Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Maverick I Know (ii)

On my wedding day, Mian Hamza Shahbaz, son of Mian Shahbaz Sharif offered Makhdoom sahab Rs.100,000.00 as a ‘salami’. Makhdoom sahab plucked Rs.1000.00 out of that bundle and returned the rest to Mian sahab. And he added that I have taken only the amount which I am able to pay you back.
Over the years, I learnt how he operated on different levels in terms of relationships, politics, and various other affairs of his life. We are all muslims and we all believe in the conviction of our religion. I am still trying to grasp the extent of conviction of Makhdoom sahab in Allah. I have seen him time and again taking a bold decision first and believing that Allah will definitely succeed him in his endeavors. And Allah has always helped him to withstand the extreme pressures of this life. 

During the last few years, I have been surprised by his quietness and trying to put on a brave face in difficult situations. I must admit that I can be a cruel questionnaire some times. On various occasions, I asked him hard questions pertaining to him, his political party and the party leadership. He always tried to defend his party and the leadership. Like one time at the wedding of my younger sister-in-law, I inquired him if he had invited the party leadership? He said that he had extended the invitation to them. But he did not insist on them to be there since they were quite occupied by other important affairs of the province and country. You see, for a political layman like me, I would not understand why the party leadership could not find a few precious hours for a party worker who had spent several precious years of his life in prison for them. But I had a hunch that something was really killing him inside. 

Another time, when he had suffered brain hemorrhage, and was in ICU of General Hospital, Lahore, Mian Nawaz Sharif visited him. I could see how keen he was to receive him. It had been a few days for him that the hemorrhage had affected his speech badly. He had tried to speak earlier but could not utter a single word. And when Mian Nawaz Sharif showed up, for the first time since his hemorrhage, he uttered several words to show Mian sahab how glad he was to see him. Even the doctors present in that room were quite surprised with that effort. 

At a different occasion when Mian sahab spent a few days in Bahawalpur for hunting, I had a chance to visit Hashmi sahab. It was after he had suffered the hemorrhage. We talked about different things and I mentioned to him that Mian sahab was staying in Bahawalpur, which is hardly an hour and half drive from Multan. He tried to ignore the presence of Mian sahab in the adjacent city and moved to a different topic quickly, not giving me a chance to ask him the obvious question. Nonetheless, I could see he was hurt.

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