

‘I will buy a house here and settle down. I have a lot of money but I have no one in this world to spend it on,’ he said.

Then he bought a large house and started living in the village. He often came to our house but this made the villagers look askance at me. My mother realized this and decided to let us get married. We lived there for some time and then one day he said he would take me in his jeep to see the city. On the way he held something bad smelling to my nose and I became unconscious. When I regained my senses I found myself imprisoned in this cellar. I have been here since that day. He brings me everything I need but I simply don’t know why he doesn’t let me go out. I am his legal wife aren’t I?  Anyway, may Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) bless you! Please take me out of this cellar. If he becomes angry and leaves me, I don’t care. I shall go back to my mother in the village and spend the rest of my life with her. I shall at least live in the open air. I can’t stand this prison anymore," she said.

“O. K. Let us take you out of here first and then we’ll see what happens." 

"This… this looks like a mill or something,” the woman said looking around her.

"Yes, this is a big cloth mill and its owner is Mamoon Kabuliwala… your husband."

“How strange! He is such a rich man and he kept me locked up. He could have kept me in his house. I wonder why he didn’t?"

"It really is strange indeed. We are at a loss to know what is going on too. By the way, he is already married and has two grown-up sons. Perhaps, he wanted to keep his marriage a secret from them?"

“In that case he could have kept me in the village. Why did he keep me imprisoned under the factory?” the woman said, astonished. 

"We shall definitely ask him, don’t worry. We are taking you to our own home for the time being. We shall ask him to come over in the morning and then you can meet him." “I… I forgot to ask, who are you people?"

“We belong to the police department. We shall tell you Mamoon Kabuliwala's story when we get home." 

"Mamoon Kabuliwala's story? What do you mean?"

"Oh, he has a story too, a long one at that. But let us take you home first.”

She looked at them searchingly. Was she going to be deceived again? But then the sight of Mahmood, Farooq, and Farzana seemed to reassure her and she said, "Ok. At least I’ll be out of this hell."

At last they brought her home. As soon as they rang the bell Mrs. Jamshed opened the door. She was astonished to see a woman with a child at her doorstep. Inspector Jamshed smiled and said, "Let us come in. It’s already quite late and I could do with a good night’s sleep. I’ll explain everything in the morning.”

“Just give me a few hints otherwise I won‘t be able to sleep the whole night." 

Inspector Jamshed filled her in and then all of them went to bed.

(to be continued)