Here’s a poignant short story, a sudden fiction, by Muddasir, dealing with the gloom of death, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
In a whirring euphoria of summer, a beautiful sunny morning falls on a bright-lit faced young man. He goes on a sojourn to the city. On the way, the lull in the traffic made him stop and look around; he saw his friend, a teacher, who was involved in the Valley’s artistic activities with him. He dropped from his car and got closer to his friend and found him frozen with a sheen of grief across his face. On inquiring, his friend, in his breaking voice, told him that he received a phone call from his home which informed him that he just lost his mother in an accident. The bright day, dampened by the news of a death, suddenly dropped lifelessly. The guy heaved a sigh and gently patted the shoulder of his friend. But he couldn’t soothe the convulsions out of him. Like all the vehicles stuck in the traffic jam, he too stood groggily in the middle of the road.
Watching his disturbed state, the guy decided to accompany him to his home; he took him to his car and he found a way to return. While on the way he had to listen from him about the dreams of his mother, particularly about him, and he gave courage to his friend when the memory of his mother made him cry. Finally, they reached, he left his friend with his family and found himself a space between mourners on the veranda.
He too couldn’t resist tears when he saw the sobbing and the crying of the folks of people who filled in the lawn there. Death – a handy subject for anyone present there – frisked away all his dreams for a moment. An old man, with little sunken temples and hollow cheeks, made the guy smile thinly when he mocked everything religious, for him she, the deceased, could’ve saved herself from her sudden death if she had used her intellect. Death is ultimate, her time was over was the only answer others believed. The paralysed faces couldn’t mask their sorrow for her death.
Secretly, his religious views about life and death fought with the absurd ideas of nothingness. The truth of life had stood naked in front of him, but before he could touch and experience it he stole looks at his wristwatch, it was already afternoon. He thought of leaving. But he didn’t leave until he found a chance, in between mourners paid their respects, he pronounced a few words of patience, gave courage to his friend, and prayers for the departed, which could only bring a plastered smile on his face.
Photo from the internet.
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