It was a cold December night. Darkness had spread everywhere. I had waited for nine hours sitting on the wooden chair and walking to and fro in the corridors of the hospital in Peshawar.
Many times I had asked the nurses if all was fine and they had replied that I must wait. I had prayed constantly. Then at around mid-night time, a smiling nurse had come to tell me that I had become a father to a son. Few minutes later, my son was in my arms. He was healthy, full of life and to me the most handsome boy in the world.
Many years later, in the same hospital, my son left me alone in the world. He lived for only 15 years. In those 15 years, he gave me 15 million smiles and many million hopes and dreams.
One day he would grow up to be a doctor or an engineer or maybe a lawyer. I would be an old man. He would look after me and his mother. We would not have much money as all our money would be spent on his education but he would be a well to do man. So we would not have to worry about our expenses.
He would have a caring wife and loving children. I would spend my old age being taken care of and being loved by all of them. Then one day I would die and he would carry me to the graveyard and pray for me.
All my dreams died on 16 December 2014. I had dropped him at the school. He had promised to walk back to home directly from the school as there were exams to be prepared for. He loved cricket and at times would stop to play cricket with the boys but today he had to return home early. He had hugged me and I had wished him for the exams.
On way to my office I had prayed hard for his success in exams. Little did I know that by mid-day I would be praying for his life. I prayed hard but Allah knows the best.
I had to carry him to the graveyard. I laid him to rest in the grave. He was a bit too young to need eternal rest.
As the grave closed, I wanted the grave to open and be buried with him. I wanted to weep but I had to be the pillar of strength for my wife and my daughters.
They had lost a son and a brother. They needed compassion and support. They could cry but I had to be strong yet in the evenings and nights, I go for a walk to the graveyard. I sit next to his grave crying for hours. He was my best friend.
As I cry at the grave, I think of the men who took away the treasure of my life from me. Did they not have children? Did they not have fathers?
But I have no answers to my questions. I wipe my tears and walk back home, strong and steady for I am a father.