• 14 Sep - 20 Sep, 2019
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

After disconnecting the call, Rehan prayed in his heart for things to go well. He asked himself after a moment:

Should I depend on this? Or maybe I should ask should I depend on it. I don’t know. Either way, my answer would be I do not know. If you’re doing this for your career, then you cannot depend on it. And if you are doing this for some thrill, then you can. In that case you can depend on it.

He was a bit disappointed and put his phone back in his pocket. He stood up to walk around in the room.

Life is becoming really miserable. What is that I need? What do I really want? Do I want something more than a job? Maybe yes, but for instance let’s suppose that I do get hired. I do get a job. But then will my family life get better? I can only wish that it happens, but it won’t.

He kept on asking himself questions and also answered his own questions himself.

As he got annoyed with himself.

“This has got to stop!” He screamed angrily.


The next morning, Rehan had overslept. He woke up when his phone rang.

“Hello?” He answered his phone.

“Rehan, it’s me Jahanzeb.”

“Yes Jahanzeb?”

“Look Rehan, I have news for you that shall sound like good news but honestly, it’s bad news.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“They are willing to hire you.”


“Don’t get excited, it’s not good.”

“How come?” Rehan asked getting confused.

“Trust me, they are not hiring you for what you want. Their sole purpose is to acquire something through evil means.”

“Evil means?”

“Yes, and they are going to use you for that.”

“I don’t get it,” Rehan asked trying to clear his confusion, “what exactly do they want from me?”

“I don’t know that. But I do know that their intentions are evil. We have been on this since last night.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“I suggest that you don’t do this job, being a host of Crimes at Corners. I would suggest that you forget all of this and look for a job somewhere else.”

Rehan was disappointed.

“And what if I do this job?” He asked after few seconds.

“Then you’ll be in danger. That’s all I can say.”

“Oh, well thanks for informing me. Goodbye.”

Rehan hung up and kept his phone aside and thought about it. The only thing that mattered to him was the job. He wasn’t sure as to whether he would get a job in the future at some other firm therefore accepting Crimes at Corners’ job was the only option.

He stood up and spoke as if he declared to himself.

I don’t care what it would cost me. I can’t stay jobless like this. If getting the job of hosting Crimes at Corners then I’ll do it.

He made his final decision and made a phone call.


The next afternoon, Rehan was standing in the studio of Crimes at Corners. He was waiting for someone. Jahanzeb came after a while from the room.

“Look Rehan, I think you’re making a big mistake,” he said looking at Rehan.

“Then why aren’t you telling me about the conspiracy?”

“I don’t know about it. Honestly, I don’t.”

“Then how come you are so sure?”

“So sure, about what?” Jahanzeb was confused.

“I’m just asking that if you are so sure that these people are conspiring against me, then why don’t you know anything about it?”

“Because they are trying to get their revenge.”


“The show Crimes at Corners became controversial because of you. The show was shut down because of you. They want to target you.”

Rehan remained silent and thought about it for a while.

“Trust me Rehan,” Jahanzeb added, “there’s nothing besides danger for you, on this platform.”

“Look I’m not afraid, okay? I am jobless and my life is getting worse, day by day. I just want to move ahead in my career. Your advice is sincere and I respect it. But Jahanzeb, whatever happens to me, I assure you that you won’t be responsible for it. You have done your job. You have warned me, now whatever happens to me, nobody besides myself is responsible.”

“…Alright fine,” Jahanzeb said after a pause. “It’s your decision. I won’t come in your way. I’ll just instruct you regarding what has to be done. But after that I won’t guide you anymore.”

“Great, thank you,” Rehan said respectfully.

“In fact Rehan, I won’t answer your phone. I’m sorry to say this but from tomorrow onwards, I will not answer your call.”

Rehan smiled courteously.

“No issue at all,” he answered.

From the window nearby of a room, the show’s new director and producer Imran Noorani was looking at Rehan.

“Perfect, this guy will be under my control now,” he said while looking at Rehan.

“They are going to take your audition. However your audition goes, no matter how pathetic, they’ll accept you and give you the job. That’s for sure,” Jahanzeb said to Rehan outside the room.


“Perfect for one who hasn’t recognised that it is an illusion. A decisive illusion,” Jahanzeb replied wisely.


That night Rehan returned home quite late. As he entered inside the house unlocking the entrance door, he saw his wife sitting at the living room as if waiting for him. He looked at her for a moment while shutting the door back. An awkward moment was created which was why Maria stood up and walked towards her room.

“Maria, wait,” Rehan called out.

She was surprised by this because she wasn’t expecting this. She however turned back and came face-to-face with her husband.


“I just wanted to…” Rehan said reluctantly. “I was just saying that…”

Seeing the uneasiness in him, Maria turned her face away so he could finish his sentence.

“I got the job today,” Rehan finally said.

Maria excitedly looked back at him but then she again turned her face away.

“I got the job at Crimes at Corners. I’ll be hosting this show,” he said.

Maria smiled, feeling happy for him.

“Very soon you will see me on the TV channel.”

Maria made an eye contact with him.

“Congratulations,” she said.

She then turned and walked back towards her room. Rehan looked at her go, not feeling disappointed or upset in any way; he walked towards his own room whispering by himself:

It doesn’t really matter. We are probably going to stay like this forever.

He opened his door and as he entered inside, he saw his room all messed up. He realised that he hadn’t cleaned his room for quite some days. So he exclaimed out loud as if ordering himself:

It’s time to get organised now.


Next morning, Rehan looked at his face in the mirror. He saw his shabby beard and moustache. He picked up a hair trimmer and scissor.

Ten minutes later, his face was better. His beard and moustache were trimmed short and it appeared clean now. He then took out his suit from his closet. While he was holding his suit, he thought:

It’s my first day at work today. I should look nice and decent.

Several minutes later, he came out of his room. He had worn a blue suit with a white shirt and a red tie. To finish the look, he wore black shoes that were new. His wife was not in the living room but his breakfast was on the table.

One hour later, Rehan was sitting in the studio. The director Imran Noorani came by. Rehan stood up as he saw him. After greeting and shaking hands with each other and sat down to talk.

“Today’s going to be your training day. From tomorrow onwards you can start your project,” Imran said.

“Okay, sure.”

“Zakaullah here is our trainer. He shall be training you. Just stay in touch with him throughout this week.”

“Okay sir, got it. I will stay in touch with him.”

Imran smiled and left him.

That evening, Rehan stepped out from the taxi and after giving the driver his due, he walked towards his home. On the way, he quite unexpectedly saw someone from behind who resembled his old friend.

Kevin Rollins? Is that him? He wondered.

He rushed towards him in a crowd of people. It wasn’t easy for him to get to the guy he wanted to see, but he went closer towards him. But before he could finally get to the guy he wanted to meet, his foot got stuck in some hole that was filled with dirt.

Oh no, he whispered.

He looked up and realised that he had lost the guy he was looking for.

Later as it got darker, Rehan was sitting alone in his usual coffee shop. He was having coffee and thinking:

It’s the beginning of a new journey. I’m about to do something I know quite a lot about, but have never experienced personally.

He took another sip and then asked himself:

But what about Kevin Rollins? Was it really him? How can I find out?

He took out his phone to find Kevin Rollins’ contact number. As he found it, he called right away.

The phone rang on but no answer. He thought of calling him again but instead he simply typed a text message:

“Hi Kevin, how are you? Are you in Karachi?”

He put his phone on the table in front of him waiting for Kevin’s reply.

While drinking he said to himself:

At least I’m not jobless anymore. I might be doing a risky job. I might be in danger but salary is what I’ve been longing for. It is money that matters to me right now more than anything else. And as long as I don’t find another job, I won’t give up this one.

Memories from his past replayed in his mind. He saw himself standing in the hospital. He then remembered seeing his wife crying. And he then saw his job termination letter in his mind.

No! he said a little louder.

Other diners at the restaurant turned and looked at him. He realised that he had expressed his emotions a little too loud. So in order to avoid the awkward situation, he stood up and walked towards the exit. He was feeling slightly distressed so he instructed himself:

You have to stop thinking about what happened in the past. The past does not really matter now. You have a new beginning now.


Next morning, Rehan was in his office and his instructor walked towards him.

“Today you have to go to this specific market. There they are selling these snatched mobile phones. You have to interview them,” Zakaullah said to him.

“Okay, I will. It’s not a problem.”

“There shall be two cameramen.”

“Oh, okay.”

“They’ll come with you and they shall shoot the whole thing.”

“Sure, no problem,” Rehan responded.

“And one more thing. As I told you before, you’ll have to interview more than one shopkeeper, okay?”

“Yeah I know, your reporters have given me the names of three shops. Those shops sell mobiles at very low rates, extremely cheap prices. I’ll go there, I’ll talk to them nicely.”

“No Rehan, not nicely,” Mr. Zakaullah said raising his finger. “You are not supposed to be nice with them. You have to be stern and you must show firmness.”

“I know, I know that. I’m just saying that I shall start nicely and politely. I shall slowly ease into harshness.”

“Yeah, now you’re talking.”

Zakaullah received a phone call. He answered the call and after few seconds, he hung up and turned to Rehan.

“Alright Rehan, the car’s ready. You may leave now.”

“Okay, thank you.”

Rehan picked up all the necessary equipment that he had to and then left the place.

More than twenty minutes later, Rehan was in the car with the driver and two cameramen and they were about to reach the location.

“We’re almost there, get ready,” one of the cameramen said to him.

Rehan’s heart began to beat faster than usual as he was doing this for the first time. He tried to calm himself down by inhaling and exhaling. As he felt a little relieved, he looked outside the car’s window.

Alright I’m ready. He thought to himself.

The car finally stopped as they reached the location. Rehan opened the car’s door and stepped outside.

to be continued...