Subhan is about to leave his house.Esha runs to him.He kisses his daughter.
‘Esha be a good girl.Study wont you?’
‘I do study Baba ‘ She looks around impishly.’But Mehran doesn’t’.Her tone gets secretive.
Ameena looks rather surprisingly at her otherwise quiet husband.Her eyes instinctively settle on Mehran,the sleeping toddler.
His voice breaks the train of her thoughts.
‘Take care of yourself’
‘Close the gate’
Seema lovingly looks at her new sandals.Cheap plastic, with pink ornate flowers.She marks the side of one with a bold ‘S’.
‘My pretties you have costed me a fortune’
‘Seema we’ll be late’ Rabia lingers at the door.Seema notices the longing in her eyes.She hesitates for a second.
‘Rabia take these’.
‘But you bought them’
‘Consider it a gift’
Seema gazes at her younger sister,who was so like a child to her.Torn in dilemma.
‘Thanks Aaapa.Your the best’
Nabeel meets Arshad outside his house.
‘Don’t forget the cricket match on Sunday’
‘Like you will let me forget.I am off to the factory’
“Rabia I am going home.Ammi is not well.Come home with Tina.Be careful’
Oh,the torment bred in the race,
the grinding scream of death
and the stroke that hits the vein,
the haemorrhage none can staunch,the grief,
the curse no man can bear.
Fourth floor,The death chamber
Smoke and darkness fill the room.Horrified people cry for help.The heat radiating from the floor is unbearable.
Finally the doom appraches.Fire has claimed their last resort
Rabia and Tina frantically run for the windows.No use.Lined by steel grills,Tina’s hands burn as she pushes fruitlessly against them…..People pile over them gulping last mouthfuls of oxygen.The monster gnaws them.Bodies merging and melting in the hands of the beast.
Arshad picks his phone.
‘Where are you?’
The phone goes dead.
Hospital: Seema frantically asks people about Rabia,holding her picture.A hand settles on her shoulder.
‘Come Sister,identify your loved one among the dead bodies’
She winces as she looks at the charred.For a split second her eyes rest on plastic sandals with burnt flowers glued to the soles of a sheet covered body.There was a bold S on one of them.
‘Let me take a last look at my son’
‘No khala remember Nabeel’s smiling face’
11 September 2012 marked the worst fire accident in 112 years.
KARACHI: With over 200 dead in country’s worst industrial disaster, only 140 bodies had been identified by Thursday morning, while 115 bodies have been handed back to families for burial, city police chief Iqbal Mehmood told AFP.
According to Sindh police surgeon Dr Kamaluddin Shaikh, around 259 people have died because of the fire.
Workers were suffocated or burnt alive at the Ali Enterprises garment factory in Karachi, which made ready-to-wear clothing for Western export, when a massive fire tore through the building during the evening shift on September 11.
Up to 600 people were working inside at the time, in a building that officials said was in poor condition without emergency exits, forcing dozens to jump from upper storeys to escape the flames, but trapping dozens in the basement where they perished.
(Reference:The Express Tribune)
A funeral.Grief evident from the very walls.Women whisper ‘She’ll die of shock’
A man comes forward
‘Sister,Subhan saved many others.He died like a martyr’
Yet Ameena sits still.
Mehran crawls into her lap.He looks questioningly at her
Tears stroll down her cheek.
Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
‘She must weep or she will die.’
Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.
Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee–
Like summer tempest came her tears–
‘Sweet my child, I live for thee.’
Alfred Lord Tennyson
May the souls of the poor victims rest in peace.