Nov 28, 2023
Nov 28, 2023
by Shoaib Rafiq
How difficult it’s to live at a place where life is no more sacred. It’s not to be lived. Putting my ear to the conversation of a bunch of kids in the local mosque today, I heard them discussing palmistry. During the sermon for righteousness, martyrdom, etc. of the imam – they were trying to stretch their life lines. Just to outgrow their age. Their peers and mentors are dead, of aged 8 and 9. One killed by a bullet in the head and other thrashed to death. Dead.
I, personally, am starting to have these hallucinations that I’m living in no material world, but of a world made up of blood and deceit. Only blood. And I’m afraid that someday this balloon may burst and leave us naked, bloody. The air is heavy here, rustic and with a lot of noises. It’s deafening; the laments of my ancestors, those let hundreds of years ago when we were first occupied, and the awe of the mother who lost her son yesterday – are all audible, persistent. You can’t kill the voices of the dead, can you? Yes, we hear them, adore them, weave them as the pearls and conceal them in our hearts.
We, here, are music lovers, the patrons of the docile and resilient Sufism. We sing to our dead as we sing in our marriages. Our slogans rhyme and we dance in our agitations. This is our form of protest. We protest to the creation, the way we are meant to die unripe, young and raw. To taste the gall of oppression and politics lay down by the big powerhouses far away from this test ground. Everyone here is dead wrapped in the cloth of discourtesy, solitude and un-sprouted youth. My family, our neighbours, their neighbours and their neighbours – everyone is dead. We have crossed the wormhole of our existence broken into the parallel universe. We all live in our private, privileged universes now.
The world never spoke for us, did they? They never will, I know. They are busy in discussing films, fame, fashion and fortune. Why would they intervene while our famed master is the centre for films and fashion and promises the good fortune to the famed West. Added, our famed master turns to be a Demo- cracy, the favourite of the iniquitous West.
How much I wish for the humans to remain flesh – bone – soul, but alas, our elders tuned into stone. Some of them beneath the ground chaperoned in 3*6 graves, while others on the ground, crawling and reproducing. Our children have inherited the stone in place of their hearts and eyes. They are aimless as a stone. They are hard and dauntless as a stone. And they don’t care as a stone.
With stones in their hands, they challenge the splendid West and turn insubordinate to our masters. They pelt stones at the tinted glasses of our cowardice and make us vulnerable to the hue of reality. They pelt stones at our history and ancestors. They pelt stones to guns, to tanks. And with the stones in their hands they turn more human.
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