اے تحیر عشق
Ay Tahayyur-e-Ishq is an old-fashioned romance with many twists and turns, in which the boy and the girl can go only so far. Bilal, the narrator of the story, was raised in the traditional culture of middle-class families in Northern India. When the family fled to Pakistan during the Partition, it struggled through poverty and Bilal supplemented his father's income by taking tutoring jobs while going through the school.Things started happening as he was about to enter the university.
A girl had moved into the neighborhood, and Bilal kept hearing about her from others. Her name was Momina, and she was supposed to be an intellectual, an athlete, a debater and a high-achiever. His curiosity led to infatuation and eventually to obsession, but he was shocked when he met her for the first time. She wore a niqab and was covered from head to toe with a burqa. All he saw was her hand, in which she held Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea. He fell in love with that hand and kept thinking about it. "If Alexandros had chosen Momina to model for his sculpture of Venus, he would have carved her in pink onyx with brown tint instead of plain marble," he often thought.When Bilal got into the university, Momina was the only girl on the campus, wearing full niqab. They got down from the university bus on the same stop and walked together since they lived in the same neighborhood.
At first Bilal was hesitant to talk to her since it was impolite for a stranger to speak to a woman who covered her face, but he was surprised when she introduced herself to him. As time passed, he found out that Momina was not simply an intellectual; she was argumentative, aggressive and lacked etiquette.Bilal started avoiding Momina but could not get rid of her. At times, she seemed to be affectionate, even flirtatious, and he could not figure out how to handle her. His love-hate relationship with her turned into an emotional roller coaster ride for him and he was on the verge of nervous breakdown when Momina decided to transfer her credits to a university in Punjab where her grandparents lived.
After Momina left, Bilal fell for Rubina, who reminded him of a rustic beauty in William Wordsworth's poem The Solitary Reaper. But this time he was caught in a love triangle when his best friend from school days fell for the same girl. Rubina liked both of them, but they were faced with the insoluble dilemma. Who would back out? Finally, Rubina made the decision.
About the Author
Dr. Rafi Mustafa is an author, an academician and an entrepreneur. He started his career in 1962 as a kindergarten teacher in Pakistan. After he earned his Ph.D. in 1969 from the University of British Columbia, he was engaged in research and teaching at various universities which included University of Leicester in England, University of Sindh in Pakistan, University of Khartoum in Sudan and Universities of Toronto and Windsor in Canada. During his academic life he published a series of research papers in various scientific journals. At present he is the CEO of an I.T. company which he established in 1991. It offers managed services and investment portfolio management software to worldwide clientele.