Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 5, 1985 p. 3.

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Saqi Farooqi


The 9th of October 1975 was d tragic day Rashed Sahib on failing to find me in my office phoned my house and informed my wife that hss wife Sheila s only brother had been killed in a car accident in Italy and that she had already gone there Also that he was going to travel from Cheltenham to Banstead with his mother in law in order to attend the funeral They would reach Italy on the 11th of October Then he left a message for me to phone him on the evening of the 10th first to offer my condolences to his mother-in law Mrs Angelini and then to talk to him as he had decided to stay in Banstead

On the evening of the 10th when I arrived home I asked my wife to phone Mrs Angelini and offer her condolences since I myself feit incapable of doing this after which I said I would speak to Rashed Sahib Mrs Angelini picked up the phone and my wife began to tell her how tragic it was that within five months of her husband s death her young son had also died ! was sitting m the morning room drinking coffee and reading the news paper with my ears attuned to the ongoing conversation when I heard my wife scream I rushed to the telephone My wife s eyes were full of shock and incredulity I took the receiver in my hand sat down on the floor and asked Mrs Angeiini what had happened The seventy year old lady began to cry and told me through convulsive sobs that Rashed Sahib had passed away My heart sank My wife s scream had brought images of accident heart attack and hospital into my mind but until this minute the word death had not shown itself For a moment my nerves froze

Then I recollected myseif and asked for the details I found out that he had reached Banstead at seven in the evening and walking on foot had arrived in some twenty minutes at Mrs Angelini s house which happens to be situated on a high ground On the way he had felt a pain in his chest and had been quite fatigued He told Mrs Angelini how terrible it was that her son had not survived the car accident then he sat himself down on the sofa Mrs Angelini suggested that he have a glass of whiskey but he refused saying that he had just taken two tablets to ease the pressure on his heart Then Mrs Angelini asked him how his journey had been but there was no reply for he had passed away from the world of questions and answers Such a quick and peaceful death is the fortune of very few people It was as if nothing had happened

Death will come to me I will die

I realized that day that if the pain is shared offering condolences is no difficult task I continued talking to Mrs Angelini for half an hour She told me that Sheila on receiving the telegram had phoned to say that she would return on the evening of the 12th Also that Rashed Sahib s son Shehryar had arrived in London from Brussels and that between them they would decide on the date of the funeral I also found out that the body was still

Hasan Kdza-gar < H-is3? P w r ) [ t ( it i y< IP of foi r po^ms oy Ras ( d S( e tf s trinsi alien th s ^sue

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