Story of Lame Man – Alif Laila
My father was one of the respected figures of Baghdad and we were living there happily. I was the only son of my father. By the time my father died, I had not only completed my studies but had also become proficient in business. My father had transferred his property to me during his lifetime. I used to be smart in spending money. The townspeople loved me very much. Although I was in the age of youth, I was ignorant of the behavior and love of women. I also used to feel ashamed to meet women.
One day I was going somewhere that many women were seen coming from the front. I escaped from them and entered a small alley and sat on a plinth in front of a house so that when the women left, I would follow my path. There was a window in front of my eyes and many flowers were visible from it. That window had only opened a little earlier. Suddenly it opened completely and a shedashi appeared from it. I was stunned to see her beauty. She smiled looking at me and after watering the plants for some time, closed the window and left.
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Where I used to run away from women and where I was so sad due to the departure of that beauty that I became unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he saw that the big Qazi of the city entered that house with a great ceremony. I understood that that beauty is his daughter. I came back to my house but I did not forget the attention of that beautiful person at all. In two or four days, I was so afflicted with Viraha-Vyadhi that I fell out of bed. My friends and relatives were very worried about my condition and everyone came and started asking about my condition. I didn’t tell them anything out of shame. On this they brought the Hakim, but I did not get any benefit from the medicines of that Hakim and other Hakims. My condition continued to deteriorate like a patient of tuberculosis.
One day an old lady came to see me. This old lady was an acquaintance of some of my relatives. He inspected me very carefully from head to toe but did not find any signs of disease in me. She kept thinking about something, then she removed the other people from there and said that I will see this in solitude and tell what is the disease. When everyone had left, the old lady said to me in a low voice, Look, I know your disease very well. You do not have any physical disease. You are infatuated with a beauty and do not shy away from telling your differences to anyone. This is why you have been in such a condition. If you tell me everything clearly and tell the whereabouts of your beloved, then I will help you. I was left with only a cold sigh as hesitation held my tongue shut. But the old lady followed me that shame is not right in such a condition and the help of our well-wishers must be taken.
My hesitation was also opened by listening to the old lady’s saying and I told her the condition of my heart that if I get to see her even once with your mediation and she comes to know about my love, then my life will be successful. Lets do it. The old lady said, son, the Rupasi you are talking about is the daughter of the elder Qazi of the city. There is no doubt that there is hardly any woman like her in all of Baghdad. But both the girl and her father are very proud and bitter. Bada Qazi keeps his daughters locked inside the house. He has ordered them not to look at any man even if they go out out of necessity. When they go out, their eyes are bandaged, and the slaves hold their hands and come out through the streets as they carry the blind. Such is the strange condition of his father. It would have been better if you were attracted to some other woman.
I kept silent on hearing this. Seeing my dismay, the old woman said, “What I have told you may be prejudice.” It is possible that there is some way to success. Everything depends on the will of God. Look, I’ll go and try my best. Saying this the old lady left.
After two or four days she came again and started saying to me, son, I used to say earlier that the woman is very proud and proud. I explained and extinguished him a lot but it did not have any effect on him. When I talked about your illness, she remained silent but when I asked her to meet you, she got upset and told me that you are very rude, if you listen to such shameless things, then you will be kicked out I will give Even after saying this, the old lady gave me patience and said that there is no need to worry, I will continue my efforts. Saying this she left. Despite his comforting, my despair did not subside and my physical condition started deteriorating already. From time to time the old lady would come and talk to her, I would have some patience. One day when she came, I had many relatives and women sitting beside me. The old lady said in my ear that I have brought good news for you. Hearing this, a new energy arose in me and I took the old lady and went to the next room to hear the news brought by her.
The old woman said, “Yesterday was Monday. I went to that beauty. She was in a happy mood and I thought it might work. I made my condition very sad and after some time started shedding tears. He asked what is the matter Amma, why are you crying. I said what to say, I am weeping thinking of that man’s condition, that poor man is still crying and has reached near death because of your love. And you are so hard-hearted that you are bent on taking his life. She started saying what are you talking about, I don’t even know her, then why would I take her life. Don’t make baseless allegations against me.
I said: Sweetie, you may have forgotten that I told you earlier that this is the same man who was sitting on the platform of the house opposite you. You opened the window and gave water to the trees. He fell in love with you at the same time and since then he has been engrossed in your separation day and night.
Now there was nothing in it except breathing. That day I talked about him, so you were badly spoiled. When he came to know about this, his condition started deteriorating. Now if you have some grace, he may be saved, otherwise, consider him gone.
Having said this, I began to take cold breaths and shed tears with more sadness in my voice and eyes. Then that manmohini said, Amma, you are right that my love has made this condition for her. Then after some time she said that if her condition improves by just seeing me and talking to me, then there is no harm. I said with a cold sigh, Your grace will be so much. He said that you tell him that if he wants to see me and talk to me, then I am ready for it, but do not keep any more hope from me. And further talk can happen only when I get married with my father’s consent.
I gave him many blessings and said that I now go and narrate this heartening news to him. The beauty said, “My father goes to Jama Masjid on Friday to offer prayers. At that time if the man comes here alone, I will call him in and send him off an hour before the father’s arrival, at that time he can look at me wholeheartedly and talk to me.
When the old lady told all these things to me, I went mad with happiness. A new vitality has come in me. I thanked the old lady again and again and gave her a thousand asharfis as a reward. The next Friday I got up early. I thought I should go to the big qazi’s palace after getting shaved, put on nice clothes and apply perfume and meet my beloved. So I ordered a servant to call a good barber so that I can get my shave done. He brought this evil barber who is currently sitting behind me.
Seeing me as soon as he came, he said, You seem very ill recently. I said yes, I have suffered a lot from illness for a long time and only recently got better.
He said, God bless you with long life and always keep you healthy. I said, it all depends on his will, keep it as he wants. After this he said that what order do I have, should I shave you or open the lock. I got angry and I said, have you lost your mind? Now I have said that I have recovered from a long illness. Do I have to kill myself by opening the vesicles and getting the blood drawn? You quickly shave me and go your way. I have to go for an important work in the afternoon.
This barber kept talking nonsense on this too for a long time. Neither did he open his toolbox, nor did he take out a razor and sharpen it. Yes, after sometime he took out a device from his box and went to the courtyard and put it towards the sun. Then counting on the fingers, he started saying that you should be happy, today Jupiter and Mars have a very good yoga and there can be no better yoga for shaving. But apart from this, there is also the sum of misfortune. It is known from the motion of the planets that you will suffer a lot today. But there is no danger to your life. Yes, the pain will be such that you will not be able to forget it for the rest of your life. If you please keep me with you, then maybe I can come to your help when you face trouble.
After saying this, the lame man said that friends, you yourself should think about what will be my condition. On one hand my life-giving lover called me alone to such a place where even a bird cannot fly away, on the other hand this wicked one is wasting time in useless chatter. I got very angry but I controlled it and said that look, I have not called you here to seek advice and see the Muhurta, I have called for shaving. If you want to shave, then do it or else go away, I will call another hairdresser.
Grabbing his teeth, he said, why are you getting so angry. You will not find a virtuous barber like me in the whole world. I am well versed in many disciplines, some of which I am mentioning. I know Hakimi, know everything like astrology, grammar, poetry, Vedanta, justice system etc. I also know mathematics and astronomy as well as the histories of all the emperors. My late father, whose memory still fills my heart, taught me all the knowledge so that I can serve you gentlemen and protect me too.
Hearing this nonsense of him made me laugh instead of anger. I said, how long will you be chattering and at what time will you shave me? That said, it was good too. And people say that I talk very little and you say that I talk. Now listen, I have six brothers. The name of the elder is Bakbak, Bakbarah of the second, Bubak of the third, Alkuz of the fourth, Alnaschar of the fifth and Shahkubak of the sixth. There is no doubt that these are all bullshit. I am the younger of them all and speak very little.
The tailor said that the lame person said that friends, now you people should do justice that even after so much chatter, he calls himself short-spoken. Now I told the other servant who used to look after the arrangement of the house, send this barber away by giving three asharfis, I will not get shaving done today. The barber said, “Master, what are you saying?” I have not come on my own, I have come if you have called. I will not go without shaving you now. You don’t know my qualities, that’s why you don’t respect me. I have bad luck. Your father knew my value. When he called me, he would be as loving as he would sit on his lap, he used to feed me with himself and he used to be very happy to hear about my knowledge and wisdom. One day, being pleased with my work, he rewarded me with a hundred ashrafi and a heavy couple, That is, in finding Phasd once, I got so much money which is enough for my whole life. I miss his grace very much.
Even after saying this, this barber did not stop and started another story. I was very sad that it does not give up any way. I thought that scolding and reprimanding have no effect on him, he should be swayed by sweet talk. I said, brother, you talk very well but this time shut up, shave me quickly because I have to go to a place.
He laughed and said, undoubtedly you will have some very important work due to which you are doing so quickly. You must tell me this work, rather take me with you so that I can help you at every opportunity. I would say that you should do every important work according to my advice, as your father and grandfather used to do. Think of me as your servant rather than a slave. Feel free to speak your mind to me.
I screamed and said, you are licking my mug by chattering, run away from here. Saying this I stood up and started slamming my feet on the ground. Still this shameless barber did not give up his actions. Seeing me very angry, he said that you should not be angry, I am shaving you now. Saying this he opened his thong and started shaving me. For a long time, he kept on rubbing water on my head, then stopped after running a razor for a while and said that you neither care about my old age nor respect my qualities, all these things are not good. I said, do your work quietly, there is no need to speak more. It said, what is such an important task that has come for which you are so quick and nervous. I again said upsetly, have you come here to shave or to get into fights around the world? What do you have to do with what I have to do?
This shameless person said, “My master, however angry you may be, I will only say that I am afraid that you will act in haste without understanding and you will be harmed.” The wise say that everything should be done with due care. Please tell me your work. There are still three hours left until noon, so what is the hurry? I said, those who are sure of the promise reach the fixed place before the appointed time. You shave immediately. Slowly he started shaving my head and standing with half head shaved and looking at the sun started saying that it is not time to finish shaving. I said, I don’t believe in astrology, you came soon.
It said, well, if you say so, I will make it, but there is a fear that you may fall ill somewhere. By saying this, he started the work, but it was the condition that when he used to shave his hair, he used to say ten things. I told it to be deceiving that my friends have feasted in the joy of my recovery, I have to go to it. Hearing this, he jumped up and said, you reminded me well. I had also invited my friends for a meal but I forgot and did not prepare anything. I said, brother, don’t worry about it, I will get you cooked food from my kitchen. Father used to reward you by being happy with your words, I will reward you more than that, but on the condition that you keep quiet.
It said that God bless you, but you do not know whether your given goods will be enough or not. I said that there are six roasted chickens, a variety of meat dishes and other food items, that would be enough food for seventy-eight men. I told the servants to give all the cooked food to this fucking and also the jars of wine. It said that please give some fruits. I said give it fruit too.
But its wickedness did not end there. It started testing everything leaving only half of the shave and it took a long time. Then I scolded and started shaving, but after a while keeping the razor started saying, your heavenly father never allowed me to be rich, but by the grace of God, you are also my appreciation and I will not lack anything. . I have not spread my hand in front of anyone except your father. I am not such a man. See, a man who was a broker of barbers used to dance and sing very well, we used to call him Jhinjhoti. There was a man named Shawal, he roamed the streets selling roasted gram, there was a vicious one who did the business of selling bakla and other vegetables, a man was Abubakar, he used to do the work of sprinkling water in the streets. All of them were very good men and were less talkative like me, due to which they were very successful. and yes, There was also a Qasim who used to do pawngiri at the Caliph. Now I will narrate a famous song of Jhinjhoti bhai to you and will show you its dance also.
Saying this he got up and started dancing and singing. I scolded it a lot but it breathed its last only after listening to the whole song. Then he started saying, ‘Now I should come to feed my friends, then I will come and shave you, rather you should also leave your friends’ feast and go to my place and eat with my friends. I was very angry but I laughed at this stupidity and said that some other day I will come for your meal. It insisted that we go today. I scolded and said that today I cannot go in any way. Then he started saying that take me with you, I should take this food to my house and feed it to my friends, then I will come and go with you to the feast of your friends. Would you like to go there alone?
I felt very sad in my heart. I cried in my heart and said that oh God, how can I get rid of this evil barber. Then I said to this, you immediately go to your house after shaving me and feed your friends. My friends are waiting for me alone, they don’t want anyone to guest with me. If I took you, I might not even be allowed to sit in that feast. That said, you are joking too. When you have friends how will they mind if another man comes with you. Then I am a great Subhashi, all your friends will be very happy with my departure.
The lame man said that friends, I was completely disappointed to hear about this that it has ruined the whole matter today. Also thought that there is no use in spoiling it. I did not give any answer to this.
In this, the first azan of Juma prayer took place. When I kept quiet, it also started its work and in a short time completed the shaving. Then I happily told this that you go to your house after getting food and drink from my servants and feed your friends. If you come again, I will take you to the feast. Somehow it was avoided from my house, so I kept on taking a quick bath and wearing new clothes and waited for the second azaan so that if my girlfriend’s father goes for namaz, then I can reach there. On the second call, I left the house but this wicked one was hiding there in the street and started following me silently.
When I reached in front of the Qazi’s house, I saw that this unfortunate person was also following behind. I was very worried but on that occasion it was not proper to say or listen to anything. Going there and saw that the main door of the big Qazi’s house was half open. Seeing me coming, the old lady who was waiting there ran and took me to my girlfriend. We were just talking about love and friendship when there came the sound of many people speaking outside. Me and my girlfriend both started looking outside the window. First of all I saw that Qazi is coming back after offering Namaz. Then I also saw this barber sitting on the same plank of the house opposite where I was sitting.
I was scared seeing both of them. When my beloved saw me nervous, she gave me solace. And showed a pre-determined place to hide here if needed. What can I say, that day I was hit by a disaster that cannot be described because of this evil barber. At the time when the Qazi reached his house, a subordinate employee hit a servant on some issue. The servant shouted loudly. Hearing his cries, sitting on the throne, understood that I was being beaten up and started screaming by tearing his clothes and putting dust in his head and calling the people around.
When he came and asked what was the matter, he cried only saying that the people of this house are killing my master. After this he ran to my house and told the same to my relatives and servants. Those poor people also ran after hearing this. A crowd gathered in front of the qazi’s house and people started shouting and rattling the door. The Qazi told one of his servants to go out and see what these people want. The servant came out and looked and panicked and went inside and said that thousands of people have gathered and are breaking the door in anger. Qazi himself came out and started asking people why are you making noise.
The crowd gathered at the door did not pay any attention to the reputation of the Qazi and said, sinner, miscreant, why did you kill an innocent dignitary by locking him in the house. He was surprised and said, no outsider is in my house, nor have I beaten anyone. Now this foolish barber went ahead and abusing the Qazi abusively said, ‘Your daughter kills my master. He called her to meet him in the afternoon. You have killed him a lot by getting him inside. Now if you want your own good, then leave it immediately.’ The Qazi drinking his anger said, no one is your master here, if you want, go inside and see.
Hearing this, this barber and my relatives entered inside and went to each room to see. Fearing my slander and the wrath of the Qazi, I entered an empty box kept there and my girlfriend locked it and latched it. This barber came looking for it and opened the latch of the box and lifted the lid a little and saw that I was in it. Then he put the box on his head and ran outside. The qazi’s servants were so nervous that no one stopped them. When he was running away with the box, the lid opened on the way and I fell out of the box. I started running towards my house hiding my face. This barber and many others came running after me. In this trouble, while jumping a creek, my foot slipped and I fell in it so badly that I broke my leg. But at that time I was not worried about my feet. I fell and started running. When the crowd reached me, I would throw a handful of coins from my pocket towards him. they pick up coins
After a long distance, the crowd gave up on me, but this evil barber kept on following me, doing nonsense. It was crying out loudly, “Look how much I have done you a favor and how much I have suffered for you and how I have saved you from the hands of the Qazi. I had already said that if you do not take me along, you will be in big trouble. All this happened because of your lack of intelligence. And you are again making a big mistake that you are running away from me. If you run away from me then you will be in trouble again.’
This sinner had been doing nonsense like this. All the listeners understood what I had gone for and everyone started laughing at me. Everyone was making fun of me. I started thinking that by holding it at this place, I should suffocate its throat. But it left me thinking that it would be more difficult for me to do so. People were making fun of me all the time and it was constantly following me while talking. Helplessly, I entered a big house. His owner was an acquaintance of mine. Going to him, I said, Friend, save me from this demon barber or else it will take my life today. The friend was upset by this sudden trouble, but he came to the door and drove this barber away by scolding and pushing.
Then he asked what was the matter. I wasn’t able to talk more than I was nervous, tired and sore. I told him let me be careful a bit, then I will tell you everything. After some time I told him the whole story, especially all the events of that day in detail. He started laughing and said, now that wicked has run away, now you go home happily. I said to him, brother, have mercy on me and do not run away from your home. If I go to my house, this murderous barber will reach there again and will hurt me so much that my life will keep on going. Apart from this, it is also a matter that due to this fate, I have become such a bad name in the whole city that I have not been able to show my face to anyone here.
Friend kept silent after listening to me. I stayed in his house for a few days and arranged my property by secretly calling my gomasthas there. When the wound on the foot was healed, the lame man (because I had been lame for the rest of my life because of the fracture) left Baghdad and settled in this city. I hoped to get rid of this barber here but unfortunately it is present here too. Friends, consider yourself and see that this fucking did not cause any trouble on me. I was separated forever from that Chandramukhi who had agreed to marry me, because of not being able to show my face to anyone in my city, I was forced to run away and became lame for life.
After saying this he left the lame meeting. Everyone was very impressed to hear his unfortunate story. Everyone asked the barber whether the things he said were true. If his account is true, then undoubtedly you are a very stupid and dangerous man and you should be punished well for it. The barber said, whatever that man said is absolutely true. But you tell me what is my fault. I had gone to his aid after hearing his cries. He has become lame, if I had not been there, he could have lost his life. He blames me on the contrary. I am the least spoken of the seven brothers. Tell me the story of myself and my brothers. Saying this he started his story without waiting for their permission.