There is something about the airports that makes your head buzz, long after you’ve left. The energy radiating from all the bodies, charges every system of yours. As I left the airport three months back, that is exactly how I felt. I drove home, trying to figure out how to go about the task at hand, finish it and catch the next flight to Islamabad where my family would be awaiting my arrival. They had boarded the plane without me that day. Due to an urgent duty call I had to cancel my seat.
Around dusk as I performed ablution to offer my prayers, the door bell rang. It was my best friend Farhan. Farhan hugged me like he never had, before. There was something about his tense body that worried me. When he finally let go he stared long and hard at me. Then without answering my questions about the reason of his troubled look, he held my hand and led me to the couch. He switched on the television and flipped channels finally stopping at one.
Flight no. B4-213 of the Bhoja Airlines, carrying 121 passengers crashed just before touchdown.
The world reeled over, or rather I did. The buzz from the airport was back. The rushing, moving bodies spiraled before my eyes. My son waved me good-bye excited to board the plane like always. My daughter cooed from my wife’s arms, who smiled at me her last good-bye and turned to enter the airport terminal. My whole world had boarded that plane. It couldn’t be the end of my world…the world?
According to the rescuers, the area was littered with mutilated bodies, severed body parts of the victims, their luggage and parts of the fuselage.
Body parts? That couldn’t mean my boy or my baby or my wife! They were whole. Whole and lively and full of dreams and laughter.
Ya Allah! Mercy. Is this some kind of a test? My tears spilled down my cheeks and mixed with the water of wudu, until there was no distinguishing between the two!
©2012. Habiba Danyal
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The Bhoja Airplane that crashed in the fateful evening of April 20th 2012, took down 121 passengers and 6 crew members along with it. None of the passengers survived. May their souls rest in peace.