'Smile' by Mubashir Ali Zaidi

Haji was critically ill when I was summoned by his family.

Although I’m no doctor, I can see the Angel of Death. People call me in to find out whether sick relatives will die or not. The villagers have tested me many times; my predictions have never been wrong.

The Angel always comes alone, yet never departs alone.

When I reached Haji’s bedside, he was already there, a smile on his face.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen you smile,” I observed.

The Angel replied, “I smile only for those who go with me... and it’s not Haji’s turn.”





(translated from Urdu, published in Author's book Namak Paray

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