Written by: Ishtiaq Ahmad
Translated By: Hafsa bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani Class IX Govt. Girls’ High School Tando Qaiser
The story until now:
"What? What did you say? She was married to the fake Mamoon Kabuliwala?"
"Yes, the person who bought the house in the village and started living there was not the real Mamoon Kabuliwala. The imposter became friendly with the villagers too so that when the real Mamoon Kabuliwala was brought before them they would confirm that it was he who married the woman from their village. They made their case so strong that it could be produced in the court of law too. The woman's son would then become one of the heirs of Mamoon Kabuliwala with a large share in the factory too. This was their plan… to become the owners of 1/3 of the factory and all other assets."
"And who made this plan?" Mamoon Kabuliwala asked bewildered.
Suddenly Inspector Jamshed’s phone rang. He put the phone to his ear. It was Ikram. "What!!!" Inspector Jamshed shouted, leaping to his feet.
The story continues:
All of them stared at him. Inspector Jamshed looked at them one by one.
"It seems that you have received some important information," Farzana asked, breaking the silence.
"Yes, you are right. I had instructed Ikram to bring Akhtar Kashani here and it was his call," he said gravely.
"So what did uncle Ikram say?"
"He said … no, it wouldn’t be any fun if I tell you. Let Ikram come," Inspector Jamshed said.
“Is he coming alone or with Akhar Kashani?"
"He’s bringing Akhtar Kashani with him."
"But what did he tell you on the phone? You were so surprised," Farooq asked.
"Just let them come and I will tell you."
"You are being very mysterious, you know," Doctor Qasim Nadeem pointed out.
“You will just have to put up with me. I’m made that way. I enjoy keeping people in suspense. By the way, it is true that if we hadn’t been called in on this case, Mamoon Kabuliwala would have been in for it. It would have been easily proved in court that Mamoon Kabuliwala had married a second time, that he had a son from the second wife who was the owner of one-third of the factory."
"But now you will prove that it was all a conspiracy against me,” Mamoon Kabuliwala said.
"Yes, exactly. In sha' Allah," Inspector Jamshed assured him.
At last the door bell rang. This time when the door was opened, Ikram entered with a man of medium size and build. As soon as Inspector Jamshed saw him, he received a shock. Ikram said quickly, "This is Mr. Akhtar Kashani, the Assistant Manager of the mill."
"My God! I… I… can’t believe it,” Farzana said, dazed.
"What can’t you believe? Come on, tell us too," said Mamoon Kabuliwala, impatiently.
"Bring in that woman too," Inspector Jamshed instructed Ikram.
The lady was brought in. She was holding her son in her arms but her face was not covered now. All of them stared at her in astonishment with the exception of two of them who had become pale. Inspector Jamshed spoke up, “Take a look at the woman's face. Notice the resemblance with Akhtar Kashani? Ikram also noticed this when he went to Akhtar Kashani's house and saw him.”
"Is… is she..." Mamoon Kabuliwala stammered.
"Yes, Kabuliwala Sahib. She is Akhtar Kashani's sister."
"Oh!" all of them were astonished. "So it was their plan."
"No, Akhtar Kashani is not the mastermind," Inspector Jamshed said quietly. "Doctor Qasim Nadeem is the person who is the real culprit. When he returned from abroad after becoming an expert plastic surgeon, he thought of this plan. Mamoon Kabuliwala was a close friend of his and he often used to come and meet him in the mill. During one of these visits he met Akhtar Kashani. Doctor Qasim was in search of a woman whose son could be proved a third owner of the mill. To achieve his goal, he became very friendly with Akhtar Kashani. He found out everything about him and came to know that he had a sister and so he explained his plan. As a next step he went to the village in Mamoon Kabuliwala's get up, rented a house, and married Kashani’s sister. He stayed there for three years and then came back here with his wife. According to the plan Akhtar Kashani had the cellar ready. He left his wife there. Next, when Mamoon Kabuliwala was visiting the mill with his sons, a secret speaker was used through which he heard the baby crying. Mamoon Kabuliwala was astounded. Was he out of his mind, he thought. How could there be a baby in the mill. He had already had a traumatic experience of being kept a prisoner for three years, he couldn’t believe his ears now. By the way he was kept imprisoned in a small house in the village. He was mostly sedated so that he wouldn’t remember anything. Anyway, to cut a long story short, just when the plan was near completion we came in. We took up the case and that was sheer bad luck for Doctor Qasim and his accomplices,” Inspector Jamshed fell silent.
“But father, where does the dead body fit in? Who was the man who was murdered?” Farzana asked.
“Doctor Qasim, I would like you to answer that.”
“I’ll have to, won’t I? I don’t have any other choice it seems. You’ll find out even if I don’t tell you. I had planned every detail. I knew that it was impossible to keep Mamoon imprisoned for such a long time. The police would have found out. So I came up with the idea to find someone, perform plastic surgery on him, make him look like Mamoon and then kill him and bury him.’
“Ok, but who was he? Why didn’t his family look for him?”
“If you remember there was a terrible flood three years ago. Many people had died and thousands had become homeless. This man came to me looking for work. I hired him for odd jobs around the house and then when the time came for me to put my plan into action I changed his face. When he asked me what I was doing I told him that I had learnt that skill from another country and I wanted to show my skill to the people. He was satisfied with my explanation. That day when he was to be shot dead, he was first made unconscious. He was taken in a car to Mamoon’s house, dumped on the doorstep and shot dead. It was night time and we had used a gun with a silencer. Getting away was quite easy. In the afternoon that day, Mamoon Kabuliwala had already received a call in Asad Karim's voice and been abducted."
"O my God! What an evil plan! It’s awful isn’t it that greed makes a man commit such heinous crimes," Professor Dawood said with a shudder.
"Greed really is a curse. He was a foreign-qualified plastic surgeon who could have earned enough to live comfortably but the greed for wealth mae him go as far as to commit murder in cold blood. It’s really sad."
“Now, he will make new plans in jail and carry them out in his dreams," Farooq's sentence compelled all of them to smile.