The Allegorical Delusion

The lanes I walk through are deserted and dark,

The chains that clench me are decrepit and rusted,

For the time that they have bound me has been long and everlasting

I’m tired and I see nothing that can keep me going on this tread anymore.

 

I open my eyes and it all disappears, all I can see is light;

A vivid Aurora greets me with the scent of petrichor so mild

With no handcuffs of chains, I can move anywhere in this free space

I can run, I can laugh for I’ve found my freedom alas!

 

It hits me again and I can feel those restraints,

I see no chains or darkness but I can feel the same old incarceration

The freedom I felt was ephemeral or just a delusion,

I can now see the cage embellished with extravagance.

 

The freedom is what I yearn for, the binge doesn’t excite me anymore

With each breath, I grow more impatient to leave this treacherous world

I know nothing about the escape but I know the truth

This cognizance is a sweet pain, my only hope and my inconsolable ache.

 A poem by Ankita Arora

7. The Talking Vedas

The empty living room was a catalyst for my brain. I was working on a book, a story that would redefine the boundaries of religion. Every time I looked at the religious books resting on the table in the bright light from the windows, the voice of my father would resonate in my head.

I wonder what they all say. I do wonder what the authors wanted to tell the world. But what we need to know is that there is no hate, no critic to the foundation of the paths. You must be bored already. Sweet dreams, son.

I was never bored from his takes on life. I wondered the same, I taught the English translation of Mahabharata in the last semester, but nothing really made sense to me. Veda Vyasa, the immortal who cannot tell the world what his story tried to do. It seemed we puzzled up the inscriptions.

Everyday with Alex’s door bell my adventure to find meanings would come to an end.

“Hi there, how was the day?” Taking her bag from her hand followed by the hug was indeed a pleasant pause from the day.

“Lot of work. I can fall asleep any moment now. How was your class? The boy?” she walked into the room, took out the salads from the morning and sat down on the chair.

“I brought you fruits to add into the salad.” I smiled and took fresh berries out of the fridge. “It was really good, he told me things about his journey. Apparently, we have the same favourite poet.”

I joined Alex with the food, kissed her cheek to have a look at her smile. ” I am so tired today, Atlas. Let’s sleep early alright.”

“Yes, sure. Calm down, I will get some time to research as well.”



I placed my hand on my head. The right side of my head, I must have slept in a wrong way, I thought. My eyes took some time to envelop a sight that could only be a dream. I dream in which I was conscious but not in the real world.

Water, everywhere, not to be felt in my arms but everywhere and apparently I was not drowning in the massive ocean. I took the time to assemble my neck to look around and I could only see another man sitting over the ocean with folded legs. His beard was long floating with the waves, his hair as well. A greyish boundary around him isolating him from the empty ocean.

I felt scared and shouted out to the man, ” Hey! Where are we?” I did not even know what to ask the silent creature. He was sitting in peace his eyes were closed, the face was void and expressionless. Wrinkles covered his face, the rest of the body was covered with a white cloth.

Veda Vyasa is always alive in the mind of seekers. After all, that is the purpose of immortality and literature.

“What? Is this you? What do you mean? Where are we? Can you hear me?” I was only afraid of the place, I could not move or think. Not a dream, for sure.

Hello, Atlas. You are falling sick. And believe me, nobody manifests their head to bring out Vyasa from my writings. People like to read and never think what I want to preach, they make the text their own. They take pride in reading and it makes my lesson brittle to its core. It has been Millenniums, the message is lost, why do you seek it? I am Vyasa, you made me come into your head. And believe me, child, you are sick.

“You are telling me, I am in my own head having a conversation with the immortal Veda Vyasa about my next project? Insane.”

Insane, indeed. I tell you, you are sick. Seek help to end the sickness forever. I suffer from the same, believing and deceiving myself to be free to think and act. Immortal? Yes, I am so sick. I am immortal in their heads, you know. The stupid beliefs, they make me suffer.They take the Vedas and curse another being. They read the scriptures and think the Kings are to be worshipped. Inferno. Inferno to my head, once in for all. Now you are driving in the scriptures to the morals. Inferno. Inferno to you too my friend. Let the ocean heal your burns.

The man vanished into the ocean that started to hurt. The pain kept increasing. increasing to another level. I kept screaming, to escape the pain. But there was no way to escape. I kept screaming.

Atlas once hold the heaven, now it is time to bring the hell. For the inferno seeks a purpose in life, my friend. Let the ocean guide. Seek the ocean and stop their lies.

Inferno. Inferno has haunted every child. Inferno. Inferno is the place where love from religion collide.

6. Rumi and Numbness

I had visited the library for the first time. I thought, I had found a place to live during the day. I never wanted to return to the refuge camp. I felt alienated with the people, books are comforting. I could just close my eyes and teleport to my place. Feeling the texture of pages and I was in the little remembrance of the past.

The chair felt better, the silence was a delight. The walls were somehow elusive to my situation.I could just close my eyes and teleport to my place. Feeling the texture of pages and I was in the little remembrance of the past.

I could hear the silence, the place where I imagined my mother to read me the lines of the Quran. Such peaceful verses, each word was her presence in the room. With my eyes closed, I could only wait for a strange voice to wake me up. Any word to strike my senses to realise that I was no more home.

But I had found the place to stay, I suppose. Not aware about how long, but I will cherish this moment. Professor Atlas, one of the many unique people here. I am stable in my mind because I talked to him. Every conversation led to a discovery about myself.

I could see him entering the Library, He came and sat on the chair right next to mine.

“This is a great place to be on the campus.” He said it in a low tone.

“Reminds me of my room. Sir, can we visit your place later some day. I suppose I should be in the camp, I am not aware of the consequences of being late. Is it possible to talk here?” I was not sure about things, things were taking place in no sequence. To faith, I had surrendered, but I feared further extension.

It seemed Atlas had a naturally smiling face or something, he rested his books on the desk and look at me. “How? Your mail. You talked about the boat. I had shivers reading it. I know I should not remind you of the terrible scenarios that you went through. But for an eighteen-year-old, you look a lot more content after what you faced.”

I could not help but smile to the question he asked, “There is a poem, written by Rumi, the famous poet. I don’t remember the pain, I suppose I was numb. But once I left my senses.

“There is a poem, written by Rumi, the famous poet. I don’t remember the pain, I suppose I was numb. But once I left my senses… You may think what came to be mind was just some dreams but they made a lot of sense. The poem, I remember…

What is that jug? Our confined body, within it, is the briny water of our senses….This is a jug with five spouts, the five senses: Keep this water pure from every filth, that there may be from this jug a passage to the sea; so that when ou carry it as a gift to the king The king may find it pure, and be its purchaser; After that, its water will become without end, a hundred worlds  will be filled from my jug.

That is all I remember. An old man, reciting this poem in my visions” The smile had left shivers to my senses.

” It goes on… Stop up its spouts, and keep it filled from the jar of Reality: God said, ‘ Close your eyes to vain desire.’ A vision? The subconscious mind is a wonder. Rumi is one of my favourites, This poem is powerful but I wonder if true. It is time for me to leave. You, young man, revive more such verses.” Atlas got up, gave a big smile and left.

Nobody would know how powerful the visions were, I could never explain how real they were. I only hope to know the meaning. I ran my hand on the desk and closed my eyes to visit the scattered head of mine.

 

5. The Kalam

“Can we talk? Right now, sir?” a boy in a blue migrant camp t-shirt and a torn gray trouser had approached me after the class found its way out, his accent was not like the usual ones I got to hear at the center. “I am Aadesh, I hope you got the email.” I was delighted to hear from the boy.

“It’s a pleasure to have you here, Irfan. Do you have another class right now? I would love to talk.” I placed my hand over his shoulder, I could sense the weakness in the body, could imagine the pain he went through the journey.

“No, I don’t have a class right now. This is the only course assigned so far. I am hearing that name after a very long while.” He smiled partially and sat on the chair in front of the desk. The silence was peaceful, I was searching for the right thing to ask a boy who has seen a terrible past. Years of lecturing and every time I reckoned with such a situation, I was left as a no voice.

“You write very well; the story was strong to the core but your emotions went right on each word. You have faced a lot and I am no one to suggest how you face life, but I will say I am proud of your faith in the living. I am glad you opted literature in the education, how are you living here in France?”

“The camps, there are about twenty families sharing one camp center, most of them are leaving for further migration. I don’t have the allowance, they demand an identity. The admission into the Art Centre is another issue, the head of the literature department had requested the government for the few boys. I am glad I could come to this place.” His voice was calm and the accent added to the softness of the tone, the light from the windows filled the room with the essence of stillness.

“I have seen the camps on the TV, the conditions are not good. We shall figure out a way to get you a place in this country. You know what Irfan, I was brought up in India and I came across various religious scriptures through my journey in literature, I never came across the Persian philosophy and I believe an ideal person sits right in front of me. If you can, come with me to my place today?”

“It will be a pleasure to get out of the camp, I cannot guarantee about the philosophy. I have disappointed my father, I don’t follow the practice of the religion, only the meaning.” That was exactly what I needed for the centric theme of my idea, the meaning and not the tradition that exploits only conflicts and pride.

“I have a few more class. You may spend some time in the library, I will meet you there at 2 o clock.”

 

 

3. Mornings

It was 6 in the morning, the phone alarm didn’t have to wake me up today. Alex was sleeping right next to me, never liked waking her up in the morning when I could just look at her and not think. My mind had been a wreck lately, so we decided on practising meditation every morning. I gently put my hands on her forehand.

“It’s 6 o clock. Let’s put our brains to sleep for a while now, dear.”

She woke up with the struggle of aa hard-working lady and an upset sleeping pattern. I hated waking her up but the meditation time was a must for her as well, she had a job to look after a whole chemical operating base in the city. Despite the fact, almost every morning it seemed that post meditation, the bed transformed into psychotherapy with my wife been my psychologist and handling my thoughts into a powerful structure. And today, I needed her for framing a lecture that shall uproot the void space that my students might have and the one mail I read, Irfan needed a straight pavement to find himself again.

“What Is the matter?” It was Alex looking into my lost eyes, one of those moments when you get lost in the thoughts and forget the actual visual. “Professor seems lost into his first lecture for the year, huh? “her voice could capture my attention as if home.

“I have this student with a massive story, he has struggled and lost himself somewhere on his way to Europe from Syria. Not by mistake or the dreadful loss of his family but deliberately he had to forget himself to come here and live a life. His name is Aadesh for the Europeans, the boy only has one manifestation of himself, his love for his ideals. Religious and social impaired.”

She had her way of looking into my eyes and telling me things that set apart the whole issue to me, unlike any other part of the day the mornings were silent and only accompanied a healthy conversation. “So, you will be telling them the story? The science, religion and magic. I never got it. But maybe the social impairment thing aligns with it. Let’s leave early today, have some meetings and I need to prepare the team for the same.” I held her hand and gave her a kiss. “I will talk to them about something, thanks. All the best for the day sweetheart. I have a few classes and then I need to start the new story.”

 

2. Styx and Ganges

Irfan, the name I feared to hear. The name my father gave me. The name that meant to be thankfulness. The name that shall make me die if heard by the people. I had no clue of my whereabouts, I was in the refugee boats supplied by the European Union, left the land of terror but being dumped under 50 men made no difference to my being. Just the lack of oxygen and no light of the sky that seemed dead to me. I didn’t know where my father was, my mother was taken up by the flare of the terror, all that’s left of my decent was my name, Irfan and the stories in my head from the Quran. My name was to die if I got the chance to breathe in the air again on the European soil, the man strictly called out that no Muslim shall board the boat.

My father never came to the boat, for that we had to cut the sacred form of the beard and he believed that religion should be accompanied by the sense of pride. I left him and I have no reason to as why I left the surface on fire to die in this place.

No light, no food, numbness to adhere and a void of pain. I was 19, lived in the crisis and hoped to suffocate to death as soon as possible. The weight of the men above disappeared soon after my body went numb, I don’t know how many days had passed and how much more to come till I die or breathe with a different identity. If Allah wishes so. If Allah wishes so.

I opened my eyes in a refugee camp and thanked Allah for my life, but it seemed the void had captured my breath forever until now, that I write this to you, sir, I am not Aadesh, My name is Irfan and I might get forced out of the arts centre if the name is disclosed. I opted to come to literature because The Quran made me believe in the whole world as a unit that adheres to Allah or God.

Life has been broken so far and I had no jigsaw puzzle to replicate a meaning that I could write about, but this is all I have. Irfan will always be thankful to Allah, no matter if the void exists with me forever. Literature is the only sweet essence I have experienced so far in life and I shall be dealing with the same to help me with the entire scenario.

I am looking forward to learning more about this world and I had to tell someone about my journey and the loss of identity.

If Allah Wishes So, Aadesh and Irfan will always be the one person who writes this mail.

Your new student,

Aadesh Sharma