Become a Fan
By Muhammad Nasrullah Khan
Thursday, August 21, 2003
A writer;s dissillusionment
Gotam was least concerned with the heavy words uttered in his praise. While
sitting on the chair of the chief guest, he did not consider the unusual
enthusiasm of the people. The speakers were uttering very provocative
words: The Pride of East; the Genius of our Land; the Glory of the World,
etc., but he had lost those pleasures of being a celebrity of the world. Rather
he found something dying in his soul at every word. Many years back he had
begun writing for the newspapers, stories and revolutionary columns that
made his reputation as a bold, free spirit. He remembered how excited he was
after the publication of his first story. Then he kept on writing one another
warily in his dark room. Now once again he wanted to be enthusiast like that.
He wanted to get back that radiant flush in his cheeks. How madly he had
chased that arrogant deity of fame, and how madly he had had to suffer to
win her pride. Now when she was in his possession, hugging him tightly and
kissing his lips fully, he was thinking what it meant to bear such torture. He
had forgotten how he used to dream of becoming famous; he had forgotten
the meaning of everything he wanted and had fought for. He wanted to run
away from the reach of those lustful eyes of that captive queen.
Very long ago once he had met the famous writer of his country and
expressed his desires to become famous like him. The old, dying writer
looked at him sarcastically and said: " But for what? What is the outcome of
this tiresome endless effort, only that many people know you and you don't
know them? Oh, we thoughtless mortals, ever blind to reality! Name for
what?---soon these honours shall be snatched away by the victorious hands of
immortal death", after so many years he found the meanings of those words
of the famous but mortal writer.
Amazed and confused he again looked into the eyes of the crowd, he wanted
to run away; he was sick of that. In that meaningless state suddenly his eyes
stopped on a face." Sophia?" he whispered to himself. He recognized her.
Though the years had left imprints on her face, he found tranquility of grace
in her personality. She was looking at him with pride and happiness. He could
see the sparkling tears in her eyes. He felt as though he were inhaling fragrant
air after a long, steamy suffocating summer. He heard the melody of joy in
his soul as the sand of deserts sings during the unexpected summer rain. Now
he felt himself alive, the tears of those bright eyes put life in his dead soul. He
felt pleasures in the words of his fans. Those sparkling eyes worked as an
electrical shock works for the patient of relapses. For a moment he felt inner
turmoil, but it also related him to some meaning. In that loud voice of
clapping he came on the rostrum and started speaking in the flow of emotions:
" Once I determined to live above common man’s life as a cloud above the
sky. Since then I am in another phase of deception and absurdity---the
punishment of living above from the cheap life of common people. Only God
can afford such torture of unending loneliness. What is the ultimate
achievement of an artist, except isolation from the rest of the world? He can
neither be God nor man, but in between, a very ridiculous creature of
solitude. The artist is the most miserable creature. He creates art with the
ashes of his soul and finally is condemned to the eternal silence. I have come
to the conclusion that I can afford this burden of greatness, I want to be an
unknown and full of pleasures like others."
After his short but meaningful speech, he came down but people could not
understand the real meaning of his speech. They considered it his wise saying
and there was the louder noise of clapping again. Among that scattered crowd
he started searching her face as though struggling to identify her. Too many
emotions were at play, after too many mistakes and misunderstandings of
years. He wanted to tell her that how he lived without her; it had been one
long wait for her, from that sad evening of her departure to this evening and
all the thousands long alone nights in between. She walked toward him out of
a crowd of strangers. He recognized her familiar gait, years had graced her.
Her pace slowed.
After many years. The sound of her uttering his name?
She searched his face quickly and read the glance. He saw her blushing face
and was lost in the beauty of her eyes-- the past did not count anymore. He
had forgotten all the pains of her disloyalty; he had forgotten how exhausting
her memory could be. "Gotam, come home, we will share the long memories
of our very short mutual past."
She still governed him. "Yes", he replied her as though he was waiting for that
since long.On bearing the complexity of emotions; torn between the feeling of
superiority and being humble, his perplexity soon turned into his reckless
acceptance of her invitation. Thus his acceptance carried the sustainable
meaning of both consent and defiance. She turned and walked away. Yes,
she was still the ruler of his heart; yes, he was still her lap-dog, hurriedly
falling into the wreath of her seductive smile.
At night he excused his fans and friends and went to bed, but could not
tolerate the languid night and decided to have a solitary walk. It was autumn
and he felt the painful fall of yellow leaves. "When was the last time I had an
autumn like this", he thought, " was it perhaps in the late '70s", he
remembered. He used to ride his old bike along the bank of the canal. He was
starved for the new sights of the season. ? I would fall in love again with this
old city--the canal leading to the house of Sophia, the wailing of those old
days of awe, the tears of my young eyes. On my rides I could hear the
melody of joy that seemed to come from the pleasant hiss of rubber made by
my bike tires swishing through the loose soil of road?. He'd left the city many
years ago and now he was walking on the road that for years had played a
starring role in his dreams. He kept on walking throughout the whole night,
until the dawn forced him to go back to his room, He could never develop a
good relationship with the light. In the evening he went to her home. Sophia
brought two cups of coffee, a warning that he would be changed. Once it had
been the tranquility of tea.
"Some things don’t change", he said.
She looked at him with a sad smile. As they took sips of tea, their mutual past
soundlessly reopened. Young friends, sharing a life, bound by the rope of
love, almost twinned by intimacy. They came to share tastes, interests, and
even politics, as much as it is possible for two friends to share inner thoughts
and desires. A celestial finger seemed to select them for transcendence,
forerunner of majestic hand that shaped their young lives toward some
gorgeous purpose. But as it happens usually, their extreme intimacy
separated them before the wedding. 'Gorgeous relationship' initially brought
them minor differences and finally led them to the breakup. But unfortunately
this all was initiated and finished by Sophia. Gotam remained stuck to those
beautiful memories. He could never know the cause, and she never tried to
contact him again. There is sometimes unspoken hatred.
"Gotam", I read everything which you wrote. There is not much I want to
talk about. Just one question: Why didn't you ever hate me.?"
She broke the silence
He knew that if she ever met him alive again she would have to ask that
" Because you never loved me, this is negation which leads one to more
She comprehended the torment he must have endured.
"Tit for tat?"
" But now I love you my dear writer."
She soothed him with added affection.
" But I can’t believe after several years of separation a person might have
" A person, yes a person, but not lover...the benefits of love".
" She is still unable to distinguish lover from a person."
Dewblured eyes. Only before his Sophia did he ever weep. Neither mentioned
nor asked about the years between, they were again in the same phase of old
love, sharing everything. He saw the radiant flush in her eyes and cheeks.
When he told her how the asses in hot season would stand before him,
flapping their tales as they waited for him to mount them behind., as though
he were a donkey burning with pent-up desire. Her blush deepened when he
confirmed the truth of his story in which village boys make love to demanding
asses. She talked about one of his characters, Hussani Powely, who was
notorious for such acts. They kept on talking during dinner. It was late night
now. They felt as if they had been living together for years, as if nothing had
happened in between. There was silence again, they were now exhausted
enough to go to bed. It was dark. Everything was so natural. They both felt a
physical urge. She held her hand and drew him to her bed. He willingly clung
to her and together they found the bed. He had not even had to lead her to
it. ? Gotam?, she said in tempting voice, ? Beautiful Gotam.? She closed her
eyes and leaned back. He leant over her lips? But before kissing them, he
stopped. She was in his possession and terribly beautiful, for this moment he
had had to wait for years. He saw her glistening eyes and burning lips, but
suddenly her flirtatiousness in the past made him upset. He remembered the
day when she'd walked away, saying: "Gotam, you are not worthy of my
love." This memory of insult burned in his soul, the end of revived love. The
excitement of love turned flat and he felt the bitterness of rejection. Now that
meeting had no meanings for him. In a glance through the past, Gotam saw
the ghost of the woman he'd lost. He remembered his hopes of love but how
thoughtlessly and cruelly she had rejected him. He saw her lips again
searching for him. Tears fell from his eyes and entered her slightly opened
mouth. He suddenly jumped out, quietly opened the door and walked away.
He heard her saying: " Gotam, Gotam"
"Too many inappropriate emotions, too many desires, too many misguided
physical urges, and in the end, insult and hurt...bloody love."
Gotam whispered to himself in that ultimate recognition.
- Muhammad Nasrullah Khan
You can contact the author at: nasar30.yahoo.com
Site: writer;s galary
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!