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AQAAB - 5

AQAAB

Five

The world went into a shock.

The media termed it as the most painful event of the twenty-first century. Nobody could have imagined that the stars would plan such a tragedy for an innocent and joyful place.

The idea that the world which was considered to be safe and developed would be destroyed in such a satanic way, was beyond imagination

The media called it the extremity’s biggest attack on liberality.

The Twin Towers located in New York City of the U.S., which were considered to be the largest centre of the world trade, were demolished in an aerial attack. Those skyscrapers, from which the world’s largest companies were operated and where the measures of the operations of financial strategies were made, were turned into a heap of iron, cement and stones in front of everybody.

The media did not get satisfaction by calling it as the most violent antihuman act of the barbaric terrorism which was spreading on the global stage.

Thousands of innocent people lost their lives without any reason in this calamity caused by the height of enmity between two civilizations.

The world had seen two world wars until then. Their painful memories were still live in the corners of the world. The great destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was also experienced. But this calamity proved that humans did not learn any lesson from his history. Till then, no such system was in place which could identify the culprits and eliminate them.

The same mistake was repeated here when innocents were sacrificed in the actions taken in anticipation of taking revenge on the culprits.

Various types of destructive bombs are being made on the notion of killing only the guilty or a group of guilty people through a chemical reaction, without causing any damage to the property, though in this case, uncountable loss of the property was caused and the innocents could not be saved. The principles were destroyed.

A few kilometres from where the Statue of Liberty stands, making the largest symbol of liberality on boisterous waves, the destruction of the Twin Towers was said to be a suicide step. But the calamity proved that despite all the thoughts and isms of the world, we are still on the way to civilization and development and the destination is still far away.

All the newspapers and news channels made this news their main story. The public was stunned. Many debates ensued but no decision or conclusion could be reached.

If all the civilization, technique and functional society is being made for such destinations, then not only its viability but also its situation was brought into questions.

This wound of New York City caused pain to nations around the world.

Along with its investigation, the question came up that which language is this? Who is speaking it? Where do its advocates want to take the world? Where have they themselves reached? Whom will such calamities benefit? And under the shadow of these questions, an earthquake against terrorism came in the world. Many countries were already facing terrorism but this calamity in a great country like the U.S. proved to incite feelings of ‘Do or Die’ for the whole world.

The Twin Towers were completely demolished. The doubts and apprehensions were still around that how such a calamity would have been made possible but this bitter truth was hanging over the world like an umbrella that it had happened.

One silent morning of the new century came in its grasp, forgetting all its hustle and bustle.

In the Lower Manhattan of New York on the banks of the Hudson, these two buildings of 110 floors stood like two brothers. As in the case of twin brothers, one is called elder and another younger because of the former coming out of their mother’s womb a few seconds early, among these buildings known as the twin towers, 1 WTC was 1368 feet high and 2 WTC was 1362 feet high. This difference of 6 feet was due to that powerful antenna which was installed on top of 1 WTC. It was as if that antenna could see anything happening in the world through its eyes. These towers of New York were the highest buildings in the city, they had also been the highest buildings in the world once. As two identical twin brothers are differentiated by some mole, in the same way, the North Tower was differentiated from its identical building by its antenna. From the top of these great buildings, one could see till 45 miles on a clear day. Not only all the islands of New York, but even New Jersey and Connecticut could be seen as an alert sentinel from their roof. This whole group of buildings occupied almost 16 acres.T he premises had seven buildings, one big plaza and an underground shopping mall. Thousands of people worked there everyday. Other than that, almost fifty thousand people visited this huge complex everyday for some work or just to watch it. These two buildings were the main attractions of the whole place.

When the Sun rose in this area of Manhattan, everything was normal but after some time it was in the grasp of great upheaval. One bloody, creepy aeroplane came roaring from somewhere and hit a tower. The upper portion of the tower started burning and the whole city saw the smoke rising from the fire. The whole place was in fear as if an earthquake had come. People came on the roofs and balconies of their homes and kept watching this deadly scene. When Tanishk came sweating on the roof of the Hudson Tower, he was astonished to see that the World Trade Centre’s roof was covered by fire and smoke and people were jumping from its windows without caring for the height. The helicopters had arrived in a hurry and were inspecting the situation by circling around it. The efforts to save people in this chaos looked as if these were divine efforts to pull back those people who were already in the mouth of death.

Tanishk knew that Masru Uncle hadn’t gone to Jersey that day and he would be at the World Trade Centre only. He felt his ears ringing and darkness was covering his eyes. That innocent young boy could see lightning strikes on his life. Suddenly the mobile in his necker started vibrating horribly. He put it over his ear immediately and in the midst of crying voices, he heard the familiar shaky and pleading voice of Masru Uncle, "Son, son...all is over...all is over...nobody will be able to save...nobody..." and the voice faded into oblivion. Before Tanishk could touch the lift’s button near the stairs to go down, he lost his consciousness. Then he did not know what happened.

As the afternoon arrived, all the channels of the world started telling their viewers that four commercial flights in the U.S. were hijacked by a group of 19 people. By the numbers, it was clear that this was an international conspiracy. Two of these aeroplanes were made to collide both of the towers one by one and the towers were demolished. One such attack happened on the headquarters of the armed forces, the Pentagon, located at Washington, D.C., the capital of the U.S.. The fourth aeroplane was also diverted towards Washington, D.C. by the hijackers where they wanted to destroy the U.S. Capitol Building. But the attack didn’t go as planned due to the attackers’ hastiness. Because of the passengers as well, the attack was unsuccessful. And rather than attacking the Capitol Building, it crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It looked as if it was an attempt by a negative power of the world to destroy the U.S. administration and trade. That’s why New York and Washington were made targets.

This calamity was not limited to enmity between only two countries. Almost three thousand people were killed in these attacks who belonged to ninety countries. In this way, most of the nations of the world were linked to this tragedy.

In the morning, when all the news sources were showing news in the lines of “Attack on the U.S.”, the then President of the country was in Florida. The National Security Advisor was in Peru. After a few moments of bewilderment, the government spurn into action and along with the calculations of the damage, rescue started as well.

Soon it was exposed that it was the wrongdoing of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda. All the 19 terrorists were its members and it had planned to attack important places by hijacking aeroplanes so as to shed innocent blood. They were successful in this. Now their terror had spread in the world. These terrorists thought that with a show of violence, they would become successful in compelling this great nation to change its foreign policy. To change the course of its foreign policy towards the Middle Eastern countries especially, these terrorists had played this bloody game in which thousands of happy innocent lives met painful endings. People going for their everyday work, people who had come as tourists, people working there to make ends meet...all of them lost their lives without any reason. As if the grandest civilization of the world was living the moments of its destruction.

People were trying to contact their relatives and acquaintances from far away countries to know their well-being. Some of them had already boarded flights or taken other vehicles to arrive here to search for their loved ones. All the messages being exchanged on so many mobiles and laptops were spreading in the environment like question marks as if they were insects on a human body.

Music lovers were singing melancholy, painters were painting pain in their lines and educationists were questioning the reliability of education. There was gloom everywhere.

The antenna on the tower’s roof, which was equivalent in size to that of a football field, broadcast TV and radio signals for one last time to the New York City and then silenced forever. The Manhattan Fire Department was amongst the first to arrive for the rescue, but in the attack on the second tower, many of them were fatally or non fatally injured. The only thing which could be later found of their captain, John Brown, was his helmet.

How much this calamity shocked people all over the world, it is very hard to imagine. After this attack which was beyond imagination, on one replica of the famous Statue of Liberty in New York City, people offered so many different things to protect it which included flags of countries, currencies, artworks as well as signboards. One African tribe which lived in Kenya, gifted U.S. 14 cows to treat this wound. They had never been to the U.S. and the cows held a very respected position in their lives.

In the middle of this city, once where these skyscrapers stood, now 'Ground Zero' was established. This zero stuck forever to the head of humanity, just like a deep wound.

Tanishk could never meet his Masru Uncle again. The name of Masru Osse was engraved in the walls of his mind but its shadow left his life forever. Now he was an orphan in this unknown country where he had no family member.

When two pools were made at the Ground Zero of World Trade Center in the memory of the victims, Tanishk was amongst the first ones to see them after their public opening. Two huge pools were made near the site of both of the destroyed towers of World Trade Center in whose depth, the water of Hudson river dripped in the form of tears. On their walls, the names of those people were written who lost their lives in this attack. They belonged to ninety countries of the world. Whenever a tourist came here, he surely visited this memorial. People offered flowers and lit incense sticks in the names of their family members or acquaintances as if it was a grave of those innocents who had become victims of enmities and revenge of the minds of others. Whenever Tanishk visited, he never forgot to offer a yellow rose in the name of Masru Osse.

Sometimes he felt that how nature had helped him, as Masru Uncle was about to leave him forever, so destiny acquainted him with the Sheikh and at least he had a job and a place to live in this megalopolis in absence of Uncle.

He did not know whether there was any relative or acquaintance of Masru Uncle in Japan, to whom it was necessary to give the news of his demise because he had always seen him alone. Until a few days back, Tanishk was the only acquaintance and relative that he had got, who had come to this strange country with him, while being tied by the thread of trust.

With the Sheikh’s generosity, Tanishk had got a job at the salon on 56th Street and his life had changed completely. His financial problems had vanished and he was now a part of the Sheikh’s inner circle.

He distributed all of the Uncle’s stuff here and there and left the place where they lived. Now he lived in a flat above the salon along with some other employees. As he was the Sheikh’s favourite, he had also found entry at the Sheikh’s residence.

The Sheikh lived there alone but his family sometimes came to live with him for a few days. His family liked Tanishk as well, as if he was a family member.

Tanishk was getting famous in the salon as well. Because of his visits to the farmhouse with his father and his mother’s care, Tanishk had a good practice when it came to caring for the bodies. He had learnt to massage bodies from his mother and the training had made him an expert.

Whoever came to Tanishk in the salon, went happily from there. The number of such customers was increasing who wanted only Tanishk’s services. For many respected customers, the owner had started sending Tanishk outside. He got good money and sometimes, gifts as well. A few days ago one of the Sheikh’s friends, who had come for a tour from Abu Dhabi, gifted him a motorbike. Once Tanishk had accompanied him on a long trip on the Sheikh’s yacht. He had taken Tanishk along with him at various other places.

Because of a big festival, the salon was closed today. Though it happened rarely that salon was closed completely because people from every nationality visited New York. Even if it was a festival of a country or even a continent, the people from those corners of the world visited where that festival’s rush was not seen or understood.

Yes, only the festivals like Christmas, which were celebrated all over the world, were the ones when everybody was busy. In such a case, the salon was kept closed and the employees were given leave. But sometimes even this used to change when the loyal customers wanted their services even on such occasions.

With Tanishk, it happened rarely that he had no booking with any of the guests. But today Tanishk was alone. He had no booking. The Sheikh was outside the country along with his family.

He was sitting alone and for some reason, he was missing his old days. He had almost forgotten his village. Since the day he had come here, he never went back. He did not even remember that whom did he know or did not know in the village.

He was sitting on a bench in a park all by himself. He was thinking of getting something to drink from the cafe in front of him, when he saw a girl coming towards him. She was alone. But she was coming towards Tanishk in a way that only an old acquaintance would.

Tanishk remained seated as he was for a few moments, but now the way that girl was coming there while staring at him was making him uncomfortable. He was alert while still sitting and looked at the girl interrogatively.

The girl was not very old but it was not easy to guess the country to which she might have belonged. With her confidence it was certain that from whatever place she might have come, now she was living in the U.S. for a long time.

The girl nodded his head in salutation and sat very close to him. There were some people in the park but there was nobody near the girl. Tanishk had come here finding it to be a peaceful corner but he had no idea that a girl would sit with him shoulder to shoulder.

Tanishk could say nothing. The girl spoke, "Do you feel bad that I am sitting like this?"

"No...why bad!" Tanishk was taken aback.

"Will you be with me for some time?"

"Where?"

"Here."

…Though Tanishk did not say anything but by the emotions on his face, the girl could understand that Tanishk was asking, why?

Guessing the question, she waited for some time for him to speak. But Tanishk did not speak anything. He did not even realize that her fingers were touching his palms on the bench. Neither he pulled his hand back nor did he try to give any sign to her by changing his hand’s position.

"Can I sit in your lap?" The girl asked promptly.

Tanishk slid away from her to one side with some hesitation. She did not get dispirited and asked, "Say, you did not reply? Will you love me for some time?"

"Why only for some time?" Suddenly Tanishk asked.

"Then do it longer, do it forever," she said carelessly.

Now Tanishk hesitated a bit. He remained silent but slid away a little bit more.

"Will you believe me? Do you think I am a liar?"

"I do not understand what you are saying. Maybe you are not lying, but what do I know about that?" Now Tanishk spoke with some belief.

"Then come, let’s not waste our time in all this, you just do what I want you to do."

"What?"

"I told you, love me."

"Why?"

"Can’t you do it?"

"But why?"

"Sometimes I think that the world is a bad place, but if you love me then I will think that it’s not such a bad place."

"But…?"

"Aren’t you interested in improving the world’s image?"

"I am unable to understand what you want to say."

"But when did I ask you to understand that?"

Tanishk was at a loss for words. Both of them sat in silence for some time.

"You did not say anything?" She broke the silence.

"Anything...what should I say?"

"Don't say anything, just do it."

"What?"

"Love."

"How?" Now Tanishk said jokingly.

"Hey, you aren’t that young..." she said in a strict tone.

"And not so old to understand what you want to say...I do not understand even a bit what you want, why do you want...if I will invite trouble..." now Tanishk spoke with some innocence.

"You will like this trouble..." she said.

"Will you?" Tanishk asked.

"I can’t tell now..." she said in a mysterious voice.

Then there was silence for some more time. She spoke again, "Say, will you?"

"But what wrong has the world done to you, why do you consider it to be a bad place?" Now Tanishk asked with some insistence.

"The world hasn’t done anything wrong to me but you know...prevention is better than cure!"

Till now Tanishk had understood that she was not habitual of speaking English. Tanishk found some confidence. He was sure that she wasn’t a local. With that, the chances of her being a dangerous person or a conspirator had become slim. Now Tanishk was feeling some stimulation for her. He felt a little warm with that touch of fingers on his palm. But he was still silent.

"Before the world inflicts some harm, shouldn’t we try to know how will we protect ourselves if need be?"

"Why don’t you speak clearly? Tell me about yourself and also tell me why do you want this from me?" Now Tanishk was speaking in a friendly way. Now he was looking a bit older than he really was, at least in wisdom...though, he could have been two-three years younger than her.

"Then listen, I will speak," she said.

Tanishk was looking at her closely. He moved his hand forward and caressed inside her shirt with his fingers from the neck side. Tanishk felt that his index finger had come very close to her nipple. His fingertip could feel her nipple’s warmth. She lowered her eyes. Suddenly Tanishk grabbed her neck with his elbow and pulled her towards his chest. He could feel her nipple pinching his chest now. But before she could say something, Tanishk put his mouth on her lips and with a deep kiss, he started moving his tongue between her lips. When his hand’s grasp got a little loose, the girl looked up and said, "Now would you let me speak?"

"What will you say?" And Tanishk grasped one of her breasts and pressed it like a mango. He was getting excited.

With one of her pink polished sharp nails, she caressed his cheek and then pinched it. Her other hand was in Tanishk’s hair. Tanishk was getting very excited now.

In his profession, he was taught to remain unexcited while playing with someone’s body. He was habitual of seeing naked male and female bodies. But this was happening for the first time that a girl was directly showing her affection and was inviting him openly. She had sensed his arousal and was now caressing his thighs.

Suddenly the man in the elderly couple which was passing in front of them, dropped his walking stick and its sound made both of them look towards it. The woman walking alongside him supported him and made him sit on the other side of the same bench on which Tanishk and that girl were sitting. The woman went back to pick up the stick and Tanishk got up to buy a coffee from the cafe in front of them.

Drinking coffee, Tanishk and that stranger girl started walking towards the road. A little bit ahead, she was lost in the crowd. Waving his hand, Tanishk started moving towards his home.

Neither Tanishk asked her name or address, nor did she tell or ask him anything…

Going back, Tanishk remembered the monk Gomang whom he met in his village and whose wife had grabbed his penis over his trousers and made a family with him. Tanishk kept walking while smiling in his thoughts.

When he reached his home and turned on the light in his room, the mobile’s vibration told him that the girl had his number because there was a message from her-

"Now I won’t meet you. But today the request that I made to you, worked for me. Since the last three years, the boy with whom I am in love and talking only over the phone will meet me tomorrow for the first time. He looks like you..but you are more handsome and smarter. I wanted to know if I won’t feel bad after making love. Only if you could have given me the answer to my question."

Tanishk quickly understood that she had got his number from the salon or from some advertising board. He could still feel the mysterious touch of her nails between his thighs.

There was no chance of getting her back as she was meeting her lover tomorrow. The list of Tanishk’s lessons had become longer...the night was getting darker.

***

Rate & Review

Madhu Sosi

Madhu Sosi 3 years ago

The English aaqaab is very well done . I read one part of it . Have you done it yourself because it has kept the spirit of the original Hindi novel . Very well done . Congratulations

Prabodh Kumar Govil