Master Samiuddin was a frail old man who read old urdu newspapers - sangam to beat the cruelty of old age boredoms. These old newspapers were moth eaten and yellowish in color. The newspaper was as faded as Master’s skin due to old age. He passed forlorn and lonely day with occasional visit of some guests. Master Samiuddin would read the newspaper articles and recite his poems to the visiting guests. While speaking on his favorite topic, urdu language and its beauty, his eyes would shine as the burning wick of kerosene lamp shines in dark nights. It is said that guests frequented less to avoid this torture.
Master Samiuddin was a retired primary school teacher who stressed upon diction of language more than language itself. Master would lament that young generation is no more learning Urdu language. The degeneration and apathy towards his beloved language saddened him gravely. His own son Farooq, spent two full years reading elementary Urdu book to gain perfection of pronunciation. Farooq however, was destined to repair cycles than impress people by his Urdu. It is said that Farooq might do good in his studies if Master Samiuddin had not persisted for perfection. Poor Farooq developed language phobia and started stammering later on.
Master Samiuddin was fond of Urdu Mushairah and would go faraway places to attend. In his heyday,s he would organize mushairah in his own muhallah inviting local poets. But he lost interest in the mushairahs due to low standard of poems recited there. Deterioration of his health might be another reason that he was not attending mushairah now.
Master Samiuddin paid annual visits to the tomb of Khwaja moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri till few years ago. Now his son Farooq paid visit to the shrine every year on behalf of his family. The month long closure of Farooq’s cycle repair shop would bring hardship to the family. But they would bear it as the will of Khwaja. Master Samiuddin would praise his son Farooq for keeping family tradition alive and maintaining link with Khwaja’s dargah. It was his firm belief that only chosen guests were called by Khwaja to his durbar. Master Samiuddin desired to visit the dargah at Ajmer once again before he died. Farooq took him to Ajmer last year. Master Samiuddin was upset that he didn’t experience haal (state of spiritual influence) listening to qawwali he visited last year. He was agonized that language of qawwali too became impure now. It irked him whenever people hummed the stanza of qawwali sung at dargah. The children of the mohalla came to know about this revulsion of Master samiuddin. They would now tease the old man singing in chorus inviting invectives of Master in chaste Urdu.
Master Samiudding always praised his cycle mechanic son’s pronunciation of Urdu words. He was sure that if it was old days, Farooq would not be repairing cycle rather would get a decent government job. However, he was the only person who believed so. People would try to convince Master that the time had changed and so had changed the lingua franca. Some people would taunt at him that he should cross the North western border of the country if he was so obsessed with urdu language.
There was an unwritten rule of Master’s family that the children would learn and master urdu first then they were free to learn any other language or subject. He was sure that his grandson yasir, whom he loved so much, would undergo the same learning process. But who could stop the idea whose time had come. On a dull and dreary evening of June, Farooq brought a book and slate for Yasir while returning from his cycle repairing shop. Farooq as usual came just before maghrib, the evening prayer. Master Samiuddin was performing ablution and Yasir was pouring water on his feet. The book was wrapped in a hindi newspaper having photograph of Madonna, pop singer. Master samiuddin and his grandson Yasir were equally excited. He ordered authoritatively like an old emperor of medieval period that wrapper would be opened after he performed the prayer. Yasir wanted to defy and open the wrapper but Farooq asked his son to wait for Master Samiuddin to finish his prayer.
After the prayer, Master Samiuddin instructed Yasir to do ablution like he did before prayer. A skull cap which was bought for Yasir on last Eid, was put on his head. Master Samiuddin appeared to have gained vigor which was not seen for years. He asked Yasir to sit on a prayer rug and face westward towards kaba in mecca. He then opened the wrapper swiftly and the book was mocking him right in his face. He looked towards Farooq with dismay and said innocently with a very weak voice, this is not Urdu ka Qaidah, the elementary Urdu book. Farooq stood with his head down unable to make eye contact with Master Samiuddin. Tears started dribbling from Master’s eyes. And all at once he fell down holding left side of his chest and fainted.
On reaching Shifa hospital by a rikshaw pulled by his neighbor Jehangir, the doctor declared him brought dead………..