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Ehsan Elahi Ehsan
Her real name was not Gurya but she was called by this name so frequently that
she accepted it as her real name. Her mother had died when she was 10 years old.
Her father was already dead when she was in her early childhood. She had no
sisters, no brothers, all alone. She had only one aunt, her father’s sister.
When Gurya was left alone, her aunt took her under her own care. She was herself
a poor woman. She pulled Gurya, somehow to the age of 17 years. When Ramazan’s
mother went to ask her hand, her aunt felt relief. She had the sense of
completing her duty amicably. Gurya was married to Ramazan.
Ramazan was also 17 years. The match was good. Ramazan’s father was killed by a
truck accident. His mother, Rani, wanted Ramazan to get married soon for
domestic circumstances. Ramazan had acceded to it.
Gurya and Ramazan were very happy as husband and wife. Ramazan’s mother was too
happy. The real cause of her happiness was not Ramazan’s marriage. It was her
own second marriage for which she had already planned. Rani ran away with a
person Noor, a few days after Ramazan’s marriage. It was a great shock for
Ramazan. He could find no reason and the need for Rani to enter into a second
marriage and that too hastily. He took this shock to heart. It looked strange to
him that the parent was using her own son to fulfil her own secret design. He
was frustrated. He looked for some escape. He overworked the van of which he was
the driver. He was often awake at night busy with his thoughts. He could not
sleep but felt sleepy all the times. One mid-night he struck his van against a
tree. The accident was fatal. Gurya’s dream of a happy and peaceful family life
was shattered to pieces. She was now the head of the family with heavy burden of
responsibilities on her shoulders. Apart f! rom herself she had to look after
the two little girls, Bano and Shano, Ramazan’s sisters. One of two years and
the other of one year. She was conceived and after ninth months she would be
mother as well. The mother of a baby who would not see his/hers father. She
accepted the challenge and decided to treat Bano and Shano as her own real
sisters. She had got so much love from Ramazan in a short period that she could
not think of any other man. She decided not to marry for another time. She would
nourish the two and would-be three children as a worship. She would devote
herself heart and soul to them. She made it a mission of her life.
She had no proper source of income. The people of the village were very
sympathetic. They gave her charity in kind and cash. She did not like it but she
was forced to accept. She could find no other means of income to keep herself
and the family living. The way the life was going, she had not much problem to
meet the basic needs of life. She decided to send Bano and Shano to school when
they came of age for that purpose. She began to think of standing on her own
The time passed in routine doing and routine thinking. She gave birth to a
child. It resembled Ramazan. Her joys knew no bounds. Bano and Shano were
overjoyed to have a living toy in their home. They were too young and forgot
every thing or nearly every thing about their brother or mother. Gurya was every
thing to them. The new comer in the family was given the name of Rizwan.
"Why not to purchase a sewing machine, learn the art of sewing clothes and earn
her own livelihood by working." One day when she was absorbed in herself the
idea flashed into her mind. She was overjoyed to have this idea. ‘She would save
money and do this’ she said to herself.
There was an old woman in the village, Aunt Bhari. ‘She would go to her", Gurya
thought. Aunt Bhari did the work of sewing for the whole village, men and women,
there was no other person doing that job. Aunt Bhari was very popular with the
people especially the women. She was a woman or very pleasant nature. Every body
felt happy and consoled meeting her. One day Gurya went to her home. There were
four or five women sitting with her. They were chatting, they were commenting,
and they were laughing. When there was a discussion on any topic, Aunt Bhari was
the final judge. ‘Hello Gurya, how are you" Aunt Bhari asked her. "It is so. so"
Gurya replied. When Aunt Bhari looked to Gurya’s face, she felt that Gurya had
come for some special purpose." Probably she wanted some money’, Aunt Bhari
thought to herself, " and did not want to ask before these women." "Yes Gurya it
is good that you have come, I wanted something from you, could you come to the
room for a few minutes’ Aunt ! Bhari said to her, and with this she rose and
went to the room. Gurya followed her. "What is the matter, do you need something
from me" she asked. Two big tears appeared in Gurya’s eye brims. " Actually I
have come to you with a request that you may train me in sewing. I want to stand
on my own feet. Please help me in this’. Aunt Bhari was a very kind person. She
embraced Gurya and said, " Why not. I would be very happy to train you. Come to
me from tomorrow for one hour daily. It would take only six months and you would
become mistress in the art of sewing dresses for the villagers", Gurya was
fascinated by this. She kissed Aunt Bhari and thanked her. She came back home
with the feeling as if she had found a new path of life. When she was back home
in the room, she was muttering, "six months, money, sewing machine, her own
work, her own earning, education for Bano and Shano and Rizwan when he is of the
required age. She would save money in these six months and purchase her own s!
ewing machine." She continued going to Aunt Bhari regularly.
One day Gurya went to Aunt Bhari an hour earlier than her time. She wanted to
finish the work of the previous day that had remained uncompleted. When she
entered the home, Aunt Bhari was not at her working place. The sewing machine
was also not there. No other woman had yet arrived. She called out, "Aunt Bhari’,
(she was called by this title by every body younger or older, men or women). A
feebled voice came out of the room. When she entered the room Aunt Bhari was
lying in her bed. She was groaning with pain. "What has happened aunt’ she
asked. ‘It is the old kidney problem. I often kept it hidden from the people.
Today it has become uncontrollable.’ "Should I call some one to take you to the
doctor to Chakwal city’. She said. "No, no need for that, I know this is the
end’. Aunt Bhari said with tears in her eyes. "Nothing would happen aunt. You
are so boild. You have been providing consolation and comfort to every body. You
have always been a model of courage for all the! people. Don’t be so much
disappointed." " I am not disappointed my child, my Gurya but I know this is the
end."… "Take care of the people who come to you for their sewing work. Never be
greedy. Never be selfish. Take your own fair wages and that is all. Help them in
whatever manner you can. I have been a widow myself since my youth. I know there
are times when the passions seem to take hold of you. You have to practice
restrain. Learn to sacrifice for other. Always keep in mind to give people
little pleasures you can." She paused for some moments. Gurya did not think it p
roper to speak. She kept silence. "Always extend a helping hand to every body
who needs from you. The real happiness lies in sacrificing for others and
providing happiness to them. If you do so, you shall always remain happy." She
again paused. " I am saying to you this because I may not be able to have
another chance" Aunt Bhari was silent. Two more women, in the meantime came
there. They were very much disturbed! to see the aunt in this condition. The
news spread. Soon there was a crowd of men and women in the house. Every person
wanted to help Aunt Bhari in some way or the other. "Take her immediately to
Chakwal hospital" Somebody cried. Four men advanced to Aunt Bhari’s cot. They
asked the women to be aside. ‘Aunt Bhari, how are you feeling. We want to take
you to the hospital" one of the men said. There was no answer. He brought his
face near Aunt Bhari’s and looked into her eyes. Those were open but fixed.
"Aunt Bhari," he said with a crying voice." There was no answer. He felt her
pulse. Of no use. Aunt Bhari had gone far away from the noisy world silently and
patiently without any complaint. All the people present there began weeping.
Every man and woman felt as if he/she himself/herself had died.
Time passed. Gurya got the sewing machine. She got enough work to do. All the
villagers got their clothes sewn from her. Gurya took another step forward. She
started a training centre for sewing. There were ten girl students including
Bano and Shano getting their training from her. Bano and Shano were continuing
their regular education as well. Rizwan was also studying. They cleared
Matriculation examination. Rizwan stood first in the Board’s result and was
granted a scholarship. Guryar wanted to give him as much education as he wanted.
Now, the whole family is happy. Very happy. There is no misery, there is no
loneliness. The bold Gurya has come over her difficulties. She is very happy.
Some times, when she is all alone, she thinks of Ramazan, how would he be happy
to see his home turned into paradise. She wanted to provide him similar kind of
happiness but….she stopped. She is now paying her full attention to the young
ones. She has provided them good education. Rizwan to her is a living memory of
It is the morning of a day. Bano and Shano and their fellows are there. They are
busy with sewing work. Gurya is sitting on a cot and giving instructions to them
about their work. The girls are chatting and working and cutting jokes with one
another which titalate them and their youth. The women of the village are
telling different stories.
Today is a very busy day. Women are checking the kinds of clothes. Some are
folding them and the others are unrolling them. Some are making the
measurements. The girls are sitting aside and making themselves ready for the
jobs they are to be given. There are extraordinary smiles on their faces. Some
thing is going to happen. " How are you feeling Bano’ some girl cries suddenly
and there is a roar of laughter. "How are you feeling Shano" another twitters
and yet there is another laughter. " Bano and Shano have been engaged in the
village and they are to be married the next week. The whole village is busy in
making preparation for the marriage ceremony. Gurya is sitting in the centre of
the women instructing them, chatting with them and passing judgements on their
discussion. She is now Aunt Bhari of the village.
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