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Another Restless Night …

Muhammad Umar Jee Salimi

The Fan is swirling or to more precise swaying. Each round completes it course with a
familiar odd clicking sound. Trying to follow the trail of its wings, I keep eyes open. I
just manage to complete 1 ½ rounds and then I lose track, again I try again I lose. I know
my eyes wont swirl as fast as the wings of the fan, for because of its swaying its orbit
instead being circular is elliptical. The main reason of my defeat is that I’m not even
trying to master this great Invention of the MAN. Imagine eyes swirling fast as the fan
and giving air to the person being looked at.

The main reason of this hectic exercise in the late hours of the night is that I’m trying to
fall asleep. I tried counting sheep but it did not work. I fancy falling asleep had been easy
as … falling. The atmosphere of the room is damp with boredom; the fan’s elegiac music
is trying its best to haul me to sleep, and I can feel an invisible pillow of seclusion trying
to suffocate me to sleep. In spite of this dampness, hauling and suffocation I know Sleep
would never come.

How can it come?

This night is the same as its peers, watching me enduring the pain of patience for the past
few weeks. The darkness of the night watches me, being succumbed to restlessness, in
silence. No one knows the verdict pronounced on me by the divine intervention.
Providence to whom I belong, in whose great scheme machine I am a mere nut bolt or
maybe a rivet, is conclusively just and impartial. It has a reason to deprive me of a
“Good-Night”. They maybe right, but right or wrong do not matter anymore; why do we
always make decisions in yes or no, why not try “may be”? Why not give some space to
our nameless insignificant wretched lives? I will and can not surrender to their wise
decision. My submission to their will be more excruciating. I can bear life without Sleep,
but I can not live without being indifferent.

The submission will lead to dreadful consequences; it will give me back my


understanding, my sooth-shrouded heart which is the only part of me sleeping will start
throbbing, remorse will put my nerves on fire again. Defeat will make me tread the halls
of melancholy all over again; my feet abhor every step I have taken in those halls,
swimming through mist of ignorance to find novel virtue inside Man, the unknown gene
which transforms him into a Human being. Tired of deciphering, the enigma of our
existence of our final destination, I have resolved against the divine intervention to resist.

Long before I was sane, I gleefully unraveled these secrets. They came natural to me,
solving and answering them was all I knew. It seemed as I knew the reason of my
existence. I shared my views with my brethren, in forms of various genres of literature.
Yes I was the creative one, the one with expression, the blessed one as my ignorant
contemporaries called me. I was decreed to be writer.
Divine intervention, providence, nature, what ever or who ever is the supreme governing
authority is chastising me for I have diluted my virgin instinct in to the realistic pragmatic
one. It is robbing me of my sleep for I have suppressed my urge to write. They want me
inscribe the horrors of mankind, calamities which they direct towards the poverty
stricken, reveal the fiend called Man hiding beneath the mask of humanity, me to burn
and ignite the others, to feel the pain of Feeling, so, I can make others feel, shed tears to
create a master-piece “which will move the hearts of the readers”. They believe through
these acts they will revive the humanity which is long since extinct.

I was once a happy man content with writing, but I was wrong. It does not matter how
much heartrending verses I write, how deep I drown myself in the pools of pessimism
just to give them the vigor to hope. What my suffering have dawned upon me is the fact
that I may write in real crimson warm blood but mankind would never cringe because for
them blood is only worth …spilling. I was literally torturing myself to stimulate guilt,
remorse and repentance in their hearts, which afterwards I came to realize were just
meant to pump blood, to keep the Man alive (or the machine working).

I, who once lived for others, am now trying to live for myself, to exalt myself from the
monotonous pure and content life of a writer. I now socialize with expensive perfumes,
make acquaintances with designer tags, let my emotions go awry and wild with the beat
of music and culture my self by basking in the company of velvet and silk cladden
privileged REAL Human beings.

I tried all these tactics to stop the surge of Feel, but I failed. Injustice, chaos, corruption,
bloodshed, selfishness all these vices everywhere, I turn on the TV, bask in the morning
sun, draw the curtains, switch off the lights, put a pillow over my ears CLENCH my eyes,
despite all this I still hear and sense them. No matter where I am they find me, how drunk
I am they regain me. Their presence makes me feel as marked man.

The never ending race which I run against my own instinct has exhausted me. To feel; the
hidden pain in the slums and ghettoes, remorse of the fathers who give life to bastards,
lamenting of the mothers of the martyred, curse of the prostitutes on their lives,
hopelessness of a garbage boy, troupe’s of gleaming black BMW’s sandwiched between
SUV’s(loaded with commercially available martyrs-the policemen or soldiers) slithering
through my streets, the apathetic ruler of the land who claims to be the savior of those
who had been previously trodden down upon (under his feet), is my destiny.

In spite of all this, it does not mean I will pick up my pen, start writing, and make a fool
of myself all over again. I have had my share of humiliation; I do not want writing to add
more.
At last I hear the cock crowing, its call is melting the night away. The silent audience
who bears witness to my restlessness is shedding away in to the light. It will come again
to dispossess me of a blissful sleep. It maybe resolute in its case; but I am now more
stubborn and unbendable, for I bear an infinite amount grief. I don’t waiver because the
burden which is a part of me so heavy, that it does not leave space for me to stagger. I am
nailed to the ground by burdens of my people, under their weight I may stand but I have
no strength to walk or shove it off. The burden augments with every passing moment, I
used to confer my thoughts on paper, to lessen the weight, but now I don’t even have a
pen or paper.

This is the only decision I have taken myself.

The dawn breaks, its breaking relieves me from the want of sleep and breaks my stream
of thoughts which are corpulent with my rendezvous with failures, and thus comes to an
end another …restless… night.