Well, here is what goes on in Wali’s mind!
As Wali rode in the chauffeur driven car towards his parents’ farmhouse, he was getting exasperated. He had landed almost an hour ago, and has been on the road for 45 minutes and still there was no sign of this farmhouse his parents had been talking so much about.
Wali was really looking forward for a vacation with his family but so far from the city!! Would there be cell signals? Would he be able to catch up on his work? Would there be malls, cinemaplexes or pubs nearby? He felt a surge of irritation and asked the driver how long it will take, and the response angered him further. Apparently another 50 minutes.
So, he is to spend his vacation in the middle of nowhere!!
In the first morning, he was there, he stood in the patio of his father’s house and looked around. It was a gated community of some 30 houses with large tracts of land in between. He calculated that the land would be about 50 acres (a little over 2Mn square feet) given that each house was surrounded with their own large plots. The gated community was surrounded by orchards bearing fruit of all types, tended by the maintenance agency, and each house owner farmed the land around them. Some of them just had vegetable gardens while others had added poultries. The cowshed and the horse stable were a common property.
Wali stood and observed all this and calculated the land area and that of the houses around. He managed to feel a sense of pride on noticing that his father’s house was the largest. Well, why not, they really are wealthy. Their immediate neighbors was Mr and Mrs Ray with whom he had a chance meeting while coming in yesterday night. He had no interest in meeting them again or any other neighbors.
He still didn’t feel good about the fact that this farmhouse was so far off from the city, the pubs, the night life and just hoped to quickly spend a few days and then get away with a pretext. He has many friends in the city and can certainly crash with them.
The only interesting thing might be the horses. He was very fond of riding and was very good at it right from his childhood. He decided to check this out. As he walked towards the stable, the moist ground soiled his flipflops and it disturbed him. His was wearing a new pair and he will have to ask his help to wash it when he gets back. He might as well throw this away and get another pair and next time find another path to the stable. The flies and insects buzzed past him and added to his petulance. A bird cried out in a raucous voice and Wali would have strangled it if he could lay his hand on it. The stench of the orchard and the soil made matters worse for him.
As he was walking past his neighbor’s garden, he noticed that the sprinkler has been left on, and it was creating a puddle. He lamented at people’s sense of civility. As he was cautiously walking, avoiding the mud, he was startled with what he thought was someone laughing out loud.
He looked up and found a young woman, about his age, enjoying the drizzle from the sprinkler and gleefully laughing.
Wali laughed too, not gleefully, but cynically at someone who could enjoy a mere sprinkler!!
The girl was startled too at his laughter and turned around and started blushing.
As Wali stood looking at this foolish girl, he could see the girl turn red-faced and unable to take her eyes off him. Well, he is used to this. Every girl has this effect when they see him. They just stare at him longingly, like a devoted puppy. He smiled at the woman, apparently to put her at ease but actually to mock her more. He knows when he smiles back at such awestruck females it makes things worse for them.
They were interrupted by Mrs Ray who turned out to be the girl’s aunt. After exchanging greetings, and creating more turbulence in the girl’s mind, Wali walked off towards the stable. He didn’t once turn back but he was sure that the girl was left in the state of a jelly. He was sure, he always has had that effect on women.
He entered the stables and looked at the horses. Well, that was the only good thing about this farmhouse then. The collection was great. The horses were of high breed, well groomed and ready for a ride. He had his personal saddles and he asked the stable boy to get the black horse ready for him.
He had a fantastic ride and after an hour of whizzing through the orchard and the river bank, he felt good and decided that this was one way he would spend the days he is here.
He walked back to his parents’ house and was glad that he didn’t meet anyone else, specially that girl. But this was just day one.
Wali kept bumping into this girl, who he learnt from her Aunt was called Alina, on his way towards the stable every day. Does she purposefully hang around the stable just to see him? Is she stalking him? He found a wave of haughtiness and irritation build every time he saw the girl. He always put forth a smile on his face and greeted her every time they have met.
During the get to gather they had in the community, he could see Alina following him through her eyes and he made sure to encourage that by hovering close by and smiling.
His smile not with sincerity, it was more to mock her and more to taunt her about something she will never get.
He comes from an affluent family which has had generations of wealth. Other than wealth, he boasts of his lineage which can be traced back to the other side of Hindukush. He still carries the genes which gives him such good looks, sharp features and stature.
Many girls like Alina have come and gone in his life. They are not for him. For him, there will be someone chosen by his family who will also be from a family of affluence and social status.