A Stingy Man
A stingy man
His day again started with worries; before the sun rose, he went to the field holding his sickle. It has been 20 years since he is working in his fields, but yet his family is starving. His name was kizamat Ali, a villager of Rahania. He had 3 children, Rahim, Shaheen and Sadiqa. Shaheen was the eldest of them all. She was twenty seven years old but yet unmarried. Shaheen used to help her mother in home matters, Sadiqa was ten years old and she used to go to school. Rahim was twenty two years old. He used to walk in the streets aimlessly and his sister was finding a marriage for him. Their mother’s name was Farzana, a beautiful humble and kind hearted woman. She had spent the life of miseries and could see nothing except worries in the future.
She had expected a lot from her husband. She thought that the money from their crop will remove their miseries, but each year Kizamat used to pay from his own pocket instead of earning from the crop. On the other side, Haji Ghafoor was enjoying the earnings of his crop; He had also been to pilgrimage with his wife last year. Everything was settled in their family. Farzana’s heart would burn when she would think about the happy life of Haji Ghafoor. Indeed few years earlier Haji Ghafoor used to take loan from Farzana’s husband. But now, Haji Ghafoor was living a life of comfort and happiness.
Farzana was from a middle class family. Before her marriage, she was told that her husband has a large field, where he has grown rice and maize. The crop of this field will help them built a rich family and move to the city. Indeed she was betrayed. She married Kizamat on a condition that they would move to the city after they harvest their crop the same year and buy a house in the city from the profit of the crop. It has been thirty years since their marriage, but yet Kizamat failed to move his family to the city. She was tired of serving cattle at her home. The doctors had told her to take rest and medicine. But she had followed none of the instructions of doctor; she could not buy medicine because she was poor and could not even rest because there was a lot of work to be done daily.
Shaheen was working at her home like a slave. She had already spent half of her marriage life at her father’s home. She also recognized poverty as a reason because of which she is not approached by someone for marriage. She felt herself as a burden on her father’s shoulders. She often used to think that what if she was born in a rich family. Then she would calm her arguments by saying this sentence, “Poor are born to serve rich”. In their village, poor were considered inferior. Every person would approach a young, rich and educated girl for the marriage of their son. Not just her marriage, but no one was eager to marry their daughter to her brother Rahim. Rahim had threatened his family that he will not come to home if his engagement is not fixed in the upcoming days.
Farzana was very worried about Rahim and Shaheen. She was doing embroidery as few drops of her tears dropped on her working shawl. She was questioning her miserable life from God. Shaheen was working with her mom as her father arrived from the field. He told Shaheen to fetch him water; she took a bit long. When she handed the glass to him, he stared at her angrily and threw the glass at her,
“Don’t you know that I have come from the work? Why did you take that long?”
She stood numbed for a while, and later went back to her mom at the call of her mom. Sadiqa also arrived very early from the school. The school management had dismissed her name as she had not submitted her fee from the last 4 months. The doors of blessings were completely closed on the Kizamat’s family, and might be its reason was his meanness. Kizamat asked Farzana to call Rahim. Farzana went to Rahim’s room but Rahim was not there. She thought that Rahim would be out with his friends and will return home at night but Rahim did not return home. Farzana was aware of the reason behind Rahim’s abandonment from home. She could not sleep that night. Rahim was fed up of his father. He never liked the stingy attitude of his father. He had passed matric and after that he had nothing to do.
Rahim joined villainous friends and was eager to do anything for money. He and his friends started robbery in the village. They robbed several homes. As these cases increased, the community of village arranged a meeting to discuss the robberies held. Kizamat also attended the meeting, but he never knew that his son Rahim could do this. The community had finalized to catch the robbers and punish them badly. The next night the community members dispersed in different parts of the village. This time Rahim and his friends had a plan to robe Haji Ghafoor’s home. As they tried to enter Haji Ghafoor’s home for robbery, suddenly the community members arrived and arrested Rahim. They took him to the mosque but his other fellow robbers succeeded in running. They decided to beat him till death but Molvi came to rescue Rahim. When Kizamat entered the mosque the next morning, everyone was staring at him. Kazimat was realizing that what he had done wrong, but then he saw his son Rahim colored in blood. Kizamat was totally shocked; his heart melted seeing his son colored in blood. The Sardar of the village came forward and told Kizamat
“We respect your poverty, poverty leads to robberies and that is the reason he is alive; otherwise we would have beaten him to death”
When Kizamat came to know the story, he apologized to the entire village. Molvi understood the reason of Rahim’s involution in robbery, he told the villagers to give charity to Kizamat so that this sort of incidents will not happen in the village. Kizamat felt happy hearing this, now his greed for wealth even increased.
Kazimat was not indeed poor. He was the richest among all the villagers, but no one knew this secret. Every year after harvesting the crop, he used to store the profit of it in a very surreptitious place that he had made in his field. He only used to give three dollars to his wife a day for the home expense. One day when his wife argued with him over money, he tyrannized her.
It was late in the evening that Zakira from her neighborhood came to meet Farzana. Zakira was a very humble woman just like Farzana and poor too. Zakira sat and told Farzana that today is the marriage of Haji Ghafoor’s son. His house was daze by different colors of lights. A huge number of guests suited in rich suits were coming to his house. They have also invited one of the ministers. Farzana and Sadiqa were seeing from the hole on a gate, minister also arrived and he was warmly welcomed. The children cracked the fire crackers. Farzana could do nothing except looking at the situation. She was more thinking that why was she not invited by Jamila. The night passed. Few days later, Farzana went to haji Ghafoor’s house to congratulate Jamila on the marriage of her son. As she met Jamila, she inquired the reason of not inviting her to the marriage. Jamila replied that I wanted to invite you, but Ghafoor told me not to invite poor people to marriage as it will ruin their image. Farzana left Jamila’s house without drinking the filled cup of tea of her.
She came back home and sat in her room. Repeating, “God has given rich people wealth, but they are missing heart”. At the moment her husband also arrived home from field. Her heart did not fell contented, so she asked her husband to go to meet Haji Ghafoor and congratulate him on the marriage of his son. Her husband replied, “What will I get from there?” She did not want to argue with him anymore; she was already mentally disturbed. Kizamat did not used to even attend his family functions. After fetching him a cup of tea, she sat beside him. “Rahim is turning old, don’t you think it is the time to arrange his marriage?” she asked in a faint voice.
“Where is the money?” he replied.
“What about the income of this year’s crop?”
“That may hardly cover the loans we have taken”. He replied and went to bed.
The next day she was working. Her hands were in floor as her parents had arrived to her home to. They were astonished to see the state of their daughter; the saliva was coming out from her mouth like of a mentally sick person. She greeted her parents and took them to her old room, where there was nothing to sit on but a mate. The room was dark and the spider silk threads were everywhere in the corners. As they were entering the room suddenly a cat came out from the room. The woman looked towards her husband and realized him of the promises he had made to her daughter of a comfortable and happy life.
The old man sat on the floor, she brought water for them and a drop of sweat fell down into the glass. She was embarrassed at the moment and brought in other glass. Rahim was sleeping in a corner unconsciously. When she was inquired about Sadiqa and Shaheen, She replied that Sadiqa had had left school and Shaheen has been to her neighbor’s home. Then her father asked her about her husband, a curtain of depression fell down on her face and the wrinkles of worry on her face had illustrated the story. Her father understood the story but she added, “He Is working in the field”. The old man could not bear the cruelties on her daughter and this time he had clearly decided to take his daughter with them. Kizamat also arrived a moment later. Farzana’s father realized Kizamat of the promises made by him. Kizamat was very vulpine. He promised that the next time he will harvest the crop and buy a house in the city. They would shift to the city in the next two months. Farzana’s father could not believe his fake words but somehow he did not want to make his daughter sad more. Farzana’s parents went home and told her not to worry; you will be there after two months. Farzana’s father did never like the living of Kazimat. He totally regretted on what he had done to his daughter. He considered himself responsible for the miserable life of his daughter. He fall into depression and his body started to weaken and a week later, he kicked the bucket. The death of Farzana’s father shocked her completely. Her worries increased even more.
The days passed by, Kizamat harvested the crop and sold it. Farzana inquired him about shifting to the city and he replied that they will shift to the city by next week. Kizamat was worried about his money; he had decided to keep it in the bank. Might be that idea was not good, because he wanted his family not to know about the money. He was worried that night. Farzana asked him about his health, and he replied her to sleep. He was thinking that if I hide money in the field, someone may find it… He could not sleep throughout the night thinking about it. Early in the morning he took a sack with him when everyone was asleep. Put all the money into the sack and thrown the sack at the top of roof. He was such a foolish man that he even did not think of the rain.
Few days later, he was working in his field as the clouds suddenly busted. When he looked towards the sky, a drop of rain fell on his forehead. He realized about his money. He left everything and rushed towards his home to save his money. The fall of rain increased faster and faster. As he reached his home, he told Farzana to quickly bring the leader. She rushed towards the store and took the leader out. Shaheen and Rahim also came out from the rooms. Kazimat went to the roof, he threw the sack down to the ground and quickly stepped down through the leader. As he opened the sack, everyone was astonished to see such amount of money. Kazimat cried and cried, he regretted about the decision of keeping money on the roof, but nothing was possible that moment. He was in dismay; his humble wife came towards him and told him to calm down. He old man was completely embarrassed, he was very sorry to his family. He knew the result of his meanness. He regretted everything he had done for that money. He left going to the field and working over there. His body started to weaken and after few months he passed away. Farzana took her children and went to live with her father.
© 2017 Sahib Khan Kakar