M. Hameed Shahid
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The Saddled Horse|M Hameed Shahid

The Saddled Horse|Short Story|M Hameed Shahid
The Saddled Horse|Short Story|M Hameed Shahid

The issue is not that my wife does not care for me but the real issue is that she is always focused at me.

Well! It does not mean either that our conjugal life is devoid of love. Neither my wife nor I can give up this fragrant passion. To tell you the truth it is love that dusts away all the spleen from our life and life becomes bearable.

I am taking this liberty at expense of my wife because I love her. My wife is not like a poor’s wife to be kind to every one. She showers all her love upon me and only my thought occupies her mind. Therefore, those whom she held dear to her heart before the marriage are replaced by me and there is a great intimacy between us. But the problem is that I have started feeling fed up due to her extra care.  I wish to accomplish a number of tasks according to my temperament and ease, enjoying every bit of it. But she always taunts me as lazy as a snail and attributes this habit to lethargy. Similarly, a number of works which according to her are very important but I want to finish them gradually, she embroils me in them saying,

“Where do you sneak away?”

In such a situation I deem it proper to argue with her. She likes argument with me and feels the same pleasure as I feel when she is combing my chest hairs with her fingers. I know that she does all this out of sheer sincerity and love for me. She shows her love in the best way she can and I am not a senseless being as well. I also do whatever I can but I can’t express it like she does. She must understand that the expression of love seems repetition and puerile. But she is too puerile in it. She is ostensible and demanding at the same time. She expects more than what she does.

She regards me as introvert in matters of love. I don’t know what does she mean by this but it makes me contented anxious at the same time. I enjoy this mixed feeling immensely. But this enjoyment is spoiled when all her concentration is focused towards me. And I become infuriated and rebellious of my threadbare figure which she knits with the foussed of her attention.

Well! The fact is that I am a different person at home. It is only my wife or my imaginary being formed by her love of whom I am rebellious, which is present in home.

“What will you have at meal?”

“Zain, Nomi! What nonsense! You know your father is disturbed by yours voices.”

“Oh! You have come at the wrong time sister; I have to fry French toast, for my husband.”

“Aye Maid, clean the washroom properly, Zain’s father, was annoyed by the smell while shaving in the morning.”

“Please come in the kitchen, what are you doing alone there while staring the roof”

“Sister, I will get this suit; Zain’s father likes this colour so much”

“Oh! Please don’t come here, I am peeling the onion, your eyes will become sore”

“What! Should I cook Qorma, well! May do that but you eat indiscriminately, you are already gaining weight.”

“Aye, you milk is adulterated, It seems you pour a lot of water in it. Zain’s father does not like the tea made from this milk.”

In short, in every matter, she brings my mention, as we put salt in flour. She brings my mention in any matter and with such adoration as if no one else meets his eye, neither in kinds, nor in any visiting woman.  Whether it is maid, or washer man who caries dirty clothes on the carrier of his bicycle, or the garbage collector who collects the garbage from gate, milkman, hawker, beggar who begs after knocking at the door, the street vendor who sell Siparay, Noor Namay(religious literature)  almanac, or the young sales girl who enters the house with out permission and sells imported pads, undergarments, make up things and what not. My mention appears from every where.”

“My husband does not like this newspaper; he says this paper has no important news.”

“Please pick the garbage carefully. It may have some of my husband’s important pieces of papers.”

“Wait a bit, Zain’s father is taking rest and you ring the bell continuously.”

“What will I do of these almanacs; I can’t even handle my husband’s books properly”

“These green ones, away, my husband only like black undergarments.

“Oh! Its hook is so rigid; he will be entangled in it.”

While talking she laughs, sometimes unintentionally, as the water floods in one go. After breaking all the dykes and sometimes in intervals releasing her laughter step as if thumb is placed on the mouth of water-pipe and whenever required it is freed in form of current. There is an intoxication in her self and throws the prick as well. She keeps the intoxication to herself and throws the prick at me. Whether I am in the study or in the bedroom, watching T.V in the lounge or basking in the sunshine on my terrace, I hear her voice everywhere telling when she rolls her eyes out of mischief, when she nods her head towards me and when she waves her elusive body like the colored shawl waved by someone.

“As Sunday is a holiday, I wake up late and she too.”

But the fact is when she wishes to remain in bed she never lets me rise. I know that when she is really asleep there is a strange boldness in the rhythm of her breaths and the fragrance of her body and when she pretends to be sleeping even after waking up then her breaths become smooth and fragrance is discontinued. It was the same Sunday morning and half an hour had passed after her breaths become smooth.

Then the moment came when I thought that I would not spend the whole day as her devised image rather will run away somewhere with the fleeting moments.

His arms were above me, like a flower but when I had made up my mind to rise, I felt it like a rock under which my chest was being pressed. Then I thought if I turned right in the bed she will be left there and I will easily skip away leaving her hand lying there. Before skipping away I stared at her face. There was a little pressure on her lips; the cheeks around her little nostrils were inflated. There was a sign of little trembling below her closed eyes. Then my eyes slipped downwards, and then I saw strain in the veins of her neck on both sides. The wind pipe was floating on a bit either side upper then it usually is, when she is sleeping. I understood at once that she was not actually sleeping, only pretending. I become more cautious and made my whole body attentive. But this caution proved to be more counter-productive as there ran a strain in every cell of my body.” Her body is so clever that it may detect even the slightest movement. Though I did not want to do that but I had to muster up my courage, and I did so, but before I could turn sideway and skip away her arm became stiff, her weight grew to an extent that t felt my chest breaking under her arm.

Interestingly, the girl whom I can’t love likes to caress this broken chest. How can a husband in-spite of having a loving wife could love such a girl whose hand can be rejected easily for another girl.

 (Translated from Urdu into English by Khurram Khiraam)

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