Farman woke up from a horrible dream alike the 5000 days since he shifted from Karachi to the shore of Kochi. Starting his day with piping hot sambhar with a slimy, spiced tempting mold of ragi was a morning ritual. He gulped it down and a bowl of sambhar for pushing it into his belly.
"The ragi balls" he spoke "are the finest dishes Miriam prepares”. Miriam, his daughter was an Indian girl with almost all the barriers clenched as most stree's. (But, of course she belonged to the so-called a nation welcome for all(Hindustan)).
He fastened his lungi, and collected the fishing nets from the terrace. Javed was already downstairs with his pack of fish food. He had ordered them previous week from a nearby shop. He had had a boiled-up argument, as it was clear from the frown on his face with the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper was denying the sale of any good to people like him(Musalman as the Kiranewala stated).
Farman came down and hugged Javed as to pacify him. His gestures were such that made it clear it was a vicissitude of life. Farman was a 51-year-old, bony dark yet optimistic man and a person full of energy. Muslim, I guess comes without mention.
His daughter Miriam is his only heir or in fact, they have no one apart from each other except Javed. Javed is a dark, young 5 feet 9 inches tall man who has a nervous look on his face. "Bye Abba!" Miriam screamed as Farman waved his hand and love birds shared a wink seeing her peep out of the window.
Dum Laga Ke haisha! Yelled the fishermen to turn their boat back to sail having kept it half-submerged into the sea. They did this so that the sideboards didn't shrink. The boat was ordinary, but they had bought a motor from Javed's uncle Ali.
Ali was a labor at the Bengal port. He had stolen this motor from the warehouse, from the scrap zone. The performance of a motor improves on the second day as people say and so did it.
Javed directed the boat as Farman read out the headlines from the newspaper. "The need for Citizenship Amendment Act to be shelved" and some more. In the next half an hour, they were in the middle of nowhere, past dense fishermen across the shore. Javed scattered the fish food and Farman entwined the net. They had caught 200 fishes in the next hour.
After a tough labor and coordination of the young and aging mind, Farman finally asked what the matter was? He seemed to be rather bothered by something.He felt rather nervous than usual. Javed had just waited for this moment.
He told the captain that he will discuss it when they would call it a day. "Are 200 fishes not enough…….do you want to stock these at home! But then if you're still not tired……"On this Javed spoke intentionally, "It is only because you insist…..". But he did not mean to, Farman said.
Javed continued almost snubbing the last words "Now that we have worked for six months together(4 and a half although) you and I, in fact, your entire family now knows me well. So I thought off late actually because I am well off, and I aah….your family knows ehhhh….". "I don't understand a word, what did you think of and so?" asked Farman puzzled. Javed took a deep breath as though pumping out all the oxygen from the breeze and gently released it. He with his eyes somewhere around the sea said " Could I marry your daughter, Miriam since I am the one who can keep her happy" he said this in a single breath and almost as if he penalized himself to do so.
Farman was dumbstruck. He gave a minute pause and spoke the first syllables alarmingly " Does Miriam love you too."
The minute that past had already horror-ed Javed with rejection. He had accepted from the silence yet the sound of the breeze almost making his breath seem effortless. "Yes, I guess as she states it".
It was as if Farman had all the thoughts almost invisible from the expression on his face. While he made his efforts to wind away from all the ropes by the time the sun was overhead,
A blast almost shook the northwest tides so hard that they were pushed back by the tremors in the sea. Not very far away had a vessel of oil leaked into the ocean saw the 2. They trolled and jerked out with all their might, it was when they pulled aback they heard someone call for help. There were 2 of them, ship labor men as one could make out from what they wore.
Once pulled into the boat, the men seemed like 2 huge pieces of sponge, drenched in salty water. Javed took the boat slow and after a few splashes of water, the 2 were back in their conscious.
Ahmed and Hari Om were their names. The ship labor had tried their level best to sneak into the problem. However they weren't very successful in doing so. Ahmed was from somewhere in Pakistan and the latter from Bihar. Farman took to Ahmed a while to talk in person. Hari Om and Javed figured out a space for themselves and were busy with their gossip.
Farman with a butcher knife sliced Ahmed's elbow and threw him into the sea. This left the members of the boat stupefied, even Farman himself. Hari Om without a thought planned to dive when Farman clenched the arm of the Hindu and gave him the sense of relief that he won't do so with him.
"The only reason I did this," he said " was because the Hindus vie with the Muslims of India in all walks of life. be it jobs, worship or even education because they seem to fear the reestablishment of the Mughal empire. If not such is the fear, what if we get educated. Who shall work for the rich and glorious? The skilled and educated shall not hold all with one individual. Shall this happen the rich and glorious shall seem to lose virtue."
"The current crisis in this nation is such that if not me, it was the laws that would pierce through his elbows and the policies which would slice his knees. All that’s left was a heart that would beat venomous potions like the waves of the sea."
If this story seems incomplete, it’s meant to be this empty alike the laws and policies drafted by the parties in power of our country.
Stree-A women (in Hindi)