“Please don’t be late, beta!”, Fatima tells her son Kashim, who is busy eating his favorite ‘haleem’. He loves haleem and she knew it. The preparation is special today to celebrate Kashim’s sixteenth birthday. His father brought him a kurta-pyjama on his last birthday before he was vanished. No one knew where is he. Kashim is all what Fatima has apart from a goat, they him Chotu.
Kashim gets up, careful of the haleem stains, not to spoil his favorite dress and a deep-rooted memory of his father. Kashim and his father, always used to go for Friday’s namaz together, along with Abdul, but those days are gone! He taps Chotu’s head and jumps out of the door. Fatima stands there as they both step towards the turn of the lane. She smiles and returns to pick up the dishes.
Allah wasn’t kind with Abdul and took away his eyesight when he was two years old but he is as talented as anyone in the village. Abdul loved this special fruit ‘antera’ and that’s one more reason why they were best friends.
After washing dishes, Fatima turns the radio on and the news of minister’s visits makes her wonder, although she has no hopes. The next news of killing of two young militants, although a regular one, stops her for a minute, and then she moves towards the kitchen to prepare for the dinner.
She did not know that tonight she did not have to make it for two.