“I am going to take the next detour Misha, I can’t stand this any longer”
“Patience Sabir patience. I know its frustrating but look at the weather. It hasn’t stopped raining”
It was true. The rain was slapping furiously against the windshield of the car and I could make out its fury even at this crawling pace.
I looked at the watch and could feel whatever little patience I had draining away. If only my ummi and abbu could see me right now, they would surely doubt their decision of naming me Sabir – the patient one. I was cursing the rain like I had never cursed anything or anyone else before. Misha kept telling me about the wisdom in the delay, the good that we can’t see. I chuckled at the thought. What could possibly be good in any of this? I was getting impatient by the second.
After much prayer and hardwork my restaurant was finally opening. I was gushing with pride when we left home. The quaint structure on an open stretch of land was like a badge of honor I had earned. The thoughts of my restaurant had obsessed me for nights and days. Today was the day every drop of my sweat was going to get its due. Mine was the first restaurant on this stretch of busy highway. And I was going to inaugurate it with a batch of sumptuous Hyderabadi Mutton biryani cooked using my grandmother’s recipe. A thought was pushing at the back of mind and I was ashamed to finally let it in with so much struggle. “Alhamdulilah” I thought half heartedly. I hadn’t tasted gratitude lately. Misha interrupted my jumbled restless train of thought. Train! I wish there was a railway station nearby…
“Sabir! Sabir look…”
She was pointing at a bypass road that a few cars were now taking. The road hadn’t taken the assault of the rain well. It was under construction and seemed dangerous but all I could think about was reaching the restaurant on time.
“Please let’s not. I think there is wisdom in this delay. Just let’s make a quick dua and wait for the traffic to clear”
“Just look at the jam Mish, there is no way this is clearing up soon, there are cars as far as my eye can see. I…”
I drifted as I saw Misha already muttering under her breath.
“inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon; Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khayran minha”
All I could do was listen as I took the detour. I could feel the worsening of the road with every pothole I drove over. No wonder there were just a few cars that took this route. But I was finally happy we were moving ahead. There was a steep slope on the left side of the road and it seemed quite deep. Misha held my arm but was mostly quiet. The rain continued its assault and I spotted a stretch of road that seemed fit to drive over. As I reached it I felt my grip lighten on the wheel, I could finally speed up.
I don’t know when it happened, when the car took over from me. It was like it had its own mind as it stirred violently to the ditch on the side of the road. I reached for Misha’s hand as hers came forward to meet mine and she finally let out a long due heart wrenching scream. All my mind could register was shock and regret and something else too, a plea for help. And the last thing I remember was the burning force of the airbags against my face.
Had the rain finally decided to drown me? I remember waking up with a lot of pain. And as I sat up to look at the faces of strangers staring at me, it all came back to me like an excruciatingly painful memory. Somebody handed me a water of bottle.
Misha! I had never felt the force of such gratitude punch me repeatedly as when I saw my wife running towards me and finally meeting me in a hug. Alhamdulilah I finally felt the weight of these words against my tongue, mind, heart and soul. And for once the weight didn’t feel like a burden, it was the thing that lifted the burden.
It hadn’t stopped raining but I could distinguish the warmth of my tears from the rain washing my face. My world had been shaken. I could still see the scene of the ditch coming to meet my car as we fell and my hands were still shuddering
“You were lucky sir! It could have been a fatal accident. This ditch is full of rocks and boulders but it seems the rain had caused the soil to soften and drown the rocks”
I saw the car lay turtled a little farther ahead. We had escaped a fatal crash and alhamdulilah was the first thing my mind could summon every time I saw my wife, my car and my own limbs.I could see the ambulance at the edge of the road above closing in to take us away. The restaurant! I had to call up my assistant to tell him what happened and get the rest of my family to know about it. I frantically searched for a cell phone. The truck driver I spoke to earlier lent me his graciously.
Ringgg “Hello! listen Bashir, its me….”
“Saheb we were lucky Saheb! I’ve been trying to call you for the past half hour. Alhamdulilah you are late. When I reached the restaurant, it was burning. It seems faulty wiring had caused the fuse to blow and the dining hall was on fire. It could have taken the cylinders in the kitchen and the restaurant down saheb but the rains saved us! The rain saved the hotel. All it needs is a bit of color”
I am a day late for the second day but better late than never (Phew!)
Thanks to theindianrevertedmuslimah for inviting me to the Five Day challenge 😀 I am supposed to post a picture each and write a story based on it for five days. It could be fiction or non-fiction. I am also supposed to nominate a fellow blogger and today’s nominee is Anchor with Keidi There’s no compulsion for you to accept but its a lot of fun believe me 🙂