Peer-E-Kamil (PBUH) by Umera Ahmad English PDF - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. In this book there is a. The Perfect Mentor [ English Translation of Peer e Kamil] By Umera Ahmed - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Pir-e-Kamil is that voice that can guide one and can lead one from the dark the boys with his performance in a clipped British accent which was so popular.

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English Translation of Pir e Kamil Novel by Umera Ahmed Read online Free on Pakistan virtual library in high quality Pdf document for the study of our users. EVERYDAY LIFE ENGLISH in Improve your ENGLISH Stephen E. Brown and Ceil Lucas How is the life Impr The English Language english language. Must Read Novels. Pir E Kamil Novel English Version by Umera Ahmed Meray Khawab Meray Jugnu Urdu Novels, Free Books, Pdf. More information.

She hates Salar because he refused to divorce her as he had promised. Salar later travels to New Haven for education, then he works for United Nations for some time before permanently settling in Lahore. Salar finally sees the errors of his ways and changes for good. Later, the scene shifts near to Kaaba , where Salar and Imama are sitting together worshiping God. Salar realizes that God has given him a blessed women to be his companion, and vows to protect her.

Salar Sikander - Imama's rich neighbour, who has an IQ of above Major characters Jalal - A doctor and older brother of Zainab.

Javeria, tell me please. The suspense is too much for me, she pleaded. Javeria was lost in thought. Imama studied her face. Javeria looked up at her after a while. Other than my career, there is only one thing I value most in my life, www.

I wont mind. Imama was serious. Javeria was taken aback. Imama was looking at the ring on her hand. A smile crossed Javerias face. My lifes dearest wish is that you. Javeria revealed her thoughts. Imamas face went white with shock. Javeria could not guess the impact her words had on Imama, but the expression on her face showed that the reaction was much more intense than she had expected.

I did tell you that you would be offended, Javeria tried to redeem the situation, but Imama stared back without a word. The twelve-year-old boy facing him wiped the blood off his nose on the sleeve of his torn shirt, and swung the tennis racquet in his hand to hit Moiz on the leg.

Moiz let out another scream and straightened up. With disbelief he looked at his brotheryounger by two yearswho was hitting him with the same racquet that Moiz had brought there. This was the third time they had fought this week, and every time it was his younger brother who started the fight. He and Moiz had never had a good relationship and had fought since childhood.

But their quarrels had been mostly verbal and included threats, but of late they had become physical. This is what happened today. They had come back from school together. When they got down from the car, the younger brother roughly dragged his bag out of the boot as Moiz was picking up his school bag. In the process, he bruised Moizs hand, making him wince with pain.

Have you gone blind? Moiz cried out as his brother walked off nonchalantly. He heard Moiz, turned round, looked at him, then opened the front door, and walked into the lounge. Incensed, Moiz followed on his heels. The next time you do anything like that Ill break your hand! Moiz shouted. The younger boy took his bag off his shoulder, put it down, and with hands on his hips, defiantly faced Moiz.

I willso what will you do? Break my hand? Have you the guts? Youll find out if you repeat what you did today. Moiz headed toward www. But his brother stopped him, grabbing his bag with all his strength.

Notell me now. He flung Moizs bag down. Flushed with anger, Moiz picked up his brothers bag and hurled it away. Without a pause, his brother landed a sharp blow on Moizs leg. Moiz lunged at him, punching his face, and his nose began to bleed. Despite that, there was no sound from the younger boy. He grabbed Moizs tie and tried to choke him. Moiz retaliated by grabbing his collarthere was a tearing sound as the shirt ripped. With all his force, Moiz hit his brother on his midriff so as to make him lose his grip on him.

Now I'll show you! Ill break your hand! Shouting and abusing, Moiz picked up the tennis racquet that was lying in corner of the lounge. The next thing he knew was that the racquet was in his brothers hand and was swung with such force that Moiz could not save himself.

Blows rained down on him, on his back and legs. Their older brother came into the lounge in a fit of rage. What is your problem? You create an upheaval as soon as you get home! At the sound of his voice, the younger brother first lowered and then raised the racquet again.

And youarent you ashamed of yourself for raising your hand at your older brother? The eldest brother looked at the hand holding the racquet. No, he retorted without any remorse. He threw the racquet down, picked up his bag and walked away. You will have to pay for this, Moiz called out after him, rubbing his sore leg.

Sure, why not! He gave Moiz a weird smile. Get a bat the next time. It was no fun hitting you with a tennis racquetno bones are broken. Check out your noseits broken for sure. Furious, Moiz looked towards the staircase where his brother had been standing just a while ago. Samantha Richards stared at the boy sitting on the first chair in the second row by the window.

With complete disregard for the class, he was busy staring out of the window. From time to time he would look at Mrs. Richards, and then turn back to the view from the window. This was her first day as biology teacher at one of the international schools in Islamabad. She was a diplomats wife and a teacher by www. They had recently arrived in Islamabad. At all her husbands postings, she had taken up teaching assignments in the schools attached to the embassy.

Continuing the syllabus and teaching schedule of her predecessor Ms. Mariam, after a brief introduction to the class Mrs Richards began explaining the function of the heart and the circulation system and drew a diagram on the board. She looked at the student who was looking distractedly out of the window and, using a time-worn technique, she fixed her gaze on him and stopped speaking.

A hush fell over the class. The boy turned back to the class. Meeting his gaze, Mrs. Richards smiled and resumed her lecture. For a while she continued to keep her gaze on the boy who was now busy writing in his notebook. Then she turned her attention to the class. She believed the boy was embarrassed enough not to let his attention wander, but just a couple of minutes later she found him looking out of the window again.

Once more, she stopped her lecture, and he turned to look at her. This time she did not smile. She continued addressing the class. As she turned to the writing board, the student again turned to the window.

A look of annoyance crossed her face and as she fell silent again, the boy looked at her with a frown, and looked awaybeyond the window. His attitude was so insulting that Mrs. Samantha Richardss face flushed.

Salar, what are you looking at? Nothing, came the one word reply. He gave her a piercing look. Do you know what I am teaching? Hope so.

His tone was so rude that Samantha Richards capped the marker she had in her hand and slapped it down on the table. If that is so, then come up here and draw and label this diagram. She erased the figure on the board. The boys face changed a myriad colors. She saw the students in the class exchange glances. The boy stared coldly at Samantha Richards. As she cleaned the last trace of her diagram from the board, he left his seat. Moving swiftly, he picked up the marker from the table and with lightning speedin exactly two minutes and fifty-seven secondshe had drawn and labeled the diagram.

Replacing the cap on the marker, he slapped it down on the table just as Mrs. Richards had done, and, without looking at her, returned to his seat. Richards did not see him tossing down the marker or walking back to his seat. She was looking in disbelief at the diagramwhich had www. It was far better than her work: she could not find even a minor flaw in it. Somewhat embarrassed, she turned to look at the boy.

Once again he was looking out of the window. Who is it? Imama its me. Open the door, said Waseem standing back. There was silence on the other side. A little later, the lock clicked and Waseem turned the door knob to enter. Imama moved towards her bed, with her back to Waseem. What brings you here at this time? Why did you turn in so early? Its only ten now, replied Waseem as he walked in. I was sleepy. She sat down on the bed. Waseem was alarmed to see her. Have you been crying? It was a spontaneous remark.

Imamas eyes were red and swollen and she was trying to look away. Nono, I wasnt crying. Just a bad headache. She tried to smile. Waseem, sitting down beside her, held her hand, trying to check her temperature.

Any fever? Then he let go of her hand. You dont have fever. Perhaps you should take a tablet for your headache. I have. Go to sleep then.

I had come to talk to you but youre in no state Waseem turned to leave the room. Imama made no effort to stop him. She followed him to the door and shut it behind him. Flinging herself on the bed, she buried her face in the pillowshe was sobbing again. She looked at her son somewhat uncertainly, and entered the room, irritated. Whats going on? Im watching TV, he replied without looking at her. Watching TV. For Gods sake! Are you aware that your exams have started?

Tyyaba asked, standing in front of him. So what? You should be in your room with your books, not sitting here watching this vulgar show, Tyyaba scolded him. I have studied as much as I need to. Now please move out of my way. His tone reflected his irritation.

All the same go in and study. Tyyaba stood her ground. I will not get up, nor will I go in and study. My studies and my papers are my concern, not yours. If you were concerned about your studies, would you be sitting here? Step aside. He ignored Tyyabas comment and rudely shooed her away. Im going to talk to your father today. Tyyaba tried a threat. You can talk to him for all I care.

What will happen? What is he going to do? Ive told you that Ive already prepared for my exams, so then whats your problem? This is your final examination. You should be concerned about it. Tyyaba softened her tone. I am not a four-year-old who you need to nag.

I have a better understanding of my responsibilities than you so dont pester me with your silly advice. Your exams are on. Pay attention to your studies. You should be in your room. I will have a word with your father! What rubbish! Standing up, he flung the remote control at the wall and stomping his feet, left the room. Tyyaba, helpless and humiliated, watched him go. A group of ten or so teenagers were roaring around the city streets on their motorbikes, doing all kinds of stunts.

Some of them wore shiny headbands to celebrate the coming year. An hour ago they were in one of the uptown supermarkets, teasing girls with whistles. They had firecrackers too which they let off to celebrate. At a quarter to twelve they reached the parking lot of the Gymkhana Club where a New Years party was in full swing. The boys also had invitations to the party and their parents were already there. When they got in, it was five to midnight.

In a few moments, the lights in the hall and the dance floor would be switched off and then with a display of fireworks on the lawns, the New Year would be heralded in. The partying would be on all nightdancing, drinkingall the festivities especially organized for the occasion by the Gymkhana www. Lights off meant a display of complete abandonthat was what the crowds came for. One of the teenagers who had joined the party was on the dance floor, rocking to the beat and impressing all with his performance.

At ten seconds to twelve the lights went off. Voices and laughter filled the hall as people counted the seconds to the New Year, and this rose to a pitch as the clock struck midnight and the hall lit up again. The teenagers were now out in the parking lot, their car horns blaring away. Beer can in hand, the youth who was on the dance floor got on the roof of a car.

He pulled out another beer can from his jacket and pitched it at the windscreen of a parked car, which shattered with an explosion as the full can hit it. He stood on the car, calmly drinking from the can of beer in his hand. Salar was also in the lounge, busy writing notes. From time to time, he would look at the TV screen as Kamran struggled to win more points.

Half an hour later, Salar put his notebook away, stifled a yawn, stretched his legs out on the table and crossing his hands behind his head, looked at the TV screen as Kamran started a new game, having lost the previous round.

Whats the problem, Kamran? NothingI got this new game but it is really tough to score, Kamran said in a tired tone. Let me see. Salar got up from the sofa and took the remote control. Kamran watched silently: in the opening seconds Salar was racing at a speed that Kamran had never reached. The track that had challenged Kamran was like childs play for Salarit was hard for Kamran to keep his eyes on the car that was racing at a fantastic speed in the first minute, and yet Salar had complete control over it.

Three minutes later, Kamran saw the car swerve, go off the track and explode into smithereens. Kamran turned to Salar with a smilehe realized why the car had been destroyed: Laying the remote control down on the table Salar picked up his notebook. Its a very boring game, he remarked as he jumped over Kamrans legs and went out.

Kamran clenched his teeth as he saw the seven digit score on the screen. He looked at the door as Salar left. Asjad was beginning to worry: Imama had not always been as withdrawn as she was now. One could have counted the words she had spoken in the last half hour.

He had known her since childhood; she was a lively girl. In the first year after their engagement, Asjad had felt happy in her companyshe was so quickwitted and vivacious. But in the last few years, she had changed, the transformation having become more pronounced since she started medical school.

Asjad felt that she had something on her mind. At times, she would appear to be worried and sometimes she was distinctly cold and distant as though she wanted to end their meeting and leave as soon as possible.

This time too he had the same feeling. I often think that it is I who insists on our meetingperhaps it makes little difference to you whether we meet or not, he said despondently. She was sitting on a garden chair across from him, looking at the creepers on the boundary wall.

At Asjads remark, she fixed her gaze on him. He cast an inquiring glance, but she was silent, so he rephrased his words.

My coming here makes no difference to you. Imamaam I right? What can I say? At least you can say No, youre mistaken, that No, youre mistaken, Imama cut him short.

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Her tone was as cold and her expression as indifferent as before. Asjad sighed in despair. Yes, I wish and pray that it may be so, that I may indeed be mistaken. However, talking to you I feel you do not care.

What makes you think so? Asjad detected a note of annoyance in her tone. Many thingsfor one you never respond properly to anything I say. I do make every effort to reply properly to whatever you say.

What can I do if you do not like what I have to say? Asjad felt that she was more annoyed. I did not mean that I did not like what you say: its that you only say yes or no in response. Sometimes, I feel as if Im talking to myself.

When you ask me if I am well, I say yes or nowhat else can I say? If you want to hear a spiel in response to a simple question then tell me what you would like to hear and Ill say it.

She was serious. You could add something to that yes or no. If nothing else, ask me how I am. Ask you how are you are? You are sitting here across me, talking to www. Otherwise, youd be at home, in bed, sick. Imama, these are formalities And you know very well that I do not believe in formalities. Theres no need for you to ask me how I am; I will not mind it at all. Asjad was speechless. Formalities aside, one can talk of other things, discuss something. Talk to each other about what interests us, what keeps us busy.

Asjad, what can I discuss with you? Youre a businessman, I am a medical student, What should I ask you? About the stock market position? Was the trend bullish or bearish?

By how many points did the index rise? Or where you are sending the next consignment? How much rebate did the government give you this time? Or shall I discuss anatomy with you? What affects the function of the liver? What new techniques have been used for bypass surgery this year? What should be the voltage of electric shocks given to restore a failing heart?

These are our spheres of work, so what points of discussion can we have about these that will help us to achieve love and familiarity? I fail to understand. The color of Asjads face deepened. He was cursing the moment that he had complained to Imama. There are other interests too in a persons life, he said weakly. No, besides my studies theres no other interest in my life, Imama said decisively, shaking her head for emphasis. After all, we shared interests earlier on.

Forget about what happened earlier, Imama interjected. I cannot afford to waste time now. What surprises me is that despite being a businessman you are so immature and emotional; you should be more practical. Asjad was silent. We know our relationship. If you think my practical approach to our relationship shows a lack of interest or indifference then I cannot do much about it.

That I am here with you means that I value this relationship, otherwise I would not be sitting here having tea with a stranger. She paused a moment, then continued, And whether you coming here or not makes any difference to me, the answer is that we are both very busy people. We are the products of a modern age. I am no Heer who waits upon you with delicacies while you play the flute, nor are you Ranjha who will indulge me for hours.

The truth is that it really makes no difference whether or not we meet or talk. Our relationship, www. Or do you feel it will change? If Asjads brow did not sweat, it was simply because it was the month of December.

There was a difference of eight years in their ages, but for the first time Asjad felt it was not eight but eighteenand she was the older one. Just two weeks ago, she had turned nineteen, but to him it seemed as if she had raced overnight from teenage to middle age and he had regressed to his pre-teens! She sat across him, legs crossed and eyes fixed on his face, impassively waiting for his response. Asjad looked at the engagement ring on her finger and cleared his throat.

Youre rightI just thought we should chat more because it would help develop some understanding between us.

Asjad, I know and understand you very well. I am disappointed to learn that you think we still need to develop an understanding between us.

I thought there already was a good deal of understanding. Asjad had to accept that it wasnt his day. And if you think that talking about business and anatomy will improve the situation, then very wellwell do that in the future. There was an element of disinterest in Imamas tone. Youre not happy with what I said? Why should I be unhappy? This embarrassed him further. Perhaps I said the wrong thingnot perhaps, but certainly I said the wrong thing. He repeated the last phrase with emphasis.

You know how important this relationship is for me. I have many dreams for the future He took a deep breath. She continued to stare, expressionless, at the creeper along the wall. Perhaps that is why I am so sensitive about it. I have no fears about us. This engagement took place with our consent.

His gaze was fixed on her and he spoke with emotion, but suddenly, he felt once more that she was not there, that he was talking to himself. The music from the annex behind the huge bungalow could be heard on the lawn in front of the house.

Anyone would have been amazed at the level of endurance of those inside. But one look inside, and one would know the reason behind this level of endurance. The room was full of swirling smoke and a strange smell.

Empty cartons of food from a popular restaurant, disposable plates and spoons, bottles of soft drinks, and scraps of leftovers were strewn all over the carpet which was stained by ketchup. The seven boys in the room were www. This was not allthey had been entertaining themselves with drugs too. This was the third time in the last two months that the boys had gathered here for an adventure of this kind. So far they had experimented with four different drugs. The first time it was a drug that one of them had found in his fathers closet.

The next time it was a drug which a schoolmate had bought from a club in Islamabad. Then it was something acquired from an Afghan in a Rawalpindi market. Every time they had combined drugs with alcohol, procuring which was no problem.

Each time this happened six of the seven boys ended up completely stoned. Even now it was only the seventh boy who was in his senses. His face was covered with acne, and he was dressed in a dark blue shirt with its collar turned up Elvis Presley style, and hideous grey jeans which had Madonnas face adorning each knee.

He opened his eyes to glance at the others around him. I live in a hostel myself, so where will you live? He pondered this over as he cycled round.

Then you should come more often. Very well. Ill come more often. She smiled at him. You can talk to me on the phone. Ill call you. Yesthat sounds good. Saad liked this idea. He began to race his bicycle round the lawn. Imama looked at him absent-mindedly.

Saad was not her brother: She did not know where he had come fromand was not concerned but she knew why he had been brought in. He was ten years old now and had settled in with the family. He was closest to Imama. She often felt very sorry for him, not because he was an orphan, but it was his future that she felt sad about. Her paternal uncles had also adopted orphans and their future too was a cause for concern for Imama.

Book in hand, she continued to look at Saad cycling the garden. Watching him, she was often troubled by such thoughts, but she had no answersthere was nothing that she could do for him. All four of them were in Heera Mandi, the red-light district of Lahore. They were between eighteen and nineteen years of age and their appearance gave away their upper class background; but out here neither age nor social background meant anything, because young boys often frequented the area and the elite were among the most regular customers.

The boys made their way through the narrow lanes of the bazaar. Three of them were lost in conversation but the fourth looked around with interest and a sense of mystery. It seemed that this was his first venture into this domain, and a later exchange with his friends confirmed this.

On both sides of the lane, in open doorways, stood women of every age, shape, size and complexionfair and dark, beautiful and plainall heavily made up and dressed in a revealing way. And men of all ages also passed through the lane. The boy observed everything very carefully. How often have you been here? He addressed the boy to his right who laughed and repeated the words. How often? I dont remember nowI havent kept count! I come here quite often, he said proudly.

I dont find these women very attractivenothing special about them, the boy shrugged his shoulders. If one has to spend a night somewhere at least the environment should be pleasantthis is such a filthy place, he said looking distastefully at the potholes and the piles of garbage in the lane.

Besides, whats the point of coming here when you have girlfriends? This place has its own charm and theres no comparison between these. Girlfriends cant dance like the women here, the other boy said with a laugh.

And today one of Pakistans top actresses is going to performjust wait till you see her. But you had taken me to see her dance, the first boy interrupted. Oh that was nothingjust a mujra at my brothers wedding. But here its a different story. But that actress lives in a very posh locality; why would she want to come here? His tone was somewhat suspicious. Ask her yourself today, if you want.


I dont ask such questions. The other boys laughed at this remark, but the first one looked at him askance. They finally reached their destination at the end of the lane.

From a shop near the entrance, they bought garlands of motia which they wound round their wrists, and also on the wrist of the boy who was objecting to being there. Then they bought paan laced with tobacco and also offered one to himhe had probably never had paan before. They went up the stairs. He looked around critically and a look of satisfaction crossed his face when he saw that the place was not only clean but well decorated too.

The floor was covered with white sheets and there were bolsters to recline on. Curtains fluttered softly on the doors and windows. Some people had already arrived but the performance had not yet started.

A woman with a lovely but fake smile swiftly made her way to them. As she spoke to them, the first boy took in her appearance. She was middleaged, plastered with make-up and sported masses of rose and motia garlands in her hair. She was dressed in a screaming red chiffon sari and her blouse seemed to have been made not to cover but to reveal her body. She led the boys to a corner of the room and seated them. As soon as he sat down, the first boy immediately spat the paan out into a spittoon nearby.

It was hard for him to talk with his mouth full of paan; besides he did not quite like its feel or flavor.

Pir-e-Kamil (P.B.U.H.) Read & download In Urdu & English + Bonus Audio

The other three boys were speaking in low tones. He looked around at the other men in the room who reclined against the cushions with wads of notes and bottles of alcohol in front of them.

Most of the older men were dressed in starched white clothes; it was the first time he had seen so many people dressed in white other than at Eid congregations. He himself was dressed casually in black jeans and a black T-shirt like his friends and the younger crowd. A little later, another woman in garish clothes entered the hall and, seating herself in the centre, began to sing a ghazal. After a few songs, she collected the money that had been showered on her and left.

Then the famous actress for whom they had all been waiting entered the hall and everyones eyes were riveted on her. She twirled around and welcomed her admirers with a gracious nod. The musicians did not play this time and loud recordings of raucous songs filled the room. The performer began to dance. The silence that had preceded her performance was broken by applause as the men noisily appreciated her dancing and drinks went around.

Some of the more intoxicated men got up and began to dance with her. The only one who sat still watching the performance was the first boy. His face was impassive, but if one looked closely it was obvious that he was enjoying himself. When the actress came to the end of her dance about two hours later, most of the men in the hall had passed out.

Going home was not a problem for them as they had not come with the intention of going back any time soonthey were there for the night. The four boys also spent the night there. The next day, on their way back, one of the boys turned to the first one who was looking out of the car. So, how was the experience? All right, he replied casually. All right? Thats all? Honestly Annoyed, he broke off in midsentence.

Its a good place to visit occasionally. What more can I say? But it did not have that something special touch about it. My girlfriend is better than the woman I spent last night with, he retorted. Hashim Mubeens entire family was present at the dining table. They were chatting amiably as they ate. Imama was the subject of their conversation. Baba, have you noticed that Imama is becoming more serious with each passing day? YesIve noticed this over the past few months, Hashim Mubeen replied, his eyes searching Imamas face.

Imama stared at Waseem as she took a spoonful of rice. Imama, is there a problem? Baba, he talks nonsense and you fall into his trap.

Im serious and busy because of my studiesafter all, not everyone is as useless as Waseem, she said with some annoyance. He was sitting next to her and she. Baba, what will become of her when she qualifies as a doctor if this is what she is like in the early years of her studies, joked Waseem.

Itll be years before Miss Imama Hashim smiles Everyone smiled around the table: It was seldom that Imama and Waseem did not argue with each other. But Waseem was also Imamas best friend probably their being the siblings closest in age lay at the heart of their friendship.

And just imagine that Imama but she did not let him finish this time.

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She turned around and landed a fist on his shoulder with all her might. It made no difference to him. What else can we have at home but a doctor with a healing touch? Youve just seen a demonstration and you can guess how doctors treat their patients these days. One of the reasons for the rising death rate in our country Baba, please stop him! Imama conceded defeat as she implored Hashim Mubeen.

He suppressed a smile as he turned to his son who dutifully kept quiet. He emptied the entire contents of the paper bag into the grinder and turned it on.

The cook entered just then. Chote Saab, let me help you, he offered but was waved away. No, I can manage. But get me a glass of milk. He turned off the grinder. The cook got him the milk. To half a glass of milk he added the contents of the grinder, stirred briskly, and gulped it down. What have you cooked today? A look of displeasure crossed his face. I wont have anything. Im going up to sleep; dont disturb me, he said harshly and left the kitchen.

He looked unkempt with a stubble, and except for one or two buttons in place, his shirt front was open. Dragging his slippers on the floor, he went into his room and locked the door behind him. Then he walked over to the huge music system and began to play Boltons When a man loves a woman at full volume.

He flung himself face down on the bed, remote in hand, and feet swinging to the music.

Except for him and his bed, everything in his room was in order. There was not a speck of dust anywhere. The audio-video cassettes were neatly.

Another shelf was filled with books and the computer table in the corner reflected his organized nature. Posters of Hollywood actresses and various bands adorned the walls, while the bathroom door and a few windowpanes were decorated with cut-outs of nudes from Playboy. Anyone entering the room for the first time would be startled because the nude pinups in the windows were life-size and lifelike and placed in special order. Along with the audio system, there was a keyboard, and a guitar, a piccolo and an oboe hung on the walls.

It was obvious that the occupant of the room had great interest in music. In front of the bed was a television cabinet on the shelves of which were several shields and trophies. In another corner of the room cricket bats and racquets were artfully slung across posters of sports stars.

It looked as if a tennis racquet was in Gabriela Sabatinis hand, while the other was held by Rodney Martin, and the squash racquet was in Jehangir Khans hand. The double bed where he was lying on the crumpled silken sheets was a mess. A few pornographic magazines, mostly Playboy, lay scattered about with a paper-cutter and snippetsevidence that he had been cutting out pictures.

Chewing gum wrappers, an empty coffee mug, a packet of Dunhills and a lighter, an ashtray and scattered ash littered the white silk sheet that had holes burnt through. Somewhere there was a wristwatch and a tie, and a cell phone by the pillow where the young man lay face downward, perhaps half asleep as his hand mechanically but unsuccessfully searched the bed when the phone rang.

The beeping went unheard and the remote in his hand fell to the floor as his grip relaxed. Michael Boltons voice continued to fill the room with the lyrics of When a man loves a womanthe knocking on the door became persistent and louder, but he lay motionless on the bed.

Dont tell me! Imama, are you really engaged? Zainab appeared jolted by Javerias disclosure. Imama cast an accusing glance at Javeria who looked at her shamefacedly. Dont look at herlook at me and tell me if its true that youre engaged, Zainab addressed Imama sharply. Yes, but it is not something extraordinary or amazing that you should react like this, Imama replied with composure. They were all sitting in the library and trying their best to talk in low tones.

But at least you should have told us. What was the big secret? Theres no secret and neither is it so important. Besides, we have become friendly only recently and the engagement took place years ago, explained Imama. What do you mean by years ago? I mean two or three years ago. But still you should have told us Zainab persisted.

Imama smiled at her. When I get engaged again, Ill definitely tell youwhether or not I tell anyone else. Very funny. Zainab glared at her. At least show us a photograph of him Who is he?

Whats his name? What does he do? As usual, Rabias questions came pouring out in one breath. Hes my first cousinhis names Asjad, The words came slowly and Imama paused thoughtfully. He has completed his MBA and runs his own business. What does he look like? Imama looked at her closely. Hes all right.

Im asking you is he tall, dark, and handsome? Imama smiled at Zainab without a word. Javeria replied on her behalf. This is Imamas choice Yes, we should have knownafter all hes Imamas first cousin.

Now Imama, your next task is to show us his photograph, ordered Zainab. No, her first duty is to take us out for a treat, interjected Rabia. But now lets leave; I have to go to the hostel. Imama got up and they all left together.

By the way, Javeria, why didnt you tell us about this earlier? Zainab asked her. Listen, Imama did not want itthats why I never brought it up, said Javeria. Imama turned around and gave Javeria a warning look. Why wouldnt Imama want it? If I had been engaged and that too to a boy of my choice, then I would have screamed it out from the rooftops, Zainab declared loudly.

Imama chose to ignore her. Your son is amongst those 2. With this level of intelligence, whatever he does may be extraordinary, but not unexpected. Salar had been at the International School for only a week when Sikandar Usman and his. The school psychologist had informed them about Salars various IQ tests in which his performance and score had amazed his teachers and also the psychologist.

He was the only child in the school with such a high IQ and very soon he became the focus of everyones attention. During his meeting with Mr and Mrs Usman, the psychologist got another opportunity to dig out more information about Salars childhood. He had been studying Salars case with much interest which was personal rather than professionalit was the first time he had come across such an IQ level.

Sikandar Usman remembered well that when Salar was just two years old, he was remarkably fluent in his speech, unlike other boys of his age, and very often he came up with things that left him and his wife wondering. One day he was speaking to his brother on the phone while watching TV, and Salar was playing nearby.

Sikandar watched him as he happily chatted away. I am well. How are you? Sikandar thought he was play-acting. The next sentence made him sit up. Baba is right here, watching TV. No, he did not callI called you. Salar, who are you talking to? Uncle Shahnawaz, he replied. Sikandar took the phone from him. He thought Salar may have dialed at random or else pressed the redial button.

Salar has dialed the number, Im sorry, he apologized to his brother. How could he do that? Isnt he too young? His brother was surprised.

He probably pressed the redial button accidentally. Sikandar switched off the phone and put it back in place. Salar, who was quietly listening to this conversation, went and picked up the phone againSikandar looked at him as he expertly dialed Shahnawazs number, just as an adult would.

He was shockedhe did not expect a two-year-old to do this, He reached out to disconnect the call. Salar, do you know Shahnawazs number? Yes, came the calm reply. What is it? Salar rattled it off. Sikandar stared at himhe did not think Salar knew how to count, let alone remember a string of digits. Who taught you this number? I learnt it myself. You just dialed it. Salar looked at him. Do you know how to count? How far can you count? Till a hundred. Show me how. Like a machine, Salar counted from one to one hundred, in one breath.

Sikandar could feel knots in his stomach. I am going to dial a number now, and when I disconnect you call the same number, he said. Salar was enjoying this game. Sikandar dialed a number then switched off the phone. Salar immediately took the receiver and dialed the same number as confidently as his father had. Sikandars head was spinning. Salar could remember any numbers that he dialed, and could then dial them accurately.

He had a photographic memory. Sikandar called his wife. I havent taught him numbers, she said. Yesterday I just said out the numbers one to hundred. But I did get him some books a few days ago. Sikandar asked Salar to count to a hundredthis he did while his mother watched in amazement. Convinced that the child was far ahead in intelligence for his age, they enrolled him in school much earlier than they had his siblings.

He excelled in school.

This child needs your special attention, because compared to children of average intelligence, such children have a more sensitive and complicated nature. If he has a good upbringing, he will be an asset to your familyindeed to the country.

Sikandar Usman and his wife listened with pride to the psychologist who was a foreigner. They began to give Salar preferential treatment at home: At school, he was promoted to the next class after just one term, and then again at the end of the term he was promoted yet again. Sikandar was perturbedhe did not want Salar to be sitting for his O levels and A levels at the age of eight and ten.

Considering the speed of his progress, this seemed quite likely. I would like you to let my son spend a full year in class before he is promoted to the next level. I do not want him to race through his academic career in school at this abnormal speed.

You can increase his subjects and activities, but let him progress normally towards. So, Salar was not moved up mid-term; his talents and energy were channeled into sports and other extra-curricular activities. Chess, tennis, golf and music interested him the most, and he took an active part in whatever happened in schoolif he did not participate in something it was only because he did not find it challenging enough.

Javeria, give me Professor Imtinans notes, will you? Imama asked Javeria who was studying. Javeria handed her a notebook which she began to leaf through it. Javeria continued with her reading, but suddenly turned to Imama, as if she had remembered something.

Why have you stopped taking notes during lectures? Imama looked up. I would if I could understand them. You dont understand Prof. Imtinans lectures?

Javeria was surprised. Hes such a good teacher. Did I say he wasnt? Its just that Imama trailed off, distracted.

She turned back to the notebook. Javeria looked at her closely. Arent you getting absent-minded lately? Are you disturbed about something? She put away her book; her tone was caring. Imama muttered. No You have dark circles under your eyes. Last nightI think it was three oclockwhen I woke up, you had not yet slept.

I was studying, Imama replied defensively. No, you werent. Your book was in front of you but your thoughts were somewhere else.

What problem could there be? Then why have you become so quiet? Javeria ignored Imamas attempts to stall the conversation. Now, why should I be at a loss for words? Imama tried to smile. Im as talkative as ever. Its not just me, but others too have noticed that you have been disturbed, Javeria said seriously. Its nothingjust the usual tension because of studies. I dont believe you. After all were all togetheryou cannot be any more tense than us.

Javeria shook her head. Imama sighedshe was getting fed up with this. Is everything all right at home? Yes, absolutely fine. Have you quarreled with Asjad? Why would I quarrel with him? Imama responded in the same tone. But there can still be differences and Imama cut her off in midsentence.

When I am telling you that theres no problem, why cant you believe me? In all these years, what have I not shared with you or what do you not know about me? Then why are you questioning me as if I were a criminal? Imama was losing her temper. Javeria was confused. Of course, I believe you. I thought you were holding back because I might worry. Thats all. Javeria, somewhat contrite, got up and went back to her table and resumed reading her book.

After some time she yawned and turned towards Imama. She was sitting up, her back to the wall and notebook in hand, but her eyes were fixed on the wall in front.

He parked the car some distance away from the bridge across the canal. He opened the boot and took out a sack and a length of rope and moved towards the bridge, dragging the sack behind him. Some passersby saw him but they did not stop. Once on the bridge, he pulled off his shirt and flung it into the waterin a few moments the shirt was swept away by the flow.

His tall, athletic frame, clad in dark blue jeans, was a handsome sight. His eyes were inscrutable. He could have been anywhere between 19 to 29 years of age, but his height and appearance made him look much older. Holding on to one end of the rope, he threw it over the bridge till it hit the water. Then he started tightly winding and knotting the rope in his hand around the mouth of the sack till he had used it all up.

Now, he pulled back the length of the rope, leaving aside about three feet; standing with his feet together, he firmly tied them with this length. Next, he made two loops with the remaining rope and hopped on to the railing of the bridge, and then passing his hands through the loops behind his back, he pulled the knots and tied up his hands too.

A smile of satisfaction hovered on his lips. Taking a deep breath, he threw himself backwards over the bridge. His head hit the water sharply and he was submerged to the waist, head down and hands tied behind his back, dangling from the rope tied to the weighted sack above. He held his breath and tried to keep his eyes open underwater, but the canal was murky and the silt stung his eyes.

He felt as if his lungs would burst and when he breathed in, the water entered his body through his nose and mouth. He began to flap about helplesslyhe tried but could.

Gradually, his movements slowed.

Some people who had seen him jump off the bridge, ran to the railing, shouting. The rope was still shaking. They did not know what to do there was no visible movement under the water; his legs appeared to be still. A crowd gathered, looking with fear at the lifeless body: Imama, get ready quickly! Get ready?Imama got up and they all left together.

The only one who sat still watching the performance was the first boy. When the actress came to the end of her dance about two hours later. He had known her since childhood; she was a lively girl. The prize distribution ceremony was underway at the Golf Club. The stuff was of excellent quality, but his expression showed that he had not enjoyed the experience. I think shes moving away from me, said Asjad.