Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Sacrifice

[If you are left with nothing other than choosing one option from a number of given options and all the options seem equally correct, then what would you do? The story revolves around the various sacrifices made by different people. In the end, the story leaves the reader in a dilemma in choosing the correct option as the biggest sacrifice.]

It used to be very romantic scene when Gull used to meet Mahnaaz at the lonely river with his hands in her hands and their eyes gazing at the setting sun at the end of the river with a number of singing and perching birds, some playing, some flying over the blue aquatic surface making the water vibrate and produce circular waves traveling into infinity. Gull and Mahnaaz passed their time at the bank sometimes talking about the birds, sometimes about the river and sometimes about themselves. Many times Mahnaaz asked Gull a question that if he were in a situation to choose one option from the two- either marrying her or becoming the king of the country, then what he would choose? Then Gull’s reply used to be that he would like to go for the second option. He always used to tease her in one way or the other. But Mahnaaz was always one step ahead of Gull in teasing. She used to reply that this would really set her free from Gull and she would be free to come with anyone else at the bank of the river. But both of them knew that this was just a competition of teasing and nothing else.
Gull was a soldier of the country’s army whose king was Firouz. Firouz was a young king and a good friend of Gull.Firouz became king at a very young age because he lost his father in a battle. Like his father Firouz was also a brave fighter. Now the time came for Gull and Mahnaaz to appear in wedding ceremony of their young king Firouz with a beautiful princess Sameen.Gull and Mahnaaz looked very happy on the day of marriage. Gull said to Mahnaaz that he would also marry such a beautiful princess like Sameen.Then Mahnaaz took a deep sigh and replied that for this one has to be as handsome as Firouz. Like this the day of ceremony ended and the night fell.
A couple of days passed and one-day war was declared in the country. Mahnaaz was very much worried because Gull had to leave for the war. Mahnaaz tried to stop Gull by many ways. She asked him to run away from the country to such a place where no on e could find them. Gull explained her that this was not possible and it was must for him to go in the war. He promised her that he will return from war and then they will marry each other. The war continued for one week and it brought bad news for several people. The people lost their king Firouz and Sameen her husband in the war. Sameen fainted when she heard the news of her husband’s death. The whole country sunk in the deep sea of sadness. Time, the great healer, healed the wounds of people but there was no one to heal the wound of queen Sameen. Her eyes were always seen wet. Neither she wept nor did she cry. She became a living dead after the war. Gull and Mahnaaz felt very much pity on their queen. Mahnaaz always asked Gull that why this happened but never got her answer.
One day Gull was called in the palace in front of the ministers. One minister told him that before going for the war, king Firouz ordered that after his death Gull should be made king and marries queen Sameen and rule the country. After hearing these words Gull was in a state of shock and fell in a great dilemma because in any case he could not revert to the orders of the late king. He agreed and returned to Mahnaaz.When Mahnaaz asked about the matter he told her that the late king wanted him to become king after his death. After hearing the news, Mahnaaz jumped with joy and replied that why he was not happy with this great news. Mahnaaz was so happy because she heard only the half part, rather the good part of the news. She was so happy that she started thinking about their future life when Gull will be the king and she would be the queen. She totally forgot about the queen Sameen.Suddenly Sameen’s sad face struck the mind of Mahnaaz and the whole situation changed. The most joyous moment of Mahnaaz’ life became the worst moment of her life when she saw tears in Gull’s eyes. For an hour Both Gull and Mahnaaz sat together at the same lonely river bank but for the last time, gazing at the setting sun .The situation was just as their jokes came true which they used to do which each other several times at the same place. Both of them knew that this was the last time for them to be together at their favorite place.
The day came and Gull was married to Sameen.Some months later Gull asked Mahnaaz to marry Aftab.Aftab was a handsome person and was rich fruit merchant. Mahnaaz denied at the first time but when Gull persuaded her to marry Aftab for their love, the same love that existed between the hearts of Gull and Mahnaaz, she agreed. Aftab was a very loving and caring person .He always tried to make Mahnaaz happy. He always told Mahnaaz that he loved her very much and used to ask whether she loved him or not. Mahnaaz didn’t answer his question and just used to give a smile. Soon the days passed and God gave a handsome son in the lap of Sameen.The palace was decorated with candles and all the people came to see the small prince. Aftab and Mahnaaz also came to bless the baby prince. Aftab said that baby looked like his father and Mahnaaz replied that he looked like his mother.
Some more months passed and something bad happened. While giving birth to her child, Mahnaaz reached to a serious condition. The doctor said that he couldn’t save Mahnaaz. At the last moment Gull and Sameen reached Aftab’s house. Lying on her bed, Mahnaaz said that she wished to see her daughter growing up, playing and speaking before her eyes. She asked the fault of the small child that her mother died after her birth. Gull tried to assure Mahnaaz that nothing will happen to her. But she knew very well that what would happen. The last moment came and Aftab held the hands of his wife with lot of tears in his eyes. Mahnaaz said that she never told Aftab, but she always loved him very much from the beginning of their marital life. She told Gull that she tried very much to forget him and not to love him but was unable to do so. She said that Gull was the person who made her know how to love and Aftab was a person who made her know how to sustain love. She asked Aftab to forgive her for not being with him throughout his life. At last she asked Aftab to look after her daughter and don’t make her feel that she has no mother. She took her last breath in the arms of Aftab and closed her eyes forever. The whole environment was full of sorrow and tears rushed from the eyes of everyone.
Some days later Aftab came to meet Gull and Sameen.The asked a for a favor from Gull and Sameen.The favor was that he wanted that they should adapt his daughter as their daughter because he didn’t wanted that his daughter should feel that she is without a mother. Gull and Sameen accepted Aftab’s will without any hesitation. Then Gull asked Aftab that he would be alone without her daughter and how he would live without her. Then Aftab replied that he had no problem, he could live without her daughter. He said that he used to be out of the city all the time for business and when he would be in the city he could come to the palace to see her and meet his daughter. Aftab asked Gull to promise him that he would not let her daughter know the truth. Gull and Sameen kept Aftab daughter’s name as Bahar because she brought happiness in the palace. Gull and Sameen got a nice sweet daughter and the small prince got a sister.
The days turned into months and months into years. Bahar grew up into a beautiful princess. Aftab used to come in the palace with lot of fruits for her daughter Bahar.He spent many hours sitting with her daughter, talking with her, telling her stories and poems. Whenever Aftab departed from the palace he used to keep his hands on her daughter’s cheek with tears in his eyes. Bahar never understood the matter and she used to inquire the question from Gull, Sameen and even Aftab, but never got the answer. Bahar also used to visit Aftab’s house and used to eat delicious fruits. Aftab loved her very much and she also loved him very much. Since Aftab used to be out of his city frequently and didn’t care for his health therefore his health fell down slowly and slowly with time. He became a heart patient and started living in his house and left the buisiness. No one except her daughter, Bahar cared him. She always used to come daily at his house and see whether Aftab was fine. Gull asked Aftab several times to come in the palace and live there but he denied all the time.
One day when Bahar was sitting in the garden of Aftab’s house, she heard a loud voice of her name. Aftab was calling Bahar very loudly. When Bahar rushed in his room, she found Aftab lying on his bed with his palm on the left side of his chest. That was a heart attack and Bahar rushed and held Aftab’s hands. Aftab said that he always loved Bahar very much. With tears in his eyes, Aftab asked Bahar to forgive him. Bahar replied that she also loved him very much. And after that Aftab closed his eyes forever. When Gull and Sameen reached Aftab’s house they found Bahar crying.
The days passed by and the time came when it became necessary for the truth to be revealed to Bahar because seven days were left in Bahar’s marriage. Gull and Sameen asked Bahar to come with them. They took Bahar to the same lonely riverbank where Gull and Mahnaaz used to pass their time. Bahar liked that place very much. She said that she had never been to such a beautiful place. Then Gull told Bahar that today he would be telling her a real story that starts from this beautiful place. Then Bahar sat down on the sand to listen the story. Gull started to narrate the story from the beginning when he and Mahnaaz used to pass their time at the beautiful riverbank. Gull continued his story and at the end when Bahar came to know the reality, she neither cried nor wept. Bahar got her answer that why Aftab was asking her to forgive him.
After sometime all the three returned to the palace. In the evening Bahar went to Aftab’s house. Looking at his picture she wept and cried that for her happiness he ruined his life. She said that she loved him very much. She asked him that why did he asked her to forgive him. At last she said that she was proud of being a daughter of that father who sacrificed his whole life for his daughter’s happiness and daughter of that mother who sacrificed her love for the country.
Aftab sacrificed his whole life for his daughter because he wanted to see her happy and as promised by his wife Mahnaaz. Mahnaaz sacrificed her love Gull and Gull sacrificed his love Mahnaaz for the country. Firouz sacrificed his life and Sameen sacrificed her husband for the country. Whose do you think was the biggest sacrifice?

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