Point of view
“Define reality, Nafis." Ima demanded of me. I love being interrogated by beautiful females and I love the way Ima interrogated me. She was so beautiful. The closest she resembled another person would be Sophia Myles, one of my most favorite actresses. I'm an admirer of beauty, beauty in every sense of the word. And I most undoubtedly admired Ima. She on the other hand was always skeptical of my philosophies. The way she always asked me questions brought out a raw expression of desire from within her. I craved it. She was the only person I had ever truly loved. She was everything I had ever wanted. She was so surreal.
"Reality's nothing," I said with a pause, "nothing's real." This was the very answer she suspected. Rather than staring at me quizzically, she sat in her cozy armchair, stroking her hands down her floral skirt, smoothing the creases, quiet and calm, daring me to explain the statement I had just made. I never say something without a reason or cause. I explained, "First, why don't you tell me what you think is real?" She raised her eyebrows nonchalantly, bit her lower lip and said, "I am real." How I longed to hear that from her. But it's a pity I had to prove her wrong.
"You most certainly aren't real." I retorted, "I mean how could you be? You're too good to be true." She digested this piece of flattery with much delight. I continued, "To say this is reality is an understatement. Take for instance, I dream about you at night. And some think of dreaming as an altered existence, but not reality. Now how are you sure that this isn't a dream?" Ima scowled and then smiled softly at me. "Because… I'm not waking up when I pinch me." She pinched a part of her leg slightly above her knees in an awfully brilliant way that forced me to divert my gaze from her lovely face. Then as she raised her hand up to her face and rested her head gracefully on it, I looked up. I looked into the depths of her ebony black eyes and continued with the conversation, ""Pinch". Now that is in place."
Ima did her best frown to express "I don't get it". "Well when you're dreaming and you pinch yourself you feel pain and wake up to find yourself in apparent reality. Which feels more real to you." I tried to explain. "Now, if this was to be a dream, then the only way you could wake up in an existence more real is to cause more pain than pinching. How about excruciating pain? How about excruciating pain, causing death? That'd make good sense. Because all this feels so real." I smote her badly. Ima stared at me with a mingled expression of confusion, awe and fear. I assured her fears.
I ushered Ima to my study room. She was utterly confused and I could swear I heard her gasp then stop abruptly, quiet. Then I went up to my work desk, opened a drawer and took out my six-shooter. I loaded it earlier today. I don't know why. Maybe it's all a part of this reality. I faced Ima. She was horrified to see what I was holding. She backed a step and grasped the wooden doorframe. I looked at her beautiful face one last time before pointing the revolver at it. "I love you Ima. But this isn't reality. Call me deluded cause I don't know what's real. Nothing's real." What happened than happened so fast that, I'm not quite sure I lived it. The bullet raced out of the barrel with a loud "bang". I saw Ima fall limp on to the floor. Blood trickling down the side of her forehead. Spoiling her dark and pretty looks.
I can't recall how long I stood that way. Then when I finally recollected the scenes of the day I pointed the gun at my own head, which now felt a lot heavier than before. I slowly tried to pull the trigger with immense strength. It was moving and moving. Moving backwards towards the butt. I didn't realize when it went all the way. And then suddenly I felt something rush through my skull and somewhere in the back of my consciousness it had stopped. It felt like nothing solid nor did it feel like anything liquid. It felt like everything that had been there had just slightly been bored out.
A Journey to Paradise
Someone was asking me to wake up from sleep and I was as usual unwilling to do so. But the person who was engaged in waking me up talked to me in such a bewitching voice that I felt compelled to leave the bed.
What I saw then was totally surprising and unbelievable for me. Beside my bed stood a man who was only shaped like a man but in his look and stature, he was different from a human being. His face was so bright that I clearly feel some light coming from there. His eyes were heavenly. He was not smiling but still his presence created a soothing effect on my mind and body.
He told me something which seemed to me like the chirping of birds. So I could not understand what he said but I really loved that sweet sounds. Then he murmured in my language, "You are chosen to enjoy a journey which is no possible for anyone to made." I stood speechless. He took me on his back and flew in an electric speed. In a moment I was in a new world which was embellished with pearls, diamond, gold and many things which were unknown to me.
The scent which was scattered through the air of the place had something in it to drive me mad. There was a lake to the left of me. The water of the lake was crystal clear. Some snow white geese were enjoying themselves on the water. I could not perceive where the lake ended but beside the lake lay a vast field on which lively green grasses were playing joyously with the wind.
The field was so vast but still it was untouched with the sign of isolation which was usually seen in our world. All around me there were numerous trees loaded with both known and unknown fruits. Numerous colourful birds were signing in groups sitting in the branches of trees. Seeing all these beautiful sights, I felt tears in my eyes. I was so lost in the charm of the place that I forgot the presence of the person who brought me into this new world.
I gave a glance at him with lots of questions in my eyes and he replied simply in a controlled voice, "This is Paradise, my friend!" I was amazed. My whole body shivered. I felt as if I was released from the hell called earth for some good deeds which I had performed unknowingly. Now, I was loving the place more than before. For the first time I saw some men and women there walking pas us.
They were so involved in their joyous conversation that they did not notice me. They went away but the sounds of their merriment were still heard in my ears. And I feel delighted as well as wistful. The fresh looking green blades of grass were inviting me to lie on them gently and pass hour after hour, day after day there forgetting all the pains and sorrows of the worldly life. Once again I was interrupted in my thoughts by the person accompanying me.
This time before me stood a lady whose beauty was indescribable. Her lily-white face had every innocence and her two black eyes could take anyone into another world. A strong and holy smell spread from her long hair. And as she smiled, her already bright face became brighter... it was too bright for me to look at that heavenly face. So I bowed down my head and asked her who she is.
She remained silent. But my companion replied, "She is the fairy of heaven." Now once again I looked at her dazzling face and asked, "Do you have any name?" Once again I had to see her heart-touching smile. And then in a rhapsodic voice she broke her silence, "Anahara is my name".
I thought what a strange name she had! Suddenly I felt as if there was some one with the same sweet face of this fairy in our world, too. I tried my best to remember the lady who look alike this fairy but my mind was so intoxicated by the beauty of the whole atmosphere that I failed.
In the next moment I felt that someone was shaking me strongly. The more I was being shaken, the more obscure the sights of heaven were turning. At one stage the beautiful heaven was not seen at all and I found myself in my bed in our real world. My mother was still standing beside my bed me to make sure I awoke. I was shocked. I guessed it was she who was shaking me to awaken me up.
Frustration engulfed me as I realised my journey to heaven was merely a dream. No one came from heaven to make me leave my bed and to take me up to heaven. It was all dream! Oh! What a dream it was! I wished if I could reside in that dreamy place forever.
"Was that all illusion?" I asked myself. And the image of the fairy -- Anahara came into my mind. In the spur of the moment, I managed to spot the girl who had the same face as that of the fairy. I knew her very well and was eager to meet her. I wanted to tell her about my dream. I wanted to tell her that she was the only reality, all the rest is illusion.
By Wajahat Anwar
They say it's better to have loved and lost than to have loved at all. But maybe they never tasted love like I did. Maybe they never faced the harsh reality of having to lose the love of your life, maybe they didn't have to go through what I'm going through to have lost you, the man of my dreams.
The 30th of October 2004, I opened my inbox to find another mail from you. I clicked on with a broad smile across my face, which comes automatically every time I get a mail from you. That night, though tears trickled down my cheeks as I read the words you wrote, "I waited for you for an hour and you still weren't on. Guess you couldn't get on or something. Anyway, what I had to say was that my mom found out about us, because you told my brother and he eventually told her. She then had a long chat with me about it. I don't think we can be together anymore. I'm really sorry. It's hard for me too but I guess we can't keep this long distance relationship forever. Once again, I'm sorry and I hope we can still be good friends."
My entire body felt numb. I was out of my senses and I could feel my hands shaking as I typed. I could see nothing because my eyes were drenched with tears. Everything was just a blur.
You told me that I had to be strong and move on with my life but what is life without you? You told me that you would love me forever, that you would take me shopping and show me the world when I get out of the country. You asked me to take your hand and never let go till death do us part. I remember the times we had when you came here to Bangladesh- the rickshaw rides together, the late-night movies, the little chats when no one was around- they are some priceless memories to cherish. When you said you loved me on the 7th of September, I was truly "flying without wings." I was in love with you and still am. You were the one I tried to hold on to but something went wrong and you are gone.
During our chat that night, you said that a person's heart breaks a million times before they find their true love and I told you that a heart broken by true love can never be mended. There was a long pause and then you wrote, "I have nothing more to say." But I had only started and had million more things to say to prove my love for you. Once I said I love you, I knew you'd be the only one and I meant for life. I wish I could make you turn around and see me cry and catch the tears that I'm crying. Despite the thousand-mile distance between us, I felt that you were just beside me. But now you're gone leaving me in a world so cold, so empty. You said that we're too young to think about our future and have our full life ahead but you are the one who taught me how to dream a future together.
21 e-mails where you wrote "I love you" and all those touching lyrics, where have all those gone? Where have you gone? Why did you have to make promises you couldn't keep? Why did you have to walk out that door and leave me this way? Why did you have to go? Like the stars shine from up above you surrounded me with endless love and you made me see the things I couldn't see all this time. I had so longed to build a happy home with you, so longed to have my first passionate kiss with you, so longed to have you wrapped around my arms and never let go. But all I now build are tears, all I now kiss is goodbye and I all I have wrapped around me is loneliness. Loneliness has indeed settled itself in my broken heart tearing every piece of it further.
I've cried a river of tears but still have oceans more to cry. When you told me that you couldn't wait to see me again, I was so glad to have someone like you loving me so much. The words you wrote used to chase away all my thoughts and I became more than sure that you are the one who can make the sun shine wherever I go. Our love was so young and free and I can't believe what an empty place my world has become now that you're gone. All I have to say to you is that I love you and I can't live without you...
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