She was of my age and I remember the days when we used to play after the school time under the tree. And remember the games she shared with me at the burning noon. Her name was Shafqat Perveen. With fair complexion, bright eyes, and a soft heart, she was the only daughter at her home with 3 brothers and parents. I remember her words even today when she talked about indiscriminate attitude of her parents who preferred simply her sons to her in every matter of life.
She openly opposed her mother’s discrimination when the family decided to stop her education after class 5 as she was not a boy to get more education. Her brothers were sent outside to get higher education including one who did his MBBS from a medical college of Punjab. Rebel inside a drop out of class 5 woke up with some stern actions and reactions within home but eyes and ears were only to see and listen what the brothers needed and said. Voices rose up but echoed back with harsh criticism and even beating from the family including her mother. Universe had gone dumb and deaf.
The day was the most unfortunate when she fell in love with a young man of another clan and it took only few days to turn this like into enmity of the male members of her family and tribe. A like became a social stigma and the day of her marriage to someone else in her own tribe was fixed. Rebel within her stood up breaking all the shackles and she violently broke all walls around her when the village heard the news of her fleeing with the young man she loved. She married him and started living in his village far from her own family and tribe.
Her brother married a girl of his choice after his MBBS and an educated daughter-in-law was brought to village (from a city) with due respect and honor. Rejoicing men of the tribe on his marriage did not forget and forgive the ‘like’ of a daughter and provoked the bridegroom to do something for his ‘honor’.
Doctor envisaged a plan to pursue his sister and access her in one way or the other. He approached her finally through a contact and acted as he was coming to see her out of his brotherly love. Soft heart of a sister got melted down to hear the happy news that the brother had forgiven her ‘sin’ and was coming to meet her. She cooked the best dishes in dinner to celebrate the arrival of her brother.
The next day when no voices were heard, the woman from neighbours peeped through her wall. Guest was absent, her husband was deep asleep with pills in tea and beheaded Shafqat was still and cold. Extracts from religion, law, and ethics……… all were written on the wall and her lifeless eyes were staring those lines.