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

 

1. The Classroom

I entered the classroom with the excitement of meeting the new batch, unlike other professors I always waited for the young minds exploring the world of literature. I remember when I began my journey in the field and how I was not sure about anything related to my decision. The classroom had the usual sense to me, the place where I can talk to anyone about anything, that was my job after all.

“Greetings! Young minds. I am Atlas Rogue and I will be dealing with deceiving you people.  Deceiving you all to take a journey with our rusted head to the plane of isolated imagination. Too much? Well in simple language I am responsible to let you all know about the roots of literature, we will talk about mythology and psychology side by side. But I need to know each one of you and I don’t believe that names are the key to individual understanding. So here is your first assignment, you all will be mailing me the jigsaw events that were put together to add meaning to your actions. Consider me as your friend, everything will be kept as a secret and we shall work upon adding on to the meaning of our story.”

I could see how I skipped a few steps here when the batch of thirty students were sitting still.

“Any questions so far?” the usual drill was followed, none of them put up a conversation. No one was to blame, I opted to teach the refugee students that were taken in by the French government. I could see some faces filled with fear and no intentions to be here at the educational arts centre.

“I will take a leave now, my friends. Hope to read your stories tonight, 20 lines will do. Have a good day.”

While driving my way back, I knew I would not receive the write ups today. I had to find out a way to connect to them and the reason must be unified. I kept thinking about how all the names in the class list had the Hindu descent despite of the fact that the families were saved on their way from Syria, an Islamic country. The world of literature shall treat all equally, the new class brought mysteries to resolve.