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.”