Dream And Reality; From Joy To Resentment

Depiction of a person’s life whose dream was fulfilled, but later landed him in prison and all the happiness and joy was transformed into distress and anxiety.


I was really happy to hear the news. My old friend Faizan had come back after more than fifteen years. I did not receive the news directly from him, but from our common friend who told me that Faizan and his friends were having a get- together the next day at a hotel at a dinner. I at once accepted the invitation.

I arrived at the designated hotel a bit earlier and found some familiar faces along with some unknown present and waiting for Faizan. He arrived after a few minutes. I warmly embraced him just like others and we all sat down to talk our hearts out after a long time.

Faizan had changed a lot. From a boy faced youngster with long hair he has turned to a mature faced person with fifty percent of his hair gone and of the remaining, fifty percent turned grey.

He talked individually with each person to know about their lives during all these years. When he finished someone asked him to tell about himself and his life in the foreign land he had opted to settle.

After expressing his delight at meeting his old friends he told them that he would do that after the dinner due to some reasons. After dinner he began his part:

“As most of you might remember after doing my intermediate in 1994 I had decided to somehow go abroad permanently. I had a maternal uncle, Aslam who had settled in USA since 1960s. He had married a divorced lady and got native citizenship. He had a daughter in her teens and wanted to marry her in his own country. He was aware of my intentions and liked me. He discussed with my parents and it was agreed that we will get married, and I will permanently settle in the country. To me it was a dream come true without effort or trouble. Everything happened as decided after I reached the land of opportunities and settled down in a small town in the state of Connecticut. The name of my wife was Sakina, and that of my mother-in-law, Martha. Martha was a wonderful woman in all respects. She had divorced her first husband because of his character, they had no children. She decided that my uncle was the right person for her, both were working in the same factory at that time. She cared a lot about my uncle and the decision of my marriage with their daughter was a joint one. They have saved money together and bought a small departmental store and were managing that store. Martha had a younger sister, Agatha who was married to Hudson, a business person and lived in a nearby town. They had two children, a son and a daughter. Agatha was the Editor of a local newspaper and my wife also worked with her as an office secretary. Sakina also cared a lot about me and was happy with the marriage although she had never visited our country and knew a very little about its language.

After marriage I was made the Manager of the Department store, which had five employees. The life was full of joy and entertainment. Hudson was a great character, full of energy, wit and humor. He had a typical high-pitch long laughter. Agatha was a serious looking woman and was contended with a smile at the most. Every weekend we would get together, either at our homes or went for outing to well-known places for relaxation and enjoyment. Hudson was a great admirer of our country and was full of praise for its people. He had once visited the country and had taken back fond memories of its hospitable and loving people.

Five years passed, we had two beautiful children, Shah Zaman and Shazia. But, then suddenly my uncle died of heart attack. It was a great loss especially for Martha and me. The woman took the grief in her stride, but her life changed. She stopped going to Store and handed over all the authority to me. Two years later 9/11 happened and everything went topsy-turvy. The size of the tragedy was immense not only for the country, but to the family as well . Hudson was on a visit to New York and at the Twin Towers at the time and was one of victim of the dastardly and gruesome act. Agatha and children were devastated and Martha who had yet to recover from the death of husband was confronted with her sisters and children’s agony. She could not bear the burden and died within six months of the tragedy

After the death of uncle and Martha, my responsibilities increased and I became very busy. I also decided to help out Agatha in every way, but soon realized that she had changed completely. Initially I thought that the death of Hudson and Martha had affected her general attitude, but I soon realized she had specifically gone against me and my country. She sprouted hatred against me and my country, in front of others and in her newspaper. I come to symbolize terror-incorporate in her eyes. The death of Hudson had dealt a deadly blow. And she could think of nothing, but hatred and revenge. I talked to Sakina, but found that Agatha had brainwashed her and she was also towing her line.

More was in store, Sakina told me that she had decided to hire a new Manager in my place, if I want to continue, I should work as a salesman.

John, one of the salesman who was very close to me informed me that it was Agatha who told Sakina to make the decision when Agatha visited the store last week and he overheard her talking to Sakina. He also told me that one of the salesman, Norton was appointed on Agatha’s recommendation and was, acting as her agent.

I took a few days off after the new Manager took over to think about my future.

One day while having lunch at a restaurant a country man approached me and told me that he knew everything about me and my tribulations. He told me that Agatha was going to kill me, and that he is prepared to help me get rid of her before that, and he only wanted my help in teaching this country another lesson after 9/11. I asked him to leave immediately otherwise I would call the police, which he did.

A few days later at about mid-night we were awakened by the ringing of the door-bell. I opened the door and found three serious looking people. One of them showed his card that indicated that he belonged to an intelligence agency. He asked me to get ready and go with them. When I asked the reason he told me that I will be informed after arriving at their office. Sakina kept quiet and did not say anything while the children started crying. They took me to their office and then informed me that I was arrested for being involved in a conspiracy to cause terror along with another person who had also been arrested and admitted to the charge. They then brought the person, the person that met me at the restaurant. I told them about that meeting, but they did not take notice and asked me to come with them to the Department store. When we reached there, store was already open and some local police was present. I was told to take them to my desk, which I did. They broke the lock and started checking the material inside the desk. The opened a big envelope to check enclosed papers and then gave it to me, and asked me to read as they were not in English. As they were in my native language I had no difficulty in reading, but it was the first time I was seeing them. It was a sort of a plan to bomb the local Railway Station. I told them that those papers were planted and I had no idea about them. They said nothing and told me to hire a lawyer if I wish. I made a call to John for help in finding a lawyer.

He was very sympathetic and told me not to worry as one of his uncles was an experienced lawyer and he would request him for help and bring him at the place I was detained. Soon after the officers took me back. John arrived with his uncle, Sanders. I told him everything and then he went through the papers and evidence prepared against me. He then asked the officers to let him see the other person involved in the so-called conspiracy which was not allowed. However, they agreed to show his photograph. He then again had a meeting with me and told that I had a strong case and need not worry. John also told me that he would also try to get more facts about Agatha’s involvement as well as Norton’s role in putting papers in my desk. I thanked and with tears in my eyes told him that I would never forget what he was doing for me. John replied that whatever he was doing was because I was innocent and that their country’s justice system was very good and that soon I would be a free person.

While in detention, Sakina never visited me and for me those days were full of agony, stress, tension and anxiety. Some time I would feel resentment for leaving my country and cry in distress and frustration.

A few days later John came again and told that he and his uncle have discovered some facts which would help in my release, One of the Officers involved in my investigation was an old class-fellow of Agatha and the other co-accused with me was an agent of the intelligent agency and once had been convicted for giving false evidence.

After a couple of months my trial started, and on the very first day my lawyer shattered the evidence produced against me. He had built his case on the facts that it was Agatha who conspired with her old class- fellow to take revenge of the death of her late husband and used Norton for putting incriminating evidence against me. The Officer used an agent of the agency on the promise of pardon to become the co-accused to implicate me. The officer giving evidence could not reply to question of my attorney that why they did not search my house for any evidence and went only to my office. The prosecution could also not deny that the co accused was a convicted agent. The judge not only passed an order of my release, but also ordered registration of case against Agatha and her old class-fellow officer.

It was a great relief to be out of detention. I thanked John and his uncle and told them that I had decided to go back to my country, with my family if Sakina agreed and alone if she did not. John dropped me at my house. I was surprised to see Agatha also present. She had received the news of my release and wanted to be with Sakina when I reach there. I told Sakina about my decision. She looked towards Agatha and then flatly refused. I started collecting my belongings, made flight reservation and flew back the next day”.

Faizan had completed his narration. Everybody was spellbound, had wet eyes and knew why he delayed his narration until after dinner.

I was really happy to hear the news. My old friend Faizan had come back after more than fifteen years. I did not receive the news directly from him, but from our common friend who told me that Faizan and his friends were having a get- together the next day at a hotel at a dinner. I at once accepted the invitation.

I arrived at the designated hotel a bit earlier and found some familiar faces along with some unknown present and waiting for Faizan. He arrived after a few minutes. I warmly embraced him just like others and we all sat down to talk our hearts out after a long time.

Faizan had changed a lot. From a boy faced youngster with long hair he has turned to a mature faced person with fifty percent of his hair gone and of the remaining, fifty percent turned grey.

He talked individually with each person to know about their lives during all these years. When he finished someone asked him to tell about himself and his life in the foreign land he had opted to settle.

After expressing his delight at meeting his old friends he told them that he would do that after the dinner due to some reasons. After dinner he began his part:

“As most of you might remember after doing my intermediate in 1994 I had decided to somehow go abroad permanently. I had a maternal uncle, Aslam who had settled in USA since 1960s. He had married a divorced lady and got native citizenship. He had a daughter in her teens and wanted to marry her in his own country. He was aware of my intentions and liked me. He discussed with my parents and it was agreed that we will get married, and I will permanently settle in the country. To me it was a dream come true without effort or trouble. Everything happened as decided after I reached the land of opportunities and settled down in a small town in the state of Connecticut. The name of my wife was Sakina, and that of my mother-in-law, Martha. Martha was a wonderful woman in all respects. She had divorced her first husband because of his character, they had no children. She decided that my uncle was the right person for her, both were working in the same factory at that time. She cared a lot about my uncle and the decision of my marriage with their daughter was a joint one. They have saved money together and bought a small departmental store and were managing that store. Martha had a younger sister, Agatha who was married to Hudson, a business person and lived in a nearby town. They had two children, a son and a daughter. Agatha was the Editor of a local newspaper and my wife also worked with her as an office secretary. Sakina also cared a lot about me and was happy with the marriage although she had never visited our country and knew a very little about its language.

After marriage I was made the Manager of the Department store, which had five employees. The life was full of joy and entertainment. Hudson was a great character, full of energy, wit and humor. He had a typical high-pitch long laughter. Agatha was a serious looking woman and was contended with a smile at the most. Every weekend we would get together, either at our homes or went for outing to well-known places for relaxation and enjoyment. Hudson was a great admirer of our country and was full of praise for its people. He had once visited the country and had taken back fond memories of its hospitable and loving people.

Five years passed, we had two beautiful children, Shah Zaman and Shazia. But, then suddenly my uncle died of heart attack. It was a great loss especially for Martha and me. The woman took the grief in her stride, but her life changed. She stopped going to Store and handed over all the authority to me. Two years later 9/11 happened and everything went topsy-turvy. The size of the tragedy was immense not only for the country, but to the family as well . Hudson was on a visit to New York and at the Twin Towers at the time and was one of victim of the dastardly and gruesome act. Agatha and children were devastated and Martha who had yet to recover from the death of husband was confronted with her sisters and children’s agony. She could not bear the burden and died within six months of the tragedy

After the death of uncle and Martha, my responsibilities increased and I became very busy. I also decided to help out Agatha in every way, but soon realized that she had changed completely. Initially I thought that the death of Hudson and Martha had affected her general attitude, but I soon realized she had specifically gone against me and my country. She sprouted hatred against me and my country, in front of others and in her newspaper. I come to symbolize terror-incorporate in her eyes. The death of Hudson had dealt a deadly blow. And she could think of nothing, but hatred and revenge. I talked to Sakina, but found that Agatha had brainwashed her and she was also towing her line.

More was in store, Sakina told me that she had decided to hire a new Manager in my place, if I want to continue, I should work as a salesman.

John, one of the salesman who was very close to me informed me that it was Agatha who told Sakina to make the decision when Agatha visited the store last week and he overheard her talking to Sakina. He also told me that one of the salesman, Norton was appointed on Agatha’s recommendation and was, acting as her agent.

I took a few days off after the new Manager took over to think about my future.

One day while having lunch at a restaurant a country man approached me and told me that he knew everything about me and my tribulations. He told me that Agatha was going to kill me, and that he is prepared to help me get rid of her before that, and he only wanted my help in teaching this country another lesson after 9/11. I asked him to leave immediately otherwise I would call the police, which he did.

A few days later at about mid-night we were awakened by the ringing of the door-bell. I opened the door and found three serious looking people. One of them showed his card that indicated that he belonged to an intelligence agency. He asked me to get ready and go with them. When I asked the reason he told me that I will be informed after arriving at their office. Sakina kept quiet and did not say anything while the children started crying. They took me to their office and then informed me that I was arrested for being involved in a conspiracy to cause terror along with another person who had also been arrested and admitted to the charge. They then brought the person, the person that met me at the restaurant. I told them about that meeting, but they did not take notice and asked me to come with them to the Department store. When we reached there, store was already open and some local police was present. I was told to take them to my desk, which I did. They broke the lock and started checking the material inside the desk. The opened a big envelope to check enclosed papers and then gave it to me, and asked me to read as they were not in English. As they were in my native language I had no difficulty in reading, but it was the first time I was seeing them. It was a sort of a plan to bomb the local Railway Station. I told them that those papers were planted and I had no idea about them. They said nothing and told me to hire a lawyer if I wish. I made a call to John for help in finding a lawyer.

He was very sympathetic and told me not to worry as one of his uncles was an experienced lawyer and he would request him for help and bring him at the place I was detained. Soon after the officers took me back. John arrived with his uncle, Sanders. I told him everything and then he went through the papers and evidence prepared against me. He then asked the officers to let him see the other person involved in the so-called conspiracy which was not allowed. However, they agreed to show his photograph. He then again had a meeting with me and told that I had a strong case and need not worry. John also told me that he would also try to get more facts about Agatha’s involvement as well as Norton’s role in putting papers in my desk. I thanked and with tears in my eyes told him that I would never forget what he was doing for me. John replied that whatever he was doing was because I was innocent and that their country’s justice system was very good and that soon I would be a free person.

While in detention, Sakina never visited me and for me those days were full of agony, stress, tension and anxiety. Some time I would feel resentment for leaving my country and cry in distress and frustration.

A few days later John came again and told that he and his uncle have discovered some facts which would help in my release, One of the Officers involved in my investigation was an old class-fellow of Agatha and the other co-accused with me was an agent of the intelligent agency and once had been convicted for giving false evidence.

After a couple of months my trial started, and on the very first day my lawyer shattered the evidence produced against me. He had built his case on the facts that it was Agatha who conspired with her old class- fellow to take revenge of the death of her late husband and used Norton for putting incriminating evidence against me. The Officer used an agent of the agency on the promise of pardon to become the co-accused to implicate me. The officer giving evidence could not reply to question of my attorney that why they did not search my house for any evidence and went only to my office. The prosecution could also not deny that the co accused was a convicted agent. The judge not only passed an order of my release, but also ordered registration of case against Agatha and her old class-fellow officer.

It was a great relief to be out of detention. I thanked John and his uncle and told them that I had decided to go back to my country, with my family if Sakina agreed and alone if she did not. John dropped me at my house. I was surprised to see Agatha also present. She had received the news of my release and wanted to be with Sakina when I reach there. I told Sakina about my decision. She looked towards Agatha and then flatly refused. I started collecting my belongings, made flight reservation and flew back the next day”.

Faizan had completed his narration. Everybody was spellbound, had wet eyes and knew why he delayed his narration until after dinner.

Tasneem Hameed





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