The Crime Confessor (Last Part)

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Written by: Rais Muhammad Umar

The story up till now:
“The street children call her Khala Iqbal-e-jurm whenever they see her. Why do they do so?" Their mother sighed deeply and said, "Just now you are getting late for school. I shall tell you Parveen's story at night." As they were fond of stories, as all children are, they were pleased to hear this and went to school happily.

The story continues:
When their mother was putting their little sister Farva to sleep, Muskan and Mujtaba entered the room quietly. Their father motioned them to leave the room so as not to disturb Farva. When she had gone into deep sleep, he said to his wife, "I don't know why your spoiled children came here and what they wanted to search for now but I threw them out of the room. You must teach them some Islamic rules. They immediately accuse anyone they can think of when they misplace something. That is not a good habit."  "You are right, but I do try to teach them but they never listen to me. May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی guide them. Just now they came here to listen to a story. I promised to tell them our neighbour Parveen's story." Father sighed deeply and said, "This poor woman is also being burnt in the fire of accusation."
The mother went into her children's room to tell them the story. They cried out happily, "Mother has come! Mother has come! Mother has come to tell us Khala Iqbal-e-Jurm's story." Their mother frowned at them and so they quickly said, "We mean Khala Parveen's story." "Now listen,” their mother began, “Khala Parveen was our nice neighbour. She had only one bad trait and that was that she was a miser. In contrast to her, her husband Iqbal was a very kind hearted and generous man. His generosity was famous far and wide. Whenever a traveller, guest or helpless person came to his Otaq he just had to serve him food, provide him a charpoy and blankets to spend the night." The children were listening to the story very attentively. They did not interrupt because they knew that if they spoke in the middle of the story, their mother would stop. It was their mother's habit. "One day, at sunset, a distant friend came to visit him. Seeing him Iqbal was very happy. He quickly went and brought some food for him. After the meal Iqbal wanted to leave but Iqbal pressed him to spend the night at his Otaq. On his persistence, the guest agreed. It was winter time and so Iqbal brought a charpoy and blankets for him. Iqbal had some buffaloes in his Otaq. Iqbal also stayed in the Otaq. They chatted on different topics, about their past and so on and when they got tired, both of them went to sleep. In the morning after Fajr prayer, Iqbal went home to bring breakfast for the guest. When Iqbal entered his home, his wife burst out weeping and cursing the guest. She said, "Why do you invite guests to stay the night? These guests will rob you. They will make you a pauper." Her husband tried to calm her down because his Otaq was next to his home. There was only a common wall between them and that was why Iqbal was trying to calm his wife down in a low voice. "Parveen, lower your voice. What has happened to you? It is so late and you have not yet prepared breakfast." "Breakfast? Why should I give him breakfast? I should give your friend poison instead. I had put a Rs. 500 note in the pillow case which you gave your friend last night and he has stolen it. Go and bring that five hundred rupees from him. Go quickly so that he may not run away. Go, go. Don't let him run away," she shouted at the top of her voice. "What rubbish are you talking? Are you mad?" Iqbal said angrily. "He is a gentleman. How can you accuse him of stealing? Do you know how bad a crime it is to accuse someone?" "Then go, find and bring me the five hundred note." Parveen pushed her husband out of the house. The guest had already heard everything. He quietly took out Rs. 500 from his pocket and put it in the pillow case and left the Otaq without informing Iqbal. When Iqbal came in the Otaq, he saw that the guest had gone away. When he checked the pillow case, he found the five hundred rupee note in it. After a few moments, Iqbal came home and said, "My friend has left. Your money is still in the pillow case. Go and take it out yourself." Parveen went running to the Otaq and took out the five hundred rupees from the pillow case. Iqbal commenced to clean the Otaq. He started to take the buffaloes' dung on the wheelbarrow. When he was removing the dung, all of a sudden a five hundred rupee note appeared from under it. It was surely Parveen's note and it must have slipped out of the pillow case and flown in the air and buried itself under the dung. Seeing the note, tears trickled down from Iqbal's eyes. "If this is your note, then whose note was in the pillowcase?" Iqbal asked his wife sadly. "The guest must have put it in the pillowcase after hearing me shout," Parveen said ashamedly. "Iqbal, run and give him back his money." But Iqbal suddenly felt a severe pain in his chest. It was a deadly heart attack which took his life. Since that day, Parveen goes about saying, ‘Iqbal come back. I confess my crime. I am sorry.’ She has lost her mind." Mother had tears in her eyes. The children were also crying. "Mother, please forgive us. Now we shall never accuse anyone," they said.