Mysterious Men


Mysterious Men

It all starts when a baby boy comes out of the muscular house, the womb, when he is spoon fed not to disobey elders along with constant reminders that it is unmanly to cry. Men are considered to be strong, dictatorial and macho; providing them an image that regards being scared or defenceless as a taboo.

 
This story is about Zafar; a common man. The eldest son of Mr.shahid’s family. In his 20s, Zafar hopelessly fell in love with his neighbor ‘Asma’ she was the prettiest woman in their neighbourhood  When she flicked her dark brown hair, he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life in her arms playing with strands of her velvety brown hair. There was no way Mr.Shahid would allow any of his children to marry outside family. He would often say “We biharis are the most superior Muslims in the world. We are the most refined, the most cultured and the most evolved”.

 
All of his friends/listeners would nod along while those who didn’t agree couldn’t dare raise their voice in disapprobation. While peace and composure defined the peripheral phase of Mr Shahid’s principles, turbulence stirred within.

 
Just as Zafar finished his diploma in mechanical engineering, his unmatched skills to work under pressure got him a stable job in steel mills. He wanted to pursue further studies but he suffered the pressure to earn and be the bread winner for his family and to get his sisters married was the first priority on his mind.

 

 

Few years later, he was married to their family friend’s daughter ‘Amna’. She was nothing like Asma. The only similarity they share was the four letter name that started and ended with the same alphabet. Zafar was forced to shovel his pre-marital romance blues down the drain and live the life his father has designed before him.

 

 

His wife was now the only love of his life. On becoming father of three beautiful children, two boys and a girl. Zafar wished to seek the sigh of relief. But before he could do that, he had to do some serious planning on saving money for his children’s expenditures. Zafar and Amna made a pact that whatever the financial condition, they will always go the extra mile to contribute to their children’s better future.

 
The elder boy became an electronic engineer and the daughter; a doctor. While the youngest son still studying. Zafar is now old, he was proud of the sacrifices he made to see his children flourish, secretly hoping to rely on his children’s earning after his own retirement. His elder son declares his secret love to an Australian woman. The ghost of Zafar’s young love haunted him and he decided not to do the same mistake as his father and he approves of the marriage.

 
His son left for Australia and his daughter got married happily. Zafar was now left only with his younger son now. He had no treasure left in his bank account to survive, so he planned to work on daily wages in a local industry. Tragedy strikes, his younger son fell into a mental illness that psychiatrists call ‘manic depression’ he would create a menace at home. Sometimes Zafar and Amna weren’t able to eat or sleep for weeks. They admitted the child in psychiatric ward but after
a while he always came back ill, drowsy and devastated.

 
Do you know who Zafar is? He lives inside every man who gave up his ambitions so that his family can depend on him. He detached himself from the love of his life so that his parents would crown him as obedient. He spent his entire savings in constructing a better world for his children. He was left alone in the darkest hours. He is the lad in distress.

 
He may be a father or just a friend. Surviving lives of misery and bleakness that would haunt them throughout their life span. Is man’s existence a catastrophe of genetic lottery? Is it his fate to burn his existence to satisfy those around him.

 
Have you ever discovered what it feels like your life is a solo performance? The implausible pressure to perform Like women, men also have scars on the roadmap of their history. Don’t teach them the ‘big boys don’t cry’ phenomenon. Instead, walk with him hand in hand, offer support. Once in a while appreciate his efforts for he is equally as human as you are.



Rakhshanda Mujeeb

A contributor for The News/Geo blogs

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  • Crispy

    i like this article because it sheds some light on men issues, i agree with the author that men are also humans and should be treated no different than women.

  • Monazza Shahab

    //Don’t teach them the ‘big boys don’t cry’ phenomenon.//// true :) … crying does’nt implies that u r weak.. its just shows that we r humans and have a plethora of different emotions within us that need to be vented sometimes….

  • Faisal

    Very nicely put. The best a man can give his child is good education/ up-bringing. If I could instill religion in my child, that would make me a successful father. The worst you could do to yourself is “plan”.
    And dear Rakhshanda all men have had “Asma’s” and all women have had “Zafar’s” but the truth is “Love” is such over rated thing( experience talking).

  • Anonymous

    but feminists dont know about these kind of stories

  • SAAD

    I totally disagree with the above story telling of a man who lives inside every man. Allah has given us this beautiful life, and also taught us contentment, but at the same time Allah has provided us with a power of prayers. The one who wishes to give his hand into Allah’s hand, and at the same time tries at his best, may never be left alone.
    THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN THE LIFE’S PROBLEM AND THERE SOLUTION IS THE DISCTANCE BETWEEN KNEES AND THE FLOOR, THE ONE WHO KNEELS TO ALLAH CAN STAND UP TO ANYTHING IN HERE AND HEREAFTER. INSHA ALLAH

  • Faiz Mustafa Khan

    true story

  • Farooq Hashmi

    What a tragic figure man is! Machismo and defiance are regarded as the in-born characteristics of man. In case, he cries on getting hurt, his that act is deprecated as “unmanly” and he is labelled as sissy and effeminate. In a word, he is portrayed as a superhuman being,devoid of the emotions his opposite gender possesses.. Whereas man pays a high price of his masculinity,woman secures infinite advantages of her femininity in Pakistan.Woman is absolved of sharing the household financial responsibilities with her husband with the result that the husband toils from dawn to dusk to bring bread and butter to the dinner-table of the household. Why is only the husband-spouse responsible for catering to the basic necessities of the members of the house-hold?The answer is that it is so because he is a ” man.” Man starts paying the price of his manhood the very day he comes of age and keeps on paying it till he breathes his last.This is true of almost all the men in Pakistan’s civil society. In the present Odyssey,the Odysseus,Zafar embarked on his journey of life and returned home grizzled empty handed. His children, whom he helped gain enviable status in their lives, had left him in the lurch in his old age. The present story is the story of every Zafar,and every man in Pakistan is a Zafar. A strong under-current of pathos runs throughout the story.

  • Fakhruddin Ahmed

    A touching story. However it ignores the mother’s role in upbringing the children and sacrifices she gives for the betterment of her children. She does it selflessly and demands no returns. While bread earning is a hard job, house chorus is no less tiring and demanding and children upbringing is the most sacred and most difficult job.


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