Khalid’s story captures the secrecy that shrouds the lives of our parents and how death bares it all.
Binna, Punjab Pakistan, the 1980s:
His father’s demise was an unforeseen tragedy, not only for his family but for the entire village. Even inhabitants from the neighbouring settlements had gathered to offer their condolences. Malik Murad enjoyed robust health, but a sudden stroke claimed his life. The young Bilal stood nonplussed, hearing visitors pay respects to the departed soul.
“He was only fifty-two, much too young to go,” a voice said sadly.
“It is not our place to challenge the will of Allah,” exclaimed another.
The accolades from the scores of people who had come to grieve Bilal’s father’s death kept pouring endlessly. The village of Binna became a sorrow-stricken widow. Muffled sobs carried on a dry breeze, while hoarse whispers of grief echoed through the alleys. Vendors closed their carts and store owners their shops. The village looked haunted.