When they sold my pain for their gains

Published: April 16, 2017

And that mystic shit hole was asking questions about my death; trying to make my death philosophical. PHOTO: THE ARTIDOTE

My scars were still fresh. One could see blood oozing out of my fresh and painful wounds. These wounds are what my age-old enemy bestowed me with. My enemy has got numerous weapons, some pierced through me, while some made numerous holes in my body.

Holes may fade away, injuries may heal. But what was done to me, to my inner world, will never fade away. It will never heal.

My wounds were still afresh; they smelled like agony.

I was withering with pain while my family members decided to hold a grand party and enthral their guests with entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. I couldn’t understand how they could even think of organising a party while a member of their family, without whom they considered their family incomplete, is crying out of pain.

I was there, physically present, I was suffering, but wasn’t dead yet. I am talking about visible and simple reality, not metaphysics!

Some days ago, they had shifted me to a room that was constructed behind our house, detached from everything. Initially, I thought that it was actually out of care that they want me to rest in a place that was comparatively calm.  But then I realised that this is what they actually wanted to do. They wanted to throw me away so that they could plan their party peacefully. They were not worried about my wounds; they were planning well to satisfy their desires.

However, they were not always like this.

Long ago, my enemy scratched my face, and don’t imagine scratches; it was much more than that. My face was mauled. It was hard to identify me. A member of my family, who happens to be a poet, even wrote a heart-wrenching poem describing my state of being. The intensity of pain that I was undergoing disappeared while he recited his poem. He then went on and wrote poem after poem. In some of his poems, he cursed my enemy, while in others, he wrote about the historical genesis of my scars. It was not something new, it had happened before as well.

There I was, an inspiration for this poet. I had inspired him to write, and there he was, writing. Or perhaps my wounds inspired him to write. Whatever the case may be, he wrote.

Thus, this poet of my family came to my rescue (with words). I thought he understood me more than myself. With all the words, metaphors, similes and other poetic devices, he stood there right next to me, while I was trying to identify myself in the mirror.

With the entire armoury he had, I felt stronger. If my enemy has all the destructive weaponry, I have words. I can retort. I can make my enemy feel guilty, because I have words and words appeal to the inner senses, what if weapons kill?

While this poet was on the forefront, other family members were busy discussing the party. He even prepared a poem that he would recite at the party. He was all set to entertain the guests. But what was the actual inspiration this time?  Previously, my wounds had moved him, but what now?

There was another man in my family. He was a genius. He could write a kilometre-long essay on anything that isn’t even a centimetre long. You have to accept that he was a learned man. Long ago, when my enemy tried to kill me, when he even shot a bullet at me, which luckily only kissed my arm, this man went on to write a long essay. It was so powerful that my enemy had to come to me and apologise that it was all uncalled for. That he shouldn’t have done so. My enemy even requested this genius of my family that there was no need to write about this incident. That if he would have just sent him an angry emoticon on WhatsApp, he would have apologised online. He would have even posted on Facebook and apologised publically.  But my family genius, out of his habit, wrote. What could have stopped him?

Anyway, my enemy apologised. I was happy. Look who I have got, I thought. A powerful man who can make anyone feel dizzy just by his words.

There he was! This powerful man was making a kilometre-long list of guests to be invited. The poet was gone, and this writer too. I felt as if my back was broken into pieces.

There was another man in my family. He was a mystic; or at least he said so, though I never saw him whirling around. He too was a learned man. He knew about everything. What always created doubts in my mind was how a mystic could be so talkative. He was mystically talkative, and loved to interrupt. He was in love with interruptions, God knows why?  He questioned everything, a good thing I guess, but after listening to his countless questions, one could only express a profound wish to slap him right across his face.

See these writers were all around in my family, scattered like dust. They were all around. The mystic was also a writer. He used to write about any damn thing. He delivered sermons (packaged sermons on Fridays). He usually corrected people with his understanding of history. Though he never met my enemy, he always kept on telling me this and that about history. Though he was never slapped by my enemy, deep down his gut, my enemy too would be craving to slap him (even I crave to punch his fluffy face at times). But I cannot. He is a mystic, what if he creates a pebble out of me and throws it away into the depths of Jhelum. I am better off with this pain, rather than turning into a pebble.

Stars of my family! Well, it is a long list, and it will take much to introduce you to the galaxy of intellectuals that are adding to the filthy glory of my family. Filthy! There are writers, intellectuals, thinkers and what not. You name it and we have it in our grand family.

The pain is shooting up. I may not be able to add more stars to their stature. And why does it even matter that a person like me, who isn’t anywhere to be found, says anything in the honour of such great personalities? They are my identity, and if I am still in the right sense, they represent me.

Look at my words. Even I have started to sound like an intellectual. This is the impact of these personalities in my family. No matter if I am dying of pain and want someone around, they are planning to host a grand party. No matter if they use me to write about my wounds and make the women in the crowd cry while they recite their poems. These wounds are used to touch the inner chords of those beautiful ladies, and make them use those tender tissue papers to wipe the corner of their eyes. My poet has impressed these beautiful ladies by owning my wounds (owning them, until the poem reaches to its end).

The same happened to my writer. He criticised people, using my wounds and pain. He did nothing more than that. He wrote to display his power, his knowledge of words. His art of flattering.

Everywhere, I saw my wounds and their gains.

I should stop myself, otherwise I will end up writing a kilometre-long essay. I can’t afford that.

The party was organised. Full-on entertainment enthralled the guests. Poems were recited. People were criticised. Ladies were impressed. Lustful glances were exchanged. Everything happened, but no one attended to me. No one even offered me a glass of water while I was decaying in the backroom.

Lastly, I gave up. I lost the battle of pain and suffering. I saw no one around, even when I was breathing my last breath. Then, I closed my eyes and some eternally peaceful entities embraced me. I expressed my desire to them, to these entities, and luckily, they granted my wish.

Wish: I want to see how my family members will react after my death.

The poet was once again writing poems, heart-wrenching poems and impressing ladies, exchanging lustful glances while reading out my eulogy.

The writer was criticising my enemy and holding him responsible for my death. He wrote a kilometre-long obituary.

And that mystic was asking questions about my death, trying to make my death philosophical, and calling it a recycling of bodies (he was perhaps planning to write his weekly column on recycling of bodies or on the philosophy of death).

While watching all this, I expressed my profound wish to slap him, but the creatures around me didn’t allow.

Irfan Tramboo

Irfan Tramboo

The author is a journalist based in Srinagar. He tweets @irfan_tramboo (twitter.com/irfan_tramboo)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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