“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Please wake up. Mommy! My tummy hurts. I am thirsty. My tummy is hurting.”
She has been asleep for quite a long time now. First, she was playing with a rope that was looped over a fan and around her neck. I tried to do the same thing with my school shoe laces but I wasn’t long enough to pass it over the fan plus my laces were short too. I tied both my shoe laces with double cord just like my father taught me. My mommy told me this story about my shoe laces, because I don’t remember my father that much. Everything I know about my father is from my mommy. I never met my father, only saw his wedding picture with mommy, dressed in black suit, a broad smile on his face, looking very happy. My mommy says that my eyes look just like him. I don’t know where he is during the day but at night, when mommy sends me at the roof to sleep all alone, she says that the shining star in the sky is my father, and he keeps looking at us from far above. Sometimes he plays with me too and mommy believes that, until I fall asleep on my roof, and in the morning, he wouldn’t be there. Maybe he goes off to work, I always ask my mommy that how come she goes to work at night and returns during the early hours of the day, just before my school bus passes by our house, but she always says that she works very hard and long hours, that’s how grownups live.
I tried to bring her to the ground by stretching her leg but she didn’t let go of the rope even though both of her hands were holding the rope from under her chin as though she was taking off her bride veil as I saw in her wedding video. I saw my father too. He was very bright. Whenever I tried to bring mommy back, she kept spinning in circle. I got bored when she didn’t respond to me, and went to the kitchen for the twentieth time, but couldn’t find anything to eat. I heard a loud bang from my mommy room and I thought she might’ve come down, she might be tired from playing so long. I tried to bring her a glass of fresh water but my hand couldn’t reach the tap of the kitchen. So, I went into my room’s toilet and filled the cup with water in which I pee, only when mommy’s holding me from under my arm pit.
She was lying on the floor on her back with something red and sticky flowing out of her head. I felt afraid and called her from a distance but she didn’t move. I walked a few steps forward and touched her head, it was cold. I went into my room and covered her with my favorite blanket. It was very small for her, it barely covered her legs. So, I brought out all of my seven blankets to cover her completely, and a pillow under her head too. She was really making such a mess on the floor. Before she woke up and blame me for all this mess, I went into the kitchen and brought a dish cleaning sponge to wipe her forehead, the red water was still coming out. I washed the sponge from the white toilet of my room and then started soaking all the mess in it until the water in the white toilet was all red. My blue sweater also turned red. I cursed myself for not taking care of it. Cleaning in and out, I felt really tired, and I hadn’t eaten anything for so long, I laid down on the sticky rug beside her. Mommy is still asleep. She never slept for so long. I have two toy cars. They race by the floor where Mommy is sleeping. I felt tired and fell asleep alongside her.
It was dark outside when I woke up. I felt happy. I ran to the window and called out my father to come and wake mommy up. I couldn’t find him. The purplish red sky was throwing blue lights again and again, until I got bored of waiting, and went to my dressing table. I brought my favorite brush with which I used to brush my unicorn’s long white hair. I started brushing mommy’s hair because she likes her hair smooth and clean. It was very difficult for me to steadily comb her hair because the brush kept sticking in the hair, I guess it’s because of that red hair oil. I made a mental note to tell her not to use this hair oil, it isn’t healthy for her beautiful long black hair. I think Mommy is sick. She smells funny. I thought this hair oil had that smell but it was very difficult for me to sit near her. I thought she didn’t have the bath today morning. I don’t know why she always persists me on bathing daily when she herself doesn’t do it.
The door crashes open. I scream in terror. Fuck. What the fuck happened here? Oh, the crazy fucked up bitch. Get out of my way, you little shit. Fuck. He kicks me hard on my belly, I crash my head on the bedside table. My head hurts so bad. He calls somebody from his cell phone and went out. He locks the door. I always saw that man standing on the road in front of my house. Who was he? And how did he have a key to our house? Only mommy and one uncle had a key to our house. He only came to our house with his friends to meet mommy at night. Sometimes my mommy would go to work with him at night, leaving me with a nanny who always took good care of me, fed me, and always sat covering her head, on a peculiar mat and hundreds of small beads embroidered in a thread to make it a loop holding in her hand, whilst I sat on the couch and watched television.
Mommy has so many friends. Most of the night he came with different friends to our house. My mommy always sent me to the roof to talk to my father and tell him how my day at school went. That’s how I saw that man every night from the roof. I thought he was our neighbor. I never got to talk to the uncle and his friend. But whenever they left the house late at night, the house always smelled of something rotting, and there would be smoke everywhere in the morning when I’d be getting ready for school. Thinking about everything made my head hazy. I laid down beside Mommy. My head hurts. My tummy hearts. I don’t feel hungry now. I feel pain in my body.
There were some funny sounds, blue and red light outside our house. Few men wearing black clothes and a lady broke the door and entered. No. No. No. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. Don’t take me away from my mommy. I want to stay with my Mommy. No. Stay away from me lady. I tried to scratch her face with my nail. I tried to push her away, pull her hair. I shouted. I screamed. I cried, but she took me away from my mommy and held me in her embrace.
I talked very quickly, to tell her that mommy is sleeping. She’s just sick and she’d get better as she always does. But one of the two men, wearing the same dress as the lady, drenched with the rain outside, covered mommy’s face with my blankie. Their wet shoes soaked the red rug. Suddenly my head burst with pain that I never felt before. That same red thing smelled so bad. I gasped for breath looking at the red oil spilled on the rug. It was all over my clothes too. I started to explain the lady that I didn’t stain my clothes, I was just cleaning my mommy’s head. I kept pointing at the red thing. I tried to tell her that it’s a hair oil. My mommy loves her long hair. The dripping of the red thing became louder and louder with each word I tried to speak out of my mouth as quickly as possible, to make them go away. I didn’t like those two men that were standing over my mommy until I couldn’t hear my own voice.
I tried to speak loud but the noise of the red thing was louder than the blue light outside in the sky. I don’t know why didn’t they hear it? The noise kept on increasing, piercing my ears. It grew louder and louder and louder whilst the men were standing over my mommy, busy in talking to each other as though they couldn’t hear anything. Was it possible that they didn’t hear anything? Louder! Louder! Louder! The rug was turned into a black color with the dirty shoes of the two guys, and one of them taking pictures of my mommy. She liked it very much when someone take pictures of her. She used to take her pictures from her phone. I insisted her many times to take my picture too but she never did. She barely let me look into the mirror for no longer than a glance, while she didn’t take away her eyes from the mirror when she saw herself. When she looked into my eyes, she could never look away. My eyes always remind her of my father. I wish I could have seen his eyes too. My mommy was very pretty.
I couldn’t understand that why didn’t they listen to the dripping noise of that thing falling in the dark black little pond of the rug. I was shouting but still I couldn’t hear my voice, my throat hurts but my voice was soundless, just like my mommy used to turn down the volume of cartoons on the television screen, whenever I sat on the couch watching cartoons after I came home from school. I never heard the cartoons different voices, even my nanny never let me turn the volume up. I soon came to know that my mommy has taken out the speaker, that gives sounds of cartoons. The cartoons were very funny. Now, the cartoon no longer talks to me, they do not laugh with me, they are angry at me. I and mommy used to watch them together on the couch with me sitting in her lap. She always smelled so nice. She never let me had her perfume but its fragrance could always be smelled throughout our house. She had small bells around her ankles that reverberates whenever she danced. She danced very exquisitely. She says that she learned it from my father. She’s better than all the other mommies. Mommy is the best dancer in the world.
The lady caught me in her arms and pricked me with something sharp on my arm. I felt dizzy and I fell on the floor. The lady was flashing light in my eyes. I could barely open my eyes. It was so foggy. Maybe because there were so many red and blue light coming in the room from the window.
I fell in love with her even before she entered the room. I saw a reflection of her through the window of the room. That one glance, that one second was the moment of forever of my life. As she entered the room, I was completely immobilized. I felt like I was waiting for this moment since my whole life. My whole life has come to this precise moment. My heart beat began to rise. I was afraid that she might hear. She might hear what my heart was telling her. My heart was betraying me. My heart loved her more than I ever did. I felt happy and sad at the same time: she didn’t know how much I loved her, and she never will as I waited too long to tell her what I felt.
She was flawless in every way. Flawless in the way the wind played with her hair, flawless in the way the sun shone in her eyes, and flawless in the way her whole face illuminated when the sun casts its beauty on the moon of my life. She was the storm and I was just a boy who was so terrified to swim in its waves. She was the rose and I was just a boy who never paid heed to its thorns. She was that bright star of my life that every step, every path of mine led to her. She didn’t know that and she never will as I waited too long.
Suddenly, the door opened and floods of darkness fell over me. The security guard was terrified to see me sitting in the classroom so late in the night, alone. He was asking me something, there was a look of anger and fear in his eyes but I just walked out of the room and never looked back.
It was one of those times when I first fell in love with a stranger. Why do we usually fall in love with a stranger knowing that we don’t know anything about them yet we have some sort of connection, that somehow, somewhere, we knew each other from the past, perhaps not in this life but in the previous one or the one before that.
But when I saw her from the corner of the room, I knew I never wanted to see, to touch, to feel, to caress, to kiss someone else. For In a single second when I looked at her, there seemed to be many days. But I never had the courage to tell her just how I feel. But I hope someday she’ll realize what she really means to me. I sometimes dream of her, I remember one vivid dream, and I can’t hold this only to myself. I’ve been holding it since the school days and every day after that dream when I looked at her It was a sheer torture, like someone consistently stabbing a burning knife on my blooded healing wound. The wound was Her.
It was one of those purplish nights which don’t exist in real life, where the atmosphere was filled with the newly Spring bloom flavor. The trees were shedding their dying leaves but strange thing was, before the rusted yellow leaf could fall to the ground, it was reborn again into a new green life breathing leaf. Her eyes radiant grey, her lips starch blood rose, Her hair were autumn, consistently filling my cup of wine, you could just lose yourself in them.
She was standing outside my friend’s and my apartment with her friend who was my roommate girlfriend. They honked the car for the fifth time in two minutes when we finally went down to the street. I hurriedly went to Her and before her gibberish started, hugged her so tightly, she struggled to take me off from her, but I kept repeating sorry over and over again until she melted like snow in my arms. I can never forget that hug in my life. It was that moment that we shared and that will last till the last time. It was the kind of hug that a man can have only once or twice in his’ lifetime if he’s lucky enough to love someone he’s meant or destined to love. Sometimes it takes a man his whole life to learn how to love. Pity!
I hopped in the front seat with her and we went to a restaurant for dinner. Well, one wouldn’t call it a restaurant because it wasn’t one of those places where you park your car in the massive parking lot, and then you walk to the entrance where the waiter would already be waiting for you to take you to your table, and after that he would give each of you your menu and you’ll talk happily with all smiley fake faces until the sizzling food arrives. But what they’d really be looking for is visibility, attention, and praise. You’ll look around you, everyone having a good time. So, you’ll feel comfortable and perhaps have a good time too, or pretend to have a good time. Then you’ll pay the bill and go home. That’s it. Dinner is over. Night well spent. So is your life. Now back to your routine life which you despise from your guts. Period.
But where we actually went wasn’t considered a typical restaurant rather it was a market where there were several hotels, restaurants, fruit vendors, ice cream parlors, people selling clothes, hats, gool gappays, fruit chat stalls, coffee machine on the edge of the road, chai stalls, well it’s a mixture of everything in that small everything in a narrow long road.
Her parked the car outside that long narrow road alongside some houses, and hurriedly locked the car and came sheepishly out of it before someone could see us and stop us because the place where we parked wasn’t exactly the place where one should park, in front of somebody’s house. But she did it nonetheless because it wasn’t some kind of a restaurant where you were going to have dinner.
We walked past through several shops, shop owners, waiters calling you towards them but we struggled our way through them and stopped in front of a shop where the Pathan, probably the shop owner, selling unstitched clothes, saw our faces with strange eyes. She, leading the way, whispered something in his ear and he made the way for us to enter the shop and opened the backdoor of the shop that opened up to narrow stairs that took us to the upper floor of the same clothing shop.
The narrow stairs opened to a very small room with a low roof. We all had to bend our necks and wade our way to sit on one of the four candle lit tables. There were speakers in the corners of the small room, and all the four irregular and unequal walls were adorned with abstract gothic paintings, sketches, wallpapers, posters, that would at first scare the shit out of you. The most horrific and peculiar thing about all the paintings was, the eyes in some of the paintings were colored black, like someone didn’t like them and as a punishment painted them dark, blinded the people in them, only if one could call them people.
The room smelled of cigarettes, sheesha, weed, and all those drugs that we had never heard of. The tiled floor was broken in many places, and it was crooked a little and you’d think that you have entered some irregular gravity place, some fourth dimension. But there was one thing that caught my eye- a big window on the roof of the small room, from where I could see the purple sky, the Stars walking backwards, plane looking like an ant creeping high above leaving white trails illuminating in the dark
And then the owner himself did all the waitering, clearing the table, cooking, serving, playing our favorite songs, and taking our bill. Yes, that’s the kind of an unorthodox “restaurant” where we went. Once we entered its premises, we got out of the dimensions of time and space.
The “restaurant” served only one dish and it was called “Mantu” a special dish from the valley of Swat, as the owner explained. Its outer shape was like an oyster but the meat was enclosed in the elastic soft steamed dough. It was sour, spicy, and sticky.
After Mantu, we all smoked cigarettes, which the owner of Mantu gave us on our way out as though they were free with the meal, went to the beach on the seashore. We dropped our shoes in the car and took a long walk. After going really far from the car we lay down, my friend and his girlfriend started walking towards the water, playing with the tides. I placed my head on her thighs, and we softly whispered to each other. I don’t remember what we talked about or where did both of our friends went after that. It wasn’t that dark as the light of the moon was kissing the soft tides of water and reflected such beauty in her eyes that amazed me, it was a trance where I couldn’t look anywhere else other than Her grey eyes speaking of romance.
All I remember is that I was looking in her eyes as she was gently stroking my hair. She was gently whispering near my ear, heat of our faces reaching each others’ lips, and some mysterious force attracted us towards each other as though she was the moon and I was the water, our breaths colliding each other in the small space between our trembling lips speaking of unspeakable words. As our lips collided in each other’s embrace, everything froze; the tides didn’t make any sound, the nightingales quite, the sand wet, the heart beat stopped. Strange things happen when fire meets water.
Suddenly the thunder roared in the distance and a hard drizzle beating against my window. Has winter really arrived? There was a tear in my eye. My heart beat faster and louder than the road thunder, my forehead sweaty, my breath hollow, my hands cold. I lay awake staring at the ceiling afraid of looking anywhere else. Afraid of proving wrong what I fear the most. Now I have to realize that those days are gone and I have to come back to reality, no matter how much I hate it. Suddenly I was all alone in this all wild brute world. I was drowning in this thunderous rain. With each soaking tear the pieces were falling apart. A pit of loneliness. A prison. My world collapsing in front of my eyes and I could do nothing other than see it helplessly turn to dust and ash.
I became lost in thoughts and carried myself away in the hurricane of this passion. The more I thought the more I fell deeper in the void black hole. Why does God give us hope and dream if I the end He takes it away? Are we just born to helplessly give everything that we have all away? What does He get from hearing all those suffering voices, don’t He get tired, or does it make Him feel superior? If He wants to take away anything then take this brutal life that He makes miserable and full of torture. I’m a pathetic and disgusting creature. I feel nothing. A trance of Godlessness.
The thundering roar and the hurricane of rain became quiet. A warm hand silently brushing my hair went to my eyes, and held the tear in the life-giving hand. As I followed the hand, there, right beside me, behind the cloud of fog, two moon reflecting grey eyes wet with tears speaking of love- it was Her. As though she knew what I saw or felt. She understood me. She didn’t need words or deeds to express what I felt rather she spoke the same language that everyone in this world is capable of speaking, that makes us understand everything that happens all around us, the same language that is spoken in every part of the world, that same language that brings us together in times of despair and loneliness, it was Love. I didn’t know whether the dream was slipping into reality or reality was slipping into my dream. Dream- such a fancy enthusiastic passion. I knew I had to pay a high price for it. But it never cost me as much as those who didn’t live. And I did the only thing I thought I’d never be able to do again, I hugged her.
“Bhaiya, how long will it take for the two burgers that I ordered twenty minutes ago?”
“Year they are almost ready, just give me ten more minutes. My burger stall has never been so crowded before and I’m the only guy who has to make and serve the burgers and also to pack the burgers for those who want to have it as take away, so please wait for ten more minutes I’ll make you two special burgers just like old days.” The burger vendor replied apologetically.
What choice did I have at that moment other than to wait for ten more minutes for my order to get ready. Yes, that was very true what he said about his stall booming with customers, that it had never been that crowded. Moreover, it was a weekend night in the never sleeping city of over two crore population of Pakistan.
I’d been coming to that stall for five years. I was back in college when I first ate his burgers and they were as delicious as they were then. Now I was doing my research and that stall was still standing there as it is, like his father before him, who taught him all his business and passed it to his son, and went to the village to spend the rest of his days on the income of that stall. They were never able to turn it into a proper shop as the income was barely keeping the whole family alive. They were just happy with what they had, keeping faith in God who they thought knew better than both of them.
I’d met his father only once on the eve of my result day when I gave a party to my friends as I got the highest grades in my class. It was the same guy, the same spot, the same taste; in front of a bookstore and alongside the busiest road of the block, just on the edge of the road, as not to become a source of traffic jam.
The area has so developed since last two years. Before all the tall buildings and plaza malls, there were dozens of slums scattered all around the society. But thanks to the capitalists that all the marshy slums are now gone. On my house side of the road, there are tall buildings but the other side of the road is underprivileged. And all the slums have shifted to the other side of the road. Now, the slums all the time beg outside the malls parking slot but the guard are always on the foot to beat the slums as soon as they saw any near the commercial buildings. I hope they soon vacate our area too and then there will be cleanliness and no sight of poverty.
There was a milkshake shop behind the stall and its chairs and tables were spread out on the pavement leaving no way for the passengers to pass, so they had to walk on the edge of the road, crossing above the pavement and the burger stall at the same time.
The burger stall was a metal box on three sides, partially glass, and on the only open side this boy stood and made burgers. The metal box had a big metal plate under which a gas stove burnt. There were two cabins on each side on which salads, ketchup, kabab, mayonnaise, buns and dozens of eggs were placed. The whole place would hold as much space as the length of the wide spread hands of Jack and Rose.
It was a very fine night of April, a weather ought to be enjoyed alone in the darkness of the abyss. Slow breeze caressed my face, few drizzles blurred my vision, and the smell of the heat and water colliding with each other was addictive-enlightening a new world.
As I was relishing the scene, my friend called me asking me about the Sunday’s study circle arrangements in a local coffee shop near my university. I discussed plans with him for upcoming topic on the Asian Marxist Review that will be delivered by a special guest from the leading revolutionary party leader himself to mobilize youth and students from different universities.
As soon as I was off from the call, the burger guy packed my burgers for the go. As I pay him, suddenly a roar of thunderstorm sprang out from absolutely nowhere. It wasn’t the kind of thunderstorm that I saw on the sky rather I saw no light from anywhere, all I could hear was the grumbling of a couple of trucks and shouts of dozens of people. Before I had the time to look back, the three waiters of the milkshake shop quickly grabbed their chairs and tables and ran inside the shop. It all happened so fast that the guy from the truck jumped off from the vehicle and with the speed of lightening snatched the tables from the waiters and threw it in the long vehicle, breaking them.
On their trucks, that were blocking the road, was written: L.D.A (Lahore Development Authority), a governmental organization which seals illegal food stalls and fruit vendors. Illegal in the sense that their stalls come within ten inches of the road. Within a few minutes the road was completely jammed and the noise of horns and shouts of angry drivers reverberated throughout the busiest road of the block.
They dealt with those illegal small time businessmen by grabbing their stall utilities and throwing everything they could get into a huge truck. They quickly moved for the burger stall, threw the salad bowl, Kabab mixture, eggs, and burger buns on the road. They dispatched the gas cylinder from the stove and three bulky men wearing torn and stained Shalwaar Kameez, picked the metal box quite comfortably and threw it in the truck, breaking the glass of the burger stall, alongside the fruit vendors’ carts, their balancing tools, and their fruits that were crushed in the process under the jack-boot.
That boy didn’t know what hit him, he seemed quite as amazed as I was with all this drama, looked completely blown and in a shock, as I handed the boy money for my two burgers and walked away with delicious burgers and went on with my research paper on inequality and injustice in Pakistan.
Sometimes I feel like a boy who is the lone survivor of a wrecked shop, drifting in a life-boat with nothing to survive other than his own thoughts. All the wrecked ship just drowned, like the sea swallowed the whole ship into its deep mouth, and there’s not a single clue of it left on the sea.
I’m on a rudderless life-boat. I have no direction of home. I have nothing to hold on to. I can see only blue veil of death surrounding me as far as my eyes reflect. But in all the death surrounding me, I have hope. I have so much of it that I’m burning so brightly with this hope that no destruction could extinguish this flame of hope burning inside me.
I travelled day and night, believing that these tides will lead me somewhere, somewhere unknown but somewhere safe, somewhere away from this version of reality, far away from this earth, the world which is always noisy with all the suffering of this world, all this consistent pain torturing each other from materialistic and impermanent possession of this world. These tides will take me far away from any version of reality. This reality used to be like a drop of water consistently falling on the same point on my forehead, from the high ceiling always bringing me back to the reality, never drifting me back to my own world.
Now these tides are my guide to a utopian world. I found a compass on the boat but even before I could look at it and study my way to home, I threw it away. I was tired of being on the road, long empty road, lonely as a sparrow on the road, always finding something, when all along the road, it was with me all this time.
First time in my life, I’ve found complete happiness that has brought me to peace. The kind of peace you’ll find on the face of a homeless man sleeping on the side of the road. This place is so serene. It’s like a stroll in my own world, my own garden, every plant planted with my own hands, watered them with my sweat, that gave the sweet smell of hard work, surrounded with ancient trees with autumn leaves that will never fall from the branches and will transform into new leaves and the shadow of these fruitful trees follows me everywhere, keeping me alive.
But I believe with all my heart that in the end, when our reasoning and efforts cease to exist, we will all have to surrender and trust, without any doubt. Just like I left my fate to these tides, submitting and trusting in the same hand, that has written each of our destiny, that has created everything on the earth and sky and everything that exists in between, that same hand that guides us all.
She ran here and there insanely, with her hair scattered, her cloths torn apart, her feet injured, her hands trembling. Darkness gradually began to surround her with the petals of the golden fire casting its last shadows, the hope of freedom coming to its end. All she could see was the gradual capture of sky by the haunting darkness. Black replacing blue, smiles replacing tears, light replacing labyrinth, joy replacing fear, warmth replacing coldness. She was lost, completely lost into such darkness which has no beginning or no end, where she was the lone survivor on the lonely boat of the wrecked ship in the entire sea.
She started running wildly, not knowing where she was headed, not fearing the unknown and the oblivion. Screaming as loudly as she can, she burst into tears, “someone, save me… is anyone out there?,” but all she heard in reply was the echo of her own voice coming back after striking the infinite of the infinity and yet coming back to let her know that the only thing left in misery and darkness is herself, alone, like she has fallen into a really deep well where only her echo came back to haunt her in the worst possible way. Fate was a beast coming her way and had already torn her apart. She cannot hear herself anymore. It’s so loud inside her head, and her thoughts are drowning her inside whole.
She gradually started to lose her breath, her heart beating ever slower, its pose gradually decreasing to an unimaginable extent. Was she about to die? Oh, such a pleasure she felt the moment she saw death, tracking her way like a dream, a beautiful dream coming to embrace her, to swallow her whole, an unpredicted and unexpected, to lend her a kiss of death, ever so slowly and ever so painful, so invisible and so unnoticed, a most loyal and faithful love.
Suddenly, the whispers of the wind brought something, something unknown to her, something she couldn’t perceive or felt because she hasn’t felt like that ever in her whole life, her cold hand being taken into a warm hand, an affectionate breath bringing her back to life, the frozen dead body filled with life. Wait, this wasn’t the pleasure of death yet it was a pleasure. In fact, it was much more than the pleasure, an extreme level of pleasure, an ecstasy, revival of one’s self, one’s whole self. It was a hurricane taking her away with its beautiful embrace, it was a wave in the ocean and she was the water flowing with it, it was the colors in her rainbow, it was the wetness in the rain, it was the smile of the new born baby, smell of sweet rose yet the thorns were sweeter, taking her, taking her whole, drowning her, chocking her into its arms. It was love.
The very moment she fell into the arms of someone, a kiss on her cold quivering lips, a hug so full of warmth that all the life reentered her body within the smallest of the fraction of moments. And there she was, in the hands of the love who didn’t let her die. There she was, hugged by the so full of life body that dragged her back to the world she was about to leave. There she was rescued by the kiss of love of her life, the two souls had finally connected after hundreds of years, or in fact had been together for hundreds of years in the infinity.
It felt like she was in the dark, and so was the love of her life. They both were running in the dark, and they both found each other. They both found each other in the dark. And they felt like, their whole life had been a lie, their whole life they had been feeling an empty void inside of them, which was never filled by anyone or anything because it wasn’t theirs to take. But as they found each other and as they looked each other in their eyes for the first time, they felt that the missing piece was being filled, that shallow gap being wounded, resurrected. They felt that they, somehow knew each other and had been together for hundreds of years, that they were with each other all this time, but somehow, separated in the dark, until the dark brought the two bodies together as one soul. A woven soul.
On December 13th, 1965, a student filled with storm inside him was sitting in the Main Block-Basement number three of the Government College Lahore. The Gothic lady struck 12 o’clock. The lecture was being given on Pakistan Studies subject. Amongst fifty top students of this subject from all over Pakistan, the teacher asked the students to write an essay on the struggle of formation of Pakistan from 1867 to 1947. The students were allotted forty minutes to write a brief essay touching all the aspects of chains of events that followed after the war of independence, it’s after effects, and then the struggle of Muslim leaders and founding fathers of Pakistan and conspiracy and narrow mindedness of Congress and Hindus against Muslims of subcontinent.
Amidst those highly intellect students, there was but one student different from all the other students. He was different from every aspect. Even a mere glance was enough to see the difference. It wasn’t because of how he dressed, sits, talks, behaves but rather his eyes, his mind which didn’t belong to that room, his ears not directed towards the professors’ words of wisdom. He never took active part in the class debates, even after being told by the professor. Every question professor asked, he slowly looks up, wearing his hoodie and replied only three words, not a word less or more; I don’t know. He was physical present in the classroom but his soul was somewhere else, somewhere far, roaming, looking, always searching for something.
He just silently sat, head down, in the class and was always writing something on some crumpled pieces of paper. He used to sit on the last bench of the class, alone. He has that cold attitude in the class but whenever someone tries to talk with him, after class, he talks very naturally and normally, but he wasn’t a normal human being. Nobody knew what he wrote on those rusted papers, except for an essay he wrote, which will be read, heard, and praised for all the generations to come.
“Respected Sir, first of all I’m going apologize for whatever I’ll write in this assessment because I have no sense of respect for someone who doesn’t deserve it. Second, I have no idea what I’m going to write but let me assure you that, writing about all the aspects you asked us to write regarding the formation of Pakistan with a complete biased approach, as could be seen in your teaching, your body language, your words filled with hatred for the non-Muslims nation, it would be the last thing I’ll write. Holding an empty sheet of paper reminds me how difficult it is to be a God.
I may write irrelevant contexts but somehow, I’ll reach to some conclusion[s], whatever it would be, on whoever favor or side it would be, I believe that with all my heart, I have faith in my writing. Please try to bear it with me.
I’d like to start it with the books that are taught in Pakistan. They’re so biased and showed how innocent the Indian Muslims and how tyrant and cold-British and Hindus were in their behavior with Muslims of the subcontinent before the partition. They filled the hearts of students with hatred for those two nations who subsided in the subcontinent. I’ve browsed the whole of the sections of Pakistan Studies in the libraries but I could find nothing different, no truth. They are written by Muslim scholars. I’ve searched the Internet but I believe in the “factual” information as much as I believe in this course folder or library books.
Indians writers are lenient towards Hindus conditions and Muslims towards themselves. And about the British writers, they have no idea whats the truth. In the confusion of whats right and whats factual, the history or the reality is lost in between. We want to know the truth, in fact I want to know the truth, however sweet or bitter it is. It would be better than the back-stabbing knives of comforting lies. I guess nobody knows whats truth anymore. Everyone is content with these filthy hatred lies, it all lies, it all stank of lies. It’s all an illusion. It’s all a torture.
Every student, sitting in this classroom, would be writing whole heartedly of how we broke the shackles and worked hard, and after consistent struggle, and losing innumerable lives-martyrs, won this piece of land, that is as they called, Pakistan-Land of pure. The feelings and emotions of the Muslims could be found in different memoirs. Library is filled with them, believe me. I don’t believe that we won Pakistan, I believe it was being given to us as a blessing from the God-if only you believe in one. As every blessing ignored becomes a curse. That’s what really happened after the birth of Pakistan on 14th August, 1947. Pakistan: the only country in this entire world who was born on the basis of an Ideology-Islam.
The Muslims main reason to acquire a piece of land was, so that they could practice the rituals of Islam in their daily lives freely. That was the sole reason of the existence of Pakistan, to ensure Islamization. To build a country on the pillars of Islam.
We question our leaders and blame them for every mishap in this country. This reminds me of a famous proverb, “Rulers are infested based on the people nature.” I guess it’s true. We so need someone to blame and it’s so easy to do that. We celebrate with such passion-Independence Day, but we forget what was the purpose of creation of Pakistan. Do we follow the teachings of Islam, on which this nation’s ideology was based? Do we act on the advice given by the founding fathers of Pakistan? I mean how can one think to change the world without changing himself. How beautiful Pakistan was. Ah! I wish I could’ve seen it with my own eyes. I wish I could’ve seen how Pakistan started crawling after it was born. The sweet smile, the first word, the first step. I wish. I just wish all that. But there’s no use wishing something that is already dead. That is already buried so long ago.
The beautiful Pakistan died a heroic tragic death, a tragedy does not need to have blood and death; it’s enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness, on 11 September 1948, just after turning one, due to tuberculosis and advanced lung cancer. Millions attended the funeral prayer. As for the question that where we live if Pakistan had long been deceased, I’ll say we neither live in Pakistan nor India, we live in a place called “Prison.” We were born free but everywhere we’re enchained. Time to time the caged bird may sing of freedom, but it will still live in prison.
As for me, I don’t belong to that cage. You ask, Who I am or where I am, well just leave me to myself. Think of me just as a boy who was so focused with the beauty of the rose that it forgot about its thorns. The boy who was so impressed by the rainbow that it forgot about the storm. The boy who was so afraid of the night that it forgot about the beauty of the darkness. My real self-wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly. Just leave me to myself because I am the hero of my own story, and I don’t need to be saved.”