A Different Kind of Game
Farooq Imam was used to being called by the rich patrons of Bhopal whenever
they so factiously felt they were sick. Many a times his house calls included
treating the so called genteel' ladies of high society for fainting spells or
failed attempts on their own lives. Really, it was as if they had nothing
better to do than come up with some reason or another to summon a doctor to
their house when they could very easily go to a walk-in clinic and get treated
there. He supposed it had to do with their rich mentality.
was why when he was called to the house of the Nawab of Bhopal he wasn't too
shocked. Rather he expected a simple treatment, probably of one of the females
of the house for a fainting spell or severe headache of some sort. He had known
Aahil Raza Ibrahim lived with many females and he was sure one of them was the
reason he had been summoned. Not surprising, that indeed did end up being the
was surprising however was the reaction the young Nawab had when he had first
entered to treat the patient'. Most family's would quietly retreat and let the
doctor do his job, but the young man's reaction was something new, if not
surprising to the aged doctor.
The aged doctor
made his way up the mansion steps, following the eccentric servant who had been
waiting for him at the front entrance of the palatial home of the Nawab of
Bhopal. He was brought to the room he assumed his patient' was in, and he
mildly pushed away the mass of people waiting outside to get down to work.
As he entered he
was met with a sight that even a man of his age could call heartwarming. The
young Nawab was restlessly holding onto a young woman's hand who was prone on
the bed. He was furiously rubbing at her hand, and cajoling her, even in her
"Sanam, get up,"
the Nawab demanded. "This isn't funny, Sanam, please wake up. Nothing will
happen to you. Wake up. Sanam, please open your eyes."
Dr. Imam cleared
his throat gently and the young man's attention snapped towards him. Involuntarily
he took a step back, such was the ferocity in the gaze the young Nawab directed
In an instant
the doctor was pulled along to the bedside of the woman. He tried to
concentrate as Aahil began spewing information at him.
"I don't know
what's wrong," the nervous and clearly frightened young man babbled, "She won't
wake up. She was fine this morning and all of the sudden at dinner she-"
Dr. Imam interrupted patiently, "If you would so kindly step out I can begin
her examination and I can tell you what is wrong. But by ceaselessly babbling
we are wasting time, and should her condition be serious..."
He trailed off,
hoping the unspoken statement would convey the seriousness of the situation to
the Nawab who stared at him wide eyed.
Dr. Imam gently
guided the young man out of the room and gently shut the door. With a
semi-balance of quiet, he walked over to the bed and began pulling out his
stethoscope to examine the patient. He finally stopped to take a look at her,
and he paused.
enchanting. A classic beauty with a full head of thick black locks and pale
ivory skin that looked a bit shallow. Her thick lashes rested gently across her
cheeks and he could see smudges of purple underneath her eyes, no doubt due to
lack of sleep or fatigue. Her face held a certain soft innocence that reminded
him much of his own daughter, and his heart panged remembering his child.
He shook his
head and assumed his professional persona, beginning to examine the young
woman. Each discovery he found left him more and more agitated and he belatedly
realized he was being unprofessional but for some reason he couldn't contain
his anger as he angrily marked down her diagnosis on a chart.
As he turned to
pack up he glanced over at the sleeping form of the young Sanam. He gently
shook his head and muttered to himself.
"On one hand he
shows so much concern on the other hand she is so..."
He stopped short
feeling something cold and hard press against his back. Dr. Imam didn't turn,
as a strange sense of calm came over him.
"Who is it?" he
matter Doctor," a muffled voice replied behind him. "However should you desire
to continue to stay a doctor you will do as I say..."
the incident that occurred in the room, Dr. Imam had to question the sanity of
the royal family of Bhopal. Clearly things were not as easy in the high life of
the rich as he thought it was. He made his way out of the room, gently closing
the door, when a commotion downstairs caught his attention.
My name is Salim
Iqbal Khan. And I am Sanam's future husband.
My name is Salim
Iqbal Khan. And I am Sanam's future husband.
My name is Salim
Iqbal Khan. And I am Sanam's future husband.
words played over and over again in Aahil's head but even as they continued to
churn around in his tumultuous mind he couldn't seem to make sense of them.
was all he could seem to produce in the face of the arrogantly smirking Salim.
His family had fallen silent, save for Lateef's shocked gasp and his Ammi's
sharp inhale. He took a moment to clear his head.
idiocy is this?" Aahil demanded angirily, glaring at Salim who had made himself
quite comfortable sitting across the couch his Aami presided over.
don't know who the idiot in this case is Mr. Ibrahim," Salim mocked, "But it
certainly isn't me. Could it possibly be you then?"
continued to amass in Aahil's being and he fought to stay in a semi-balance of
control. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, exhaling slowly.
talking in riddles," Aahil managed to grind out, "And tell me what it is you
are doing here."
was quiet for a moment, smirking audaciously as he leant against the couch,
arms crossed over his chest. He glanced up and around the mansion, almost
appraising it before his eyes fell back on Aahil.
doing what any future groom would do," he drawled slowly, "I've come to whisk
away my beautiful blushing bride to be. I've come to take Sanam away...again."
thinly strung anger began to fray again and he was about to march over and haul
the salaciously smirking man when his mother's voice stopped him.
Tanveer questioned. "What do you mean again?"
chuckled and stood up, striding over to the seated woman. He sat down next to
her and it was with much glee he noticed that the blind woman hadn't even
registered the change in her immediate surroundings. He took delight when she
jumped as he explained himself.
meaning I tried once and...failed...so I am here to make another attempt," he
hummed and stood up straightening his jacket and running a hand through his
if you would be so kind as to show me my Sanam's rooms I can go and get her and
we can all be on our merry way," Salim said.
one moved and the young man glanced around. Meeting the Nawab's stony face he
shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
I'll have to do it myself this time around too," he commented and moved towards
was still processing the man's audacity for calling Sanam his when he finally
noticed Salim walking towards the stair case. Decorum be damned, he decided as
he grabbed the other man by the collar and slammed him up against the railing.
an instant a flurry of action occurred. The impact of the two bracing against
the railing shook a vase and broke it. At the same time the two men who had
accompanied Salim pulled out their handguns, causing Khalla to scream and hide
behind her husband who pitifully wailed. At the centre of it all Begum Sahiba
sat, trying to understand what was happening.
raised a hand and stayed his guards, smiling innocently up at Aahil who glared
murder at him.
will clearly and simply explain what you are doing here, what your relation with
Sanam is," Aahil threatened, "Or you will regret having step foot into my
pretended to hum and haw, causing Aahil's anger to rise even more. To the point
the young Nawab was afraid for the other man's life.
fine," Salim sighed dramatically, "I suppose you are entitled to this
information. Seeing as you are her husband and all. Though not for long."
the poorly hidden barb struck at Aahil's nerves and he grit his teeth and held
onto the other man's collar even tighter.
get on with it..." he muttered.
seemed to think a moment before sighing.
now where do I start..." he began.
guess it has to do with the day my Ammi met Sanam at the market," Salim began,
suddenly serious and quite focused. "A vegetable seller was trying to con my
mother into buying things for a higher price when the lovely Miss Sanam
intervened and stopped my mother from being conned..."
does this have to do with why you are here," Aahil demanded impatiently.
Salim trilled before continuing. "Ah yes. Now where was I? Sanam had saved Aami
from being conned and I guess you can say it was love at first sight. You know
in that weird I want her for my daughter-in-law thing.' I can't remember what
it was but Aami said something about Sanam being loyal, and honest and
righteous and something about her being a good life partner or whatever.
Truthfully I wasn't paying attention that well to be honest. After that Aami
and Sanam continued to run into each other and Aami became more and more impressed.
She also became happy. After my father died, she was always unhappy and never
smiled anymore. But after meeting Sanam she was suddenly full of life. She
still thanks God everyday for having gone to the market instead of the servant
and meeting Sanam. One day she came to me and asked if I would think of
marriage. I said yes because I knew it would make her happy. After that all I
know was that Aami wanted Sanam as her daughter-in-law, and for my Aami I can
tone Salim took while making mention of his mother seemed oddly familiar to
Aahil and he couldn't help but feel a sense of dj vu. The room was quiet,
listening to the story and even upstairs Dr. Imam was enraptured with the
Sanam is a married woman," Lateef finally piped up "So you can't marry her."
snorted and pushed himself away from Aahil, straightening himself.
you think I care?" Salim said, "I said I would get Sanam as a daughter-in-law
for my mother and I intended to go through with that. Which is why I kidnapped
her on her wedding."
ground felt like it had been tilted beneath Aahil's feet and he stumbled back
hearing those words.
I kidnapped her
on her wedding...
did what?!" he roared, regaining his sense and grabbing Salim by the lapels of
kidnapped her on her wedding," Salim explained, as if he was talking about the
weather. "I found out that Sanam was married and almost gave up hope. But then
I did some investigating and found out that you two had probably married for a
tensed, hearing what she assumed was a well guarded secret of the house spew so
easily from this strangers mouth.
that I found out you two were supposed to marry again. I assumed you were doing
this because the contract had finished." The young man continued on, not
noticing the horror and anger clouded the young Nawab's face. "So I decided it
was the perfect opportunity. My men and I snuck into the mansion the night of
the nikaah. I mixed a sleeping sedative in Sanam's food, and once she was out
like a light I took her away. My men made it seem as if she had run away, so
that way you wouldn't look for her. I was hoping to keep her long enough that
you would move on, after which I would send divorce papers on her behalf but
things got a little complicated when she managed to escape-"
was cut off as Aahil punched him across the face, causing him to fall against
the railing. With great surprise Salim righted himself, once again staying his
guards with his hand, as he wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth, where
his tooth had cut into his lip.
the hell do you think you are?" Aahil screamed, grabbing Salim and shaking him.
"Who do you think you are to play with our lives like this! Don't you realize
because of what you've done I thought Sanam had betrayed me! I thought my love
betrayed me and she didn't! I thought-"
faltered as he registered something. Sanam didn't betray him. In that cloud of
anger and pain and despair that had hung over him since the night of the
wedding a small ray of hope began to emerge. Sanam hadn't betrayed him. His
love hadn't betrayed him.
rolled his eyes at the Nawab's abrupt impassioned speech.
I said I don't care. Whatever I am doing is for my Aami's happiness," he
explained "I thought everything had gone to hell when Sanam managed to escape
but then I realized that would be even better for me. After all, imagine my
surprise when I found out that despite her not being there, you were able to
find a replacement bride for your wedding. This ends up working out. I'm sure
Sanam is heartbroken that you have abandoned her for a new woman and now she
won't have any choice but to come back to me..."
grip loosened as the severity of the situation dawned on him. His beloved had
struggled to come back to him. And he in his despair and anger hadn't once
thought to ask her what had happened, instead assuming the worst. She must have
been so broken to see him married to another woman.
out," Aahil croaked, emotion welling his voice. Salim stepped back surprised.
out and stay as far away from us as possible," Aahil said again, conviction
strengthening his voice. "You will never have Sanam. She is my life. She is my
love. She is the very reason I breathe and live. She is mine and I am hers,
forever and always. And don't you dare think for a minute that you've succeeded
in separating us."
assessed the situation and smiled. Good, this was what they had planned. It seemed
as if they had gotten through to the stubborn Nawab. It was time to make a
retreat, but not without one parting shot.
what makes you so sure that Sanam would want to be with you now after
everything you've put her through?" Salim taunted.
I will beg for forgiveness every day of my life until she accepts me again,"
Aahil replied without missing a beat.
tsked and began to move away.
doubt that. But I'll leave for now. I'm sure in due time, Sanam will have no
other option but to come back to me," Salim taunted before making his exit. "After
all, it seems that list of things you have to atone for are many."
eerie silence swept across the mansion as the event they had experienced
finally settled into their minds. But for Aahil the only thing that stood out
was that the truth behind his beloved's disappearance on their wedding was
finally revealed. He dragged his hands over his face, stopping at his mouth.
She loves me.
She loves me.
and over the words played out in his mind. Joy broke through the dark haze over
his mind and heart and for the first time in days he felt like he could
suddenly jolted into awareness and the desire to see Sanam overpowered all
else. He turned to race up the stairs when he met the eyes of his doctor.
explain the diagnosis to Begum Sahiba," Dr. Imam explained, stepping aside to
let the young Nawab rush upstairs.
two steps at a time, Aahil bound up towards his lover's room. He threw the door
open and flung himself at her bedside, taking her hand in his. He lovingly
brushed a kiss on the back of her hand and held on tightly.
Sanam," he chanted softly.
sat vigil by her bedside, waiting impatiently for her to wake up. The smile on
his face could rival the sun in its sheer brightness and intensity.
smile that was born out of love.
smile for his chote begum.
smile for Sanam.
the shadow's in the room Seher observed her sister and brother-in-law with a
tearful smile. Finally the first step to reuniting them was completed.
Now let the game begin.
Another update! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!