Haya Iqbal reads story about Karachi © 2011 sehba_sarwar. All rights reserved.

10:20 PM

Story from Third Worlds

Location: 2222 Truxillo, Living Room
Performer: Haya Fatima Iqbal

It was 5:30 pm…my sister and I were sitting on the couch with our eyes fixed on the forty-three inch screen of the blaring television when my mother scampered in and changed the channel. We stood up in pandemonium but then news bulletin flashed on the TV screen “Benazir Bhutto, the ex-prime minister had been shot dead.” We were all shocked at this unexpected news.

Just as the news disseminated in the city, riots and rallies began. Rattles of gunfire reverberated. Cars and buses were ignited and set ablaze. We were all afraid. The shrill of the ringing phone resonated our dead silent house. Relatives were calling in to know about our safety, telling us not to go out. My mother called my father’s office and was informed that dad had left half an hour before. Suddenly then I heard a “CRASH” of a glass broken to a thousand pieces.

Lights went off…Darkness reigned supreme! We all crouched on the floor in the corner of my mother’s room with the candle wax melting in absolute silence .Our house seemed completely insecure without dad’s presence. Mother tried to contact him again but a no reply made us worried. Would dad be safe? Why is he not home yet? Has something happened to him…is he injured! Is he in the hospital?? If not. …Then why is he not answering the phone? Is he alive or dead? …Several such scary thoughts started striking my mind…I took a deep breath, closed my eyes tightly with my hand on my forehead. At a distance I could hear the wailing sirens of fire brigades and police cars .the stench smell of the burnt vehicles and the blazing fire pervaded the air. Our house had never been so lonely before.

The clock joined hands to indicate it was midnight. Still no news about dad. I could hear mum’s soft voice, reciting scriptures of the Holy Quran. We had spent the whole night waiting for dad. Mother tried to call again and again but no answer.

Just as the rim of the orange sun lit the horizon, the doorbell rang. We dashed towards hit…I opened the door. Dad stood there, no injury, no blood, no wounds …just my dad smiling like always!

As Robert Browning says: ”God is in heaven and all’s well in the world.”