top of page
Search

The Secret



Adil wasn't sure if he should tell anyone about this or let it remain a secret. Is it possible that someone else might know this besides him? Maybe.... Maybe not! But he is definitely not telling anyone, that's for sure! It's going to be his best kept secret and he will take it to the grave with him! Shahnaz noticed changes in her son, Adil. Is something troubling him? Is he being bullied at school again? Is he being able to focus on his studies? It's a crucial year for him. Class 12 isn't easy, especially if you are a science student and aspire to be a doctor.... Adil is a brilliant student, but lately he seems distracted and unfocused! His class teacher had called up and complained about his lack of attention in class and sub-par performance in the Tests. Being a widow and a working mother, Shahnaz was having a tough time bringing up her son alone. Adil is 18 now and will be going to college soon! If only Arif was here... Even after so many years, she couldn't believe that Arif had passed away... She had been told that he had died in the accident but the body sent to her was not Arif's. Shahnaz was sure her husband is still alive! Adil was an affectionate and caring son. He knew his mother was strong but he ensured he helped her out with everything possible. He was a good student and a decent, well mannered young man. He kept away from bad company and didn't pester his mom for things. Adil wanted to be a doctor. He was aware about his lack of attention in classes and his dwindling test scores. He felt bad when the complaint reached his mom and thought of telling her the reason for it. He isn't sure if his mom will believe him.... The next few days were even tougher for Adil and his mom. Despite his sincere attempts and hard work, Adil's performance wasn't satisfactory and his Pre Board result was quite bad! His mom and his teachers were shocked and disappointed. So was he! His confidence was at an all time low and his mom looked so unhappy that it broke his heart! He didn't want to be the cause for her worry or her sadness and tears..... As Adil walked back home with a heavy heart, he kept thinking about the secret. He was so tempted to tell his mom, but he wasn't sure whether he should! He feels it might even help her cope with her problems....He really couldn't make up his mind about sharing his secret with his mom! Shahnaz came back from work, tired and upset. She wanted to talk to Adil about the complaint from school but had no energy for it! As she sat on a chair, Adil brought her a glass of water and a cup of steaming hot tea. He looked better than he had in days! Forgetting all her worries, she smiled at her son and thanked him for the tea. She called him closer and hugged him tight. Adil hugged her back. They stayed like that for sometime and finally Adil moved away and sat on the floor hugging his knees. Adil- Ammi, I want to talk to you. It's important. Shahnaz- About the complaint? Adil- No. It's about..... Shahnaz- Are you drinking or doings drugs? Adil- Ammi! What are you..... Shahnaz- Then it must be a girl! You are getting distracted because of her! Adil- No, it's not about any girl! Shahnaz- Are you drinking or visiting, you know, those women who.... Adil- Ammi! Please! Please stop! For once, just hear me out, OK? I am not into drugs or wine or women or bad company! I have no girlfriend either! Can I proceed now? Shahnaz sipped her tea and nodded. Adil- Ammi, I have a secret and I want to share it with you.... But before I tell you anything, please promise me that you won't ask me any questions about it right now! And please, don't think I have gone mad or crazy! Shahnaz was a bit worried as she looked at Adil and asked," What is it, son? You can tell me....." Adil- Ammi, I think I have found Abbu. Shahnaz was stunned. The empty tea cup fell from her hands and broke into pieces. She sat like a statue for a while and Adil had to shake her to bring her back to reality. Adil- Ammi! Ammi! Please look at me! Shahnaz- Are you sure its him? How is it possible....? Adil- Ammi, believe me! It's Abbu. He is alive but not in a good condition ..... I can take you there tomorrow if you want.... Shahnaz- I don't know Adil.... Should I go? Would he recognise me? Adil- I don't think so Ammi! He has lost his memory.... I tried to talk to him but he doesn't remember anything! Still, let's see if he is willing to come home... At least we can take care of him! Shahnaz hugged Adil and cried her heart out. All the pain and misery of the last few years came out as tears from her eyes.... Adil held his mom and consoled her. She had stopped crying and went to bathe and change, while Adil laid out dinner. He had cooked his mother's favourite Malai Kofta today and even kept some aside for his father. Adil was so happy today. He felt much better and he could see his mother's eyes light up at the prospect of seeing her husband after years! Next morning, mother and son set off early, with a bag full of food and clean clothes. Shahnaz carried some soap, a shaving razor and scissors. The huge gate was visible from the road itself. Heavily guarded and locked, the Healing Heaven, was a place meant for people with serious mental health issues. It was a hospital as well as a boarding for patients who had no one to look after them. Shahnaz gripped Adil's hand tightly, scared and nervous. There he was! His salt and pepper hair tied into a bun and his long beard that failed to hide his handsome face! Shahnaz wanted to run and hug him but Adil stopped her. Adil- Ammi, he doesn't know you! Right now you are only my mother who brought him some yummy food. Ok? Ammi, don't worry.... Things will be ok.... Shahnaz quietly watched as Adil took his father for a bath, changed his clothes and shaved his beard and moustache off. He cut his father's hair short but finally decided to shave it off completely. He saw his mother's eyes full of love and longing... Damn! His father was so handsome! Shahnaz had tears in her eyes and a smile on her lips as Adil fed his father the delicious food Ammi had cooked just for him. All his favourites! Arif looked blankly at Shahnaz and thanked her for the food. He also hugged Adil. Shahnaz tore her tears gaze away with great difficulty. Arif still looked the same! She wanted to be in his arms so desperately... She missed him so much... Adil took his father back to his room and changed his bedsheets, put some fresh water in a clean jug and a clean glass next to it. Shahnaz was watching her son with admiration, thanking the almighty for blessing her with such a gem for a son! She felt so lucky! Shahnaz and Adil met the head of the hospital, asking if they could take Arif home. The kind man readily agreed because being at home with his family would be better for Arif. Shahnaz took a few days off. Adil helped her set up Arif's room and then brought him home. Finally, they felt like a family! Adil and Shahnaz decided to call their close friends and well wishers over so that they could also meet Arif. Who knows it might help him remember the past! Shahnaz had started dressing up in pretty clothes again and her happiness made her glow. Adil was happy and was back to serious preparation for his exams. He was surprised when Arif offered to help him with his studies, although he knew that he had inherited his dad's intelligence! The father- son bonding made Shahnaz emotional. She was so happy! But she missed her husband's love and companionship. She prayed that he would remember her, but it didn't happen... Shahnaz had been promoted today and she dressed up carefully in a formal pink salvar kameez which was Arif's favourite! As she stole a glance at her husband she found him looking at her, which made her blush. She quickly hugged and kissed Adil on his forehead, about to leave, when Arif held her hand and stopped her. Adil watched as his handsome father looked at his beautiful mother and said in a childish voice- "Where is my hug and kiss?" Adil somehow managed to keep a straight face. Shahnaz went red and managed to yank her hand free, literally running down the stairs. Her colleagues were waiting for her in the cab. As she got teased all the way for her pink cheeks, she smiled shyly and decided to keep the secret to herself !



20 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

3 Comments


bora.archana
bora.archana
Sep 09, 2020

Wow.. So beautifully written 😍

Like

Beautiful and poignant.

Like

Ari Y
Ari Y
Sep 09, 2020

You should really put these in a book, and soon!!

Like
bottom of page