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.”

 

 

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.