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Friday, November 14, 2008

Mayyathu

Thursday evening Emirates road in Dubai was like a python gone to sleep .vehicles were barely moving in the eight track huge road ,


there should have been an accident somewhere for this to happen thought Muneer ,he was fidgety and in edge ,it was imperative he be in Sharjah by 7pm or else he would miss his flight he looked at Altaf


Altaf whats happening ? think we are stuck is any exit possible from here ?


This is the best bet ,going into the city would be worser .it will clear some accident mebbe


ah there it is he said as the cars ahead were diverting a big crash and a huge crane was trying to lift an upturned van ,the police were efficient and traffic moved sluggishly .


Muneer heaved a sigh of relief ,so it was possible he would get into his flight and at dawn he would be speeding to Patttambi from the airport .


two years and he hadnt even seen his little one Aysha poor Fatima she was bearing all the seperation it was just another gulf malayalees life


hard work and homesickness and the looking forwards to that day of homecoming


Altaf janta hun it is yrs since we came here, how time flies


Altaf nodded ,they both worked in the same company and Altaf moonlighted trips to the airport with his second hand Nissan


hailing from Pakistans multan Altaf was Muneers best friend and roomate along with Jinan


the car speeded up as the road cleared ,both friends were happy and rhymed along with the gazal belted out from FM Dubai and then it happened with just a deafening sound and flash


the car rolled and turned over itself bursting into flames as the big truck hit it with incredible force


Muneer felt a searing pain scalding his face ,he saw his child so closely .


Fatima was beckoning to him and he floated into her arms and then into blessed oblivion


Altaf died on the spot


the truck too lost balance and toppled on to a van totally .


It was a big mess with many injured and a score dead


the mayhem was like a battle scene


police arrived with effort finding way to reach the place ,helicopters hovered above pulling the injured up into thier safety and to the nearby Dubai hospital


it was confusion all over


" Eda Nasser and Altaf accident ,eda vem vaa "the mobile woke up Ashraf and Jinan after midnight ,it was hours before somebody could trace thier numbers and the police called thier friend chako from the number in muneers shatered mobile


oh no Jinan sobbed in the motuary poor Muneer oh lord look at Altaf I cant see him ,both were beyond recognition and scarred , smell of burnt flesh brought revulsion to him and he rushed out


what can Ido oh my God how can I call them in Pattambi ? They will be waiting for his arrival


Abdul Azeez was doing that for 2 years


His son was getting back


His mind raced into the past as the car drove swiftly in the darkness of dawn to the airport


Muneer was always his favourite ,he took special care of his bappa he had always been like that concerned and loving and Fatima was such a good wife for him poor thing he could feel her pain when she read his letters or called her .


Today she was awake when Azeez left


" molle go to sleep it is midninght I will be back with him in the morning ."


"illa bappa urakkamvarunilla ."


he just laughed


after Muneers mother died last year it was Fatima who looked after the big house and its affairs leaving nothing undone it was a blessing to have her as a daughter in law thought Abdul azeez


Allah karim ........


And then the moblie rung incessantly Azeez had some intution when he answered it ,It was unexplainable and uncomfortable feel of something gone wrong


" baapa Jinanannu Altafinde friendu jinan "


"Aa jina flight vitto ? "


"Ayyo Baapa chadichu avan namalevittu poyi "Jinan sobbed


"Entha entha nee parayinadhu ? "


Azeez gripped the mobile his kncukles turing white


"monne jinna enthadanee paruyunnu "


Ellam poi accidentanu both of them Muneer and Altaf gone , on way to airport


Azeez was sweating and had a searing pain in his head


it cant be true Iam dreaming


the taxi driver looked at his ashen face "saare enthupatti ?"


"ayyo ayyo nirthu nirthu enthina ponnu avan varulla !! "


Muneers brother sitting behind woke up hearing this


"bappa bappa what are you saying ?"


"poyada ellam poyi avan poyada ente mon poyi kondupoyi avanne ayyo njaan enthu cheyum


entha paraya avente penninodu ? "


Salam grabbed the phone and dialled jinans number


"jina entha entha ?"


" Salamme seriya bappaa paranjadhu serriya big accident thier car got burnt I saw the body could not recognise even the face I mean "


"vandi thrikku shanmugna chetta veetilekku vekkam "


Events moved like slow motion after that


the taxi entering the house and an eager Fatima rushing with her child


she was surprised at their retun so fast


but what happened ?


is bappa not well ?


why is he leaning on Salam ?


Salam entha ?


parayam parayam


The news landed on her like thunder she was shellshocked not a tear no crying just silence as she clutched her baby to her chest she would not give the baby to anyone however much they asked she just sat with the baby motionless .


the house was full of poeple


silent sobs reverberated from its wall mingling with verses of koran being chanted


Sulaiman MLA was there


"Azeez ikka karyangaloke nengalu nokkikola bejaravenda ,ministerku vilichitindu ,avaruayakkum thamasikade


ividithe orukam athraye illu


"ente ponnune enthinanu konduvarunathu ? "sobbed Azeez


"Hai ingalanda parayunnu karyangolake nadakente ? " musaliyar boomed


the house was full of doers


the green coffin was ready too


evening fell as mobiles rung on and off to give the latest on the body and then jinaan called


someone thrust the mobile to Azeez


"bappa njananu Muneer ,onumpatilla baapa enikku onnum patitilla "


Muneer talked wheezingly


"Azeeez saare azeez saare avan undu .undu


thetiyadha he is alive alle thetiyadha " from jinan


what had happened was that the police had taken many to a nearby hospital and some to the mortuary


identification wad difficult and when jinnan was taken by police to see the body with Altaf he was sure it was Muneer .


Muneer later called from the hospital as soon as he regained consciousness asking for Altaf


he still didnt know


the house shook away its gloom as people talked of this miracle


Fatima broke into hysterical laughter


but somwhere in another house in distant Multan someone cried ...........



( I got this story outline from a true incident which I heard in the hospital today the injured malayalee is in the hospital even now ,


characters and events are my imagination of course )

3 comments:

Bala said...

Great story! Kept me on the edge. Well done Hariettan!

Maddy said...

a good reminder. though it is a pity that news in kerala about 'gulfis' are almost all about some tragedy like this, their job issues or a dream nipped in the bud...

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Oh such a moving story. I could feel the tragedy of it so clearly - Thank God Muneer did not die, we think. But then that terribly sad line
'but somwhere in another house in distant Multan someone cried'.

Great story.
As Maddy says, life in the Gulf has so many inherent tragedies - separation from families, and sometimes incidents like this.

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