By: Amer Suhail Khan
Her name isbut people in the village known her as Laila. Nobody knows her real name except her parents and close relatives. Laila is an Arabic name but in Pushto, especially in Cherat Region; Laila means the ruling queen, the heart beat of female lover. Laila was reading in grade 11. She is the only daughter of her parents, although she has three brothers but she was immensely popular both in home and in the village because of her even-tempered, unruffled nature and comely face. Nature has equipped her with the power to entice or attract anyone through her personal charm. Before that terrible incident which totally annihilated her tranquil life and left indelible disfigurement on her beautiful physical appearance; Laila used to live a normal life and planned to spend her life as an educated house woman in future. This was the reason that her parents decided to have her marriage in their own family to help Laila raising her kids the proper way after marriage. They announced her betrothal with her cousin who was entranced by the charm of Laila, although he kept it secret from his family. It was a kind of one-sided clandestine love.
It were summer vacations, Laila parents decided to reveal her engagement to the public and began to organize preparation for it. Laila expressed her desire to buy Indian dress for this highly valued exceptional day and her parents surrendered to their beloved daughter request. Three days before her engagement, Laila father took her to the city for a spending spree on her demand. They were traveling in SUV along with other passengers. It was August, 2008, life was a sweet and happy dream for Laila, everything she cherished; traveled like a shooting star from imagination into dream and from dream into reality. Beautiful home, loving parents, devoted brothers and finally a good-looking handsome fiancé. Avalanches of these kaleidoscopic series of sweet thoughts were inundating her mind. She yawned drowsily, put her head on the shoulder of her father and went into sleepy condition. Perhaps the last sweet dream of her life.
A spooky dog appeared suddenly from the bushes along the road side and came to the middle of the road, baffled by the fast moving vehicles, the dog remained stuck in the middle of the road, on the collision course with the SUV in which Laila was traveling; enjoying sound sleep. The driver of the SUV has to decide within a single blink of the eyes, there was no time to slow down the vehicle or slam the brakes. There were two options; either to hit and crush the dog to death or to make a sharp turn from the straight course and avoid the dog without losing control over the steering at a high speed exceeding 120 km per hour. He followed the second option; swerved his SUV sharply and saved the life of dog but cannot manage to regain his balance over the vehicle. The SUV collided with a big tree, ripped into two pieces, all passengers on the driver side died on the spot along with the driver. Laila and her father were seriously injured and she was unconscious, her right arm was half cut and blood was pouring out from her wounded hand. Her father didn’t care his own wounds and rushed her off to a Military Hospital before the ambulance reach to the accident spot.
The doctors provided immediately emergency treatment to the injuries and some senior doctors bravely fought for several hours to stop the profuse bleeding from the Laila upper arm but due to inadequate medical facilities, they failed to reconnect the ruptured veins and tissues and referred her to a major hospital in capitol. She was taken in a special ambulance to Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad; a leading hospital of Pakistan with advanced medical facilities and equipments. Looking to her critical condition, the doctors hurriedly took her to the extreme care unit and began to perform a major surgery. Seniors doctors were called from their homes because it was almost midnight over. All relatives and friends of Laila arrived to the hospital, praying to God that she would recover from this suffering. But nature is not subjected to someone worries and troubles and makes decisions the way He wants. After eight hours of uninterrupted struggles, a senior doctor came out of the operation room, head down and shed the bitter fact that Laila cannot survive with her injured arm. Her right arm is dead and they need permission of her parents to remove the dead arm. What cannot be cured must be endured. They got permission and the doctors removed the dead arm and thus marred the beauty of Laila.
She was kept in hospital for several days under sedating drugs in order to keep her unaware of her current physical look and to let the wound heals. When the wound got healed and it was time to go home, the doctors decided to let everything reveal to Laila about her new life. Laila was brought back to her complete consciousness. Her parents didn’t pluck up the courage to tell anything, therefore, the doctor rushed forward before Laila get the awareness of her surroundings. He started and supported his words with an impressive array of fact and Laila realized that what had happened to her. The doctor stopped, looking for the response of Laila. There was stark silence in the room. Laila ducked her head downwards for a moment, then raised her head and said, ‘it was set in advance, a preordained inescapable fact decided by God in advance, people lose their both legs and never say anything about their unpleasant and disastrous destiny, so how could I dare to generate complaint against the decision of God. Tear-drops were rolling down from the eyes of her parents and relatives but Laila was composed and relaxed. She proved that she is Laila in real, a ruling queen of every individual she meets.