The Wings of MercyByYaqeen Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.
It was a gloomy day, sky clad with clouds and dim. It was the fall of 2010 and I was preparingto leave my hometown for my further studies abroad. I had to meet a few friends of mine atthe University of Kashmir. I left home in the morning, said goodbye to my mum and sheaccompanied me till the gates of our home. I walked down the long road till the bus stopand waited patiently till I finally managed to get in a bus.The bus being full, I had to stand. After a few bus stops, there was some empty slot for meto sit at the back. Typically in Kashmiri public buses, five people sit at back. Three peoplewere already sitting there, two girls on the extreme right side and an old man on theextreme left, leaving the middle two seats empty. I went to the back and had to choose aseat. I chose the one next to the old man leaving a gap of one seat between me and the girlssitting on the other side.
To my surprise, the old man had been observing me and he said, “You did well son by
choosing to sit beside
me rather than the girls”.
Perhaps he was impressed. I just smiled,but he wanted to talk more. So I just started listening to him. He talked about where andhow he lived, the job he did and also about the death of his wife.
He was in his 70’s or late
, I guess. His face was wrinkled and he wore a traditional dress. His face and lookdepicted a man who held grudges against the atrocities of nature.
He continued and said, “I am going to perform Hajj this year. Last year my application was
rejected as I suffered from pneumonia. Now InshaAllah this year I will perform pilgrimage. I
hope I will stay healthy there…”
While he was telling me all this, I felt a tone of sorrow and grief in his words and I wanted tolisten more without interrupting him. Something deep down was compelling me to listen tothose words. And all of a sudden he changed the topic and talked about the rights of parents over their children and I could sense a depth of pain in his tone. He was in grief andit seemed to me that he had a rage inside him, which he wants to talk about and maybe hefelt I was the perfect one at that particular moment.
He continued, “My wife died many years ago, and I have only one son.
I got him married to agirl. I thought everything will be fine and settled afterwards. My son will get a wife and