Qalandar in deep slumber. Boisterous sirens disrupt his sweet dreams. His butler, Safdar Chawal informs him that B is downstairs.
“Again, in 24h! Ask Reshma (kathak queen) to see him.”
“He wants only you!”
B is dipping Gluco Biscuits in tea and eating them. Qalandar is climbing downstairs in a white bath gown from his bedroom. B stands up and salutes him in respect.
“Stop fawning! Reserve it for the hairless mindless or Patay Khan. Seems you have nothing to do these days. Let’s play chess!” says Qalandar.
“I can never beat Bobby Fischer’s mentor! I want to talk in private,” says B while looking at Reshma and others.
“This is Qalandar’s Aastana, not Quetta Judicial Lodge. Great secrets are buried in its roofs and walls. And they are my mureed not hidden cameras! And I know you have decided in principle to impose martial law!”
“But, I never shared this top secret with Kamran Khan, Azaz Syed, Umar Cheema, Hamid Mir, Haroon Rashid or Mujeebur Rehman or any other Shami Kabab. We did this in the past when we were not apolitical!”
“Qalandar knows whatever you think.”
“I will wait.”
“You should leave!”
“Why? You yourself advised me to impose martial law!”
“Don’t misquote me. You wanted to stay in the news forever. You asked for a solution. Martial law was in that context,” Qalandar castigates.
“Nobody will take your martial law seriously. The great comedian Nanna was requested by the PTV to read news. He said he would gladly, but nobody would believe him.”
“Sarkar, I did not get you!” says B.
“Abay Karelay play the movie, Dr Paleed Chaturzada!” – Karela is Qalandar’s spokesman. He can cast a spell in press conferences with his sweet magical words. He obeys.
Paleed’s father, a patient of dementia, is in hospital. Paleed is holding a bundle of property agreements. He obtains the old man’s thumb impressions and becomes the sole owner of his property, depriving an army of legal heirs – Paleed’s brothers, sisters, mother, etc.
“Still didn’t get it?” Qalandar asks and B replies affirmatively.
“I knew you can never! We all want long shadows of our parents under us but most of us are Dr Paleed. Your kids might not act like him if you wear Sherwani and Jinnah cap after 29 November. They might reward you. You could be the next defense minister,” explains Qalandar.
“But I can’t context election immediately after retirement. If I ever did, even my family will not vote for me!” B clarifies.
“Fair is foul and foul is fair in martial law!” Qalandar reminds.
“But you just said nobody will take my martial law seriously.”
“Not yours, but your successor’s!”
“Yes. You are the one who has set the martial law stage. He is the one who will act. The clean slate will be available to him. You are already too controversial due to Patay Khan’s eulogies. On your successor’s tunes, Chaudhries of will dance. The Shah of Multan will polish the new boots. Behind him will be Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Omar, Parvez Khattak, Azam Swati, Firdous Ashiq Awan and the so-called journalists and anchors.”
Qalandar sketches a rosy picture.
“Thank you Sarkar. I will never impose. I am leaving,” says B.
“Good. but take this!” Qalandar offers him a packed gift.
“What’s in it?”
“Jinnah cap with Sherwani!” Qalandar answers. B leaves with thankful eyes.
Karela is holding a press conference. The hall is packed with foreign and local journalists. He is telling them enthusiastically how Qalandar restrained B from imposing martial law and guided his successor to impose it…