• 16 Jun - 22 Jun, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Zoya was running as fast as she could towards the hospital. She was running behind the compounders who were carrying Haroon on a stretcher.

He was being taken to the operation theatre and Zoya was asked to wait outside.

Upset, Zoya kept on weeping, as she was feeling completely helpless. Not knowing what to do, she dialed Jasim’s number. She kept the phone on loud speaker.

After a few rings, Jasim answered the call.


“Jasim! Haroon just got injured. His head was bleeding. I want you and Bilawal to come to the hospital right away.”

“Oh my God!” he replied. “What happened? Where are you two?”

“I’ll text you the hospital’s name. Please do come, both of you.”

“Sure, of course. We’re on our way.”

After the call got disconnected, Zoya texted the hospital’s name to Jasim’s cell number.

Now, outside the operation theatre, she was just walking around trying to reduce her stress. Later on, she got tired so she went towards a bench and sat there.

Not even an hour had pass by when she saw Bilawal and Jasim making their way towards her. She stood up as they got closer.

“What happened to him?” Bilawal asked with some concern.

“Well he was at the beach and he fell over from the top of some rocky hill.”

“Wait… you two were together when this happened?”

“Yes, well, kind of.”

“What do you mean kind of?” Jasim asked.

“Well, it’s strange. He left the house by himself but I followed him secretly. So when he reached the seaside, I kept on following him.”


“Then, he was sitting at the top of a hill, all alone. Then as he saw me…”

“Ok… ok, it’s fine,” Jasim responded as he felt the tenderness in her voice.

Zoya sat back on the bench and began weeping, hiding her face with her hands.

Jasim and Bilawal exchanged a look with a little concern and then looked at the operation theatre.


Several hours later, outside the operation theatre, Haroon’s wife and his two brothers sat, tired and frustrated altogether. A neurologist exited the operation theatre and walked towards them. They all stood up looking at him. The neurologist began:

“Haroon is fine, he is out of danger.”

“Oh, thank God!” Zoya uttered.

“Hang on please,” the neurologist said to her, “Just clear me one thing. Did you recently get married to him?”

“No, It… it was more than two years ago, why?”

“I see.”

“But why?” she asked with utmost curiosity.

“And tell me, is your father in law, I mean Haroon’s father, is he still alive?”

“No,” Bilawal answered. “But why are you asking these things?”

“Okay,” the doctor sighed and spoke understanding something very clearly.

“What has happened?” Jasim spoke a bit furiously. “Would you tell us, please?”

“I’m afraid but...” the doctor spoke after a pause, “your brother Haroon is suffering from Retrograde Amnesia”

“Retrograde Amnesia?” Jasim repeated the newly heard term.

“Yes, it means that he has no memory of his recent past. He is living two or three years back according to his memory.”

“Oh my God!” Zoya got upset.

“You mean he has lost his past memories?” Bilawal confirmed.

“Yes, the last two years only,” the neurologist answered politely. “He believes that he recently got married. Other than this, he is not aware that his father has passed away, like you guys told me.”

“That’s too bad,” Jasim responded, pretending to be upset.

“So, what you’re saying is,” Bilawal reconfirmed for his satisfaction, “that my brother does not remember anything about the past two years?”

“He doesn’t.”

“Nothing at all?”

Jasim held Bilawal’s arm, signaling him to stop.

“I’m afraid yes,” the neurologist replied, “and there’s not much we can do now.”

Zoya spoke up, “Is there any way his memory can be recovered?”

“Well it can be, but the chances are quite low.”

Jasim pulled Bilawal towards him and whispered, “Come on, I need to talk to you.”

“One minute,” Bilawal replied waving his hand as if stopping him.

“You guys can come and see him,” the neurologist spoke before leaving.

“Just one last question,” Bilawal put up, “how much memory has he lost? I mean of how many years and months to be exact.”

“Well when I spoke to him and asked him stuff, it seemed more than two and a half years.”

“Perfect!” Bilawal whispered to himself.

Bilawal turned and started walking towards the opposite direction pulling Jasim along to join him. The two cunning brothers walked some distance and whispered. Jasim began, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I am. Look we need to discuss this very carefully.”

“There’s nothing to worry about. He is absolutely harmless. He is in fact, a blank slate.”

“I know but there’s something we need to settle with the lawyer first.”

“Don’t worry,” Jasim spoke being least bothered, “I’ll talk to everyone creating stories myself.”

“Alright, good!”

Meanwhile, outside the operation theatre, Zoya was peeking from behind the door. She saw her husband lying on the bed. His fore head was bandaged. His eyes were open and he was slightly moving.

Zoya desperately opened the door and walked towards him. She stood and bent next to the bed. Haroon looked up and got a little delighted at her sight.

“Haroon my dear…” she hardly spoke.

“Zoya, it’s so nice to see you,” Haroon smiled. “But why are you crying?”

“You don’t know? Of course you don’t but you’ll know eventually.”

“Zoya, please tell me what happened. I don’t remember anything about how I ended up here.”

“You fell down from a hill.”

“I’m really worried. I don’t remember anything at all. My father shouldn’t know about this.”

Zoya got a bit shaken, realising that the neurologist was right. Haroon really had lost his recent memories completely.

“Zoya?” Haroon spoke up. “Where is dad?”

She didn’t respond and walked straight out of the room, weeping.

Oh my God! What am I going to tell him? He’ll get devastated again, even worse than before. Zoya wondered.

She then saw Jasim and Bilawal standing together and talking about something that seemed quite confidential. She started approaching them.

The two brothers were discussing their plan in low voices but they stopped as they saw Zoya coming towards them. She spoke to both of them:

“Haroon needs to know about his father. I’m sorry I didn’t have the courage to tell him but I want you both to go and answer him.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jasim replied, “we’ll let him know when he’ll get better. Right now he needs rest, so let him be.”

Zoya felt disappointed and looked at Bilawal, but he turned his eyes away from hers.

“Alright, thank you,” she said before leaving them.


Twenty four hours later at the hospital, while Haroon was recovering, Zoya came to his room when the male neurologist was giving Haroon some tablet. Haroon took it and then picked up the glass of water kept on the table.

After a moment, the neurologist said, “Mr. Haroon, you had a terrible accident at the beach and as a result you are now suffering from Amnesia.”

Haroon looked at Zoya. She nodded sadly. He then looked back at the neurologist. The neurologist continued, “Due to the severe head injury you have lost your memories of the past two and a half years. And if you want me, I can prove it to you. What year is it according to you?”

“It’s 2015,” he answered getting a bit frightened on what he was about to hear.

“Well it’s…” the doctor stopped and pointed at Zoya, “why don’t you ask your wife?”

Haroon looked at her, waiting for a reply. She answered, “It’s 2018, Haroon.”

Haroon’s eyes widened up. He was astonished.

“Yes, Mr. Haroon,” the doctor continued. “You must understand, now that you are living in old years, you must prepare yourself for some unexpected things that happened in these two years.”

“Oh my God! Where is dad? Is he okay?”

Haroon looked at Zoya as he said this. Getting upset, Zoya left the room by hiding her face from him.

“What is it doctor?” Haroon asked helplessly. “Why did she leave this way? What is going on?”

“Relax now,” the doctor instructed, “you need to give your mind some rest. Don’t panic, just stay calm.”

“But what’s with her? Why did she leave like this?”

Meanwhile, outside the room, Zoya was standing distressed, thinking, how she would tell Haroon about his father’s death.

I just can’t do it, she said to herself. I’ll ask his brothers to break the news to him.


Two days later, Haroon was discharged from the hospital. He was on a wheelchair and his brother Jasim was pushing it from behind. Zoya and Bilawal were leading the way to the exit of the ward.

Minutes later outside the ward, Haroon stood up from the wheel chair and sat inside the car. The car’s back door was left open for him. Jasim was helping him out with everything and Bilawal was sitting on the driver’s seat. They were ready to leave now.

While the husband and wife were sitting together at the back seat in silence and Bilawal was driving, Jasim spoke, “Look Haroon, I think you have understood everything by now.”

Haroon remained silent.

“Last night you were weeping a lot,” Jasim continued. “I think you know what we have been trying to hide from you.”

“You guys weren’t answering me whenever I asked about dad. So it’s clear now, but I’d rather hear it from you guys, my family.”

“Our father’s dead,” Bilawal spoke bluntly. “Are we good now? Let’s move on with it please.”

He made the conversation very awkward for everyone inside the car. Everyone was silent for a while.

“I want to know how it happened.” Haroon finally broke the silence.

“It’s...” Jasim tried to make an easy conversation, “well, it’s complicated.”

Haroon kept his face down crying secretly.

Jasim looked at him through the rear view mirror and then looked at Bilawal. Bilawal was least bothered with his brother’s sorrow.

“Let’s get home first,” Zoya spoke to Haroon, “then we’ll explain everything to you.”


An hour later inside Haroon’s home, him and Zoya were seated on a sofa and the two brothers were standing in front of them at some distance. Bilawal asked Jasim secretly and in a very low voice, “Are you one hundred per cent sure that Zoya doesn’t know anything about our father’s will?”

“Yes, I’m more than one hundred per cent sure,” Jasim whispered. “Now let’s start the conversation before they get suspicious about us.”

Bilawal looked at Haroon and began speaking, “Now Haroon, we need to tell you something very important. Our wealthy father has left behind a great amount of wealth. But sadly, it was unequally divided.”

“Unequally divided?” Haroon confirmed.

“Yes, unequally divided. So I will just tell you the percentage of the share that we all got. The details of the property distributed are not with me right now. I’ll convey them later.”

“But why would he leave it behind unequally?” Zoya asked.

“I don’t know, go dig him up and ask him.”

“Mind it!” Haroon raised his voice.

Bilawal looked at him and continued to speak, “I, being the eldest son of all got 40 per cent of his property.”

Haroon was shocked enough but wondered. Well, maybe I got 40 per cent as well and Jasim got 20 per cent.

“Jasim, on the other hand…” Bilawal declared, “Got 35 per cent. As he was the most successful among us all, according to him.”

Haroon was shocked and deeply hurt.

“How can that be?” Zoya asked getting surprised. “Why is Haroon getting the lowest share when he was the only one who looked after him?”

“I’m sorry Zoya,” Jasim answered, “I was thinking the same but our father was just unpredictable.”

“That’s no excuse. I mean how did he think that you were the most successful one? Because Bilawal seems way more than you do.”

“Exactly!” Bilawal added. “You answered your own question. He has divided his wealth among his sons seeing who was more successful and who was less, get it?”

Haroon was so upset, he couldn’t say anything. Zoya also felt speechless now.

“Anything else you need to know?” Jasim asked them.

“I just want to know one thing,” Haroon finally spoke up, “do you have a signed copy of our father’s will? The original one?”

“Not right now. But I do have it back at my home.”

“And in that will, is it clearly stated that I get just 25 per cent?”

“Yes indeed. You and Zoya, you both got 25 per cent.”

Haroon stood up and held his forehead in agony.

“Alright. Thanks for showing up,” he spoke, looking at his brothers, “and for supporting me throughout. Now if you’d excuse me, I have to go and lay down for some rest.”

“Sure, go ahead.” Jasim answered spontaneously. “We better leave.”

Bilawal left the house without wasting another minute. Jasim shook hands with Haroon and said, “Well, if you need anything, just give me a call.”

Haroon could sense the cunningness on his brother’s face.

“Sure,” he said.

When Jasim left after Bilawal. Zoya came close towards Haroon and asked, “Do you believe what they are telling us?”

“Definitely not. They are lying for sure. And we have to find out the truth.”