Once upon a time, there was a faraway village. It was beautiful. Chirping birds, blue sky, warm sunshine and lofty mountains presented a picturesque view. A boy Fayaz lived here. Everybody was happy in this village except Fayaz. Every morning, he rose up early and left towards the edge of the road that leads to the town. He sat there for hours. “I am waiting for my Mom” he would answer anybody who inquired of the reason of his waiting. But, her return seemed unending. When Fayaz was young, one morning, his mother went missing. They had looked every corner of the community but there were no traces of her. Some people had seen her walking towards the road. Hundreds of miles away from Fayaz’s village, another woman Fariha lived with the same agony. This woman woke up every day and went to the pond beside her colony. She gazed at the water for hours. Long ago, her son had disappeared in mysterious circumstances. There was no clue except that he was last seen near the pond. Fariha would keep muttering to herself “He was seen here; he would come; I am sure.” Something was common to the tales of the two different people living hundreds of miles away from each other.One day, Fayaz fell ill. “The boy needs to be admitted to a hospital in the city” the local doctor advised his father. Next morning, the boy was taken to the hospital via the same road where his mother had disappeared. The doctors at the hospital asked Fayaz’s father to take him to the specialty hospital in another city. His father collected all his savings but still could not gather enough. “I am left with this piece of jewellery that your dear Mom had left,” he said to Fayaz in despair. The next week, this father-son duo set out to the city south of the village. Fate and fortune had unexpected things in store for Fayaz. Before Fayaz could reach the specialty hospital, Feriha, on the other hand, was losing her senses.
One day, she fell unconscious. “She must be seen by a doctor of mental illnesses” her husband whispered. The next day she was taken to a hospital. Fayaz and Feriha’s fates were connected in such a way as the moon and stars connect the onlookers sitting hundreds of miles away. The same fate arranged their admissions in the same hospital. One fine day, Fariha faced Fayaz. When the two saw each other, everybody was spellbound. “He is my son Durdaan” she screamed in excitement. “Did I not tell you that my son would come” she added in heavenly joy. Fayaz, on the other hand, came running to Feriha and jumped to hug her. “Mom, I missed you every time a mother in the neighborhood hugged her son.” He yelled in excitement and passion, “Where have you been so long, Mom?” The mother-son duo cried the tears of joy and satisfaction. Fate had set such an astonishing stage that the face of Fariha was that of Fayaz’s real mother. Fayaz was a look-alike of Durdaan. The two disappeared people never came back but the two poor nerves met each other to erase age-long agonies. They lived happily ever after.
(The author is a regular columnist with “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own)