Mushtaque B Barq

Pitiable Judgment

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“The moon is decked up with the silver dust to cover the coarseness to turn its surface into a couch for saints”, announced Rehman Khan

“What about the stars”, I simple asked.

His prodigious glow faded on his hypnotic hyper cheeks that few minutes back had put on a smile.

“Stars are for the stars”, Rehman Khan shocked me with a kind of ready wit he had.

Intellectual foppery , I thought at times is wrapped in a veil of obscuring customs like most of the people living on the edge of a sea like me  to celebrate every wave as custom to believe that  ready wit is the gate keeper of a Bard.

But behind a tissue of my words, I felt a seethed argument making its way to ravish the cover of my privacy. And I was supposedly exposed. And I came to conclusion that wit lives above knowledge and that Rehman Khan is the typical example.

Rehman Khan as I know him, at times is brutally frank to pull your underwear without making you to take notice it. He bears within him a factory where abuses are manufactured at will.

A kind of stuff his skull carries makes one to believe that he has infatuation for tyranny.  His never leaves a space for anyone to take fresh air when he is around.

“Those who live above the sand dunes sleep on the silver couches”,Rehman Khan remarked.

His boisterous thrill this time had no venom, but was copious with philosophy so sweet but unlike his amuck pranks.

My next move as I knew might land me in trouble. A whisper like sensation titter my anxiety to irritate Rehman Khan. Honestly saying, I used to take much pleasure in his company for he seems to me enjoying grandmotherly airs of knowing something mysterious which was hard to digest at least for me.

“Above the dust… you suggested,” I asked.

His beautifully fearful eyes spotted the luxurious of my words on the tongue that at times under the influence of ‘ego’  encourages the poison to pose where honey seems preferable.

He hurled his shafts at my ugly face. I felt a quiver running through my nerves, panging every capillary beneath my skin. I was sure that my little off colour words shall soon be returned with much bitterness in the form of some freshly manufactured abuses and that too in his peculiar style.

He spares none. This time it was me. Before he allows the wheel of his machine to turn and crush me, I confidently counseled my senses to stay calm.

“Saints stay on the moon”, he roared.

“Saints”, I whispered.

“You seem to bark much under the disguise of farts”, he fumingly said.

His verdict carries ebullitions to impress his listeners for his diction belongs to him. But I, as always got addressed as ‘domestic utensil’ for the reasons known to him and unknown to me.

And between these known and unknown hemispheres if anyone was crushed, it was my self-confidence. I was never moved by his lolling tongue.

Saints for me are special souls not living on the moon or stars but on the surface like us. It seemed to me that they don’t enjoy silver couches or coziness at palaces. They even don’t cancel their sense of duty by locking themselves in caves or in the backyards of a remote privacy.

Rehman Khan for that matter had abandoned all responsibilities and fixed himself at the window of his old house, letting his sons to earn.

How can caves and corners hold the divine immensity embedded within the saints? Things may crumble and fall into bits. It was the simplest philosophy I used to carry within my little heart.

“What makes a saint”, I put forth my question.

Rehman Khan raised his head, scanned my feeble frame like a patient put into that monstrous scanner to let the surgeon know where to put his knife and how deep he has to dip his merciless tools to take the devilish tissue out of bony cage.

Although his scanner seemed silent, yet the radiations were felt all over. His looks evoked irritation deep into my cells. Every nerve ending was trying to rebuke but his vibrations seemed powerful enough to encourage my resistance.

“You domestic utensil, can’t you see”, he shouted.

Well! The truth was well before me, dancing in my blood, circulating its powerful gushes everywhere in my body. But to accept the truth was something hard to narrate.

To hide my nervousness I tried to ignore the pulse that was well accelerating my curiosity. I was hard on probing his sainthood claim which to all save me was just his ‘wits’ not wisdom attained by devotion.

“Better is to act like fools to know more”, I spoke softly.

“Have your every sinned?” he asked.

Well! Honestly I felt everyone knows the answer, yet he wants my approval.

I simply laughed.

“Who hasn’t?” I responded.

“Your tooth set apparently looks good but your bad breath is unknown to you”, he remarked.

For a minute or so I put on a wet towel of self-control to neglect his sharp words, those broken glass edges that I felt rubbing against my chest wall and deep down in the guts. After a while as the lava of my impatience suspended the bristles of towel I responded,

“You are too good to pick other’s bad breath by ignoring your own”

Unlike me, he doesn’t seem losing his temper.

For the first time I saw his face with an inexplicable smile, narrating something mysterious.

“There is a ton of things out in the world to explore; you only need to open your eyes, your mind and above all your heart”

“How can one open his senses when they are all awakened already”, I responded.

“A defective eye can’t see the rainbow, a flawed ear can’t listen to the wind and a blank mind can’t imagine the things beyond its own boarders”, Reham Khan revealed.

There was a silence for a moment and then all of a sudden a shower attracted the attention. It was like thousand rivulets had changed their course and were beating the road, the roofs, the fields and walls. Everything was washed, ruthlessly washed. It continued for half an hour and I was getting late.

Sensed my unrest, Rehman Khan opened the door of his room and looked at the sky and then smilingly uttered: “Come on, someone has to go home”

To my surprise, it seemed as all the rivulets were silenced and the sunlight broke the fragile film of vapours and soon a dazzling rainbow brought all the kids and elders out to witness this majestic bow amazingly screened on the mount opposite to it.

Everything through that window appeared royally romantic. Rehman Khan looked like a king on the throne with a grand smile on his face, but his eyes turned like a burning coal as he addressed me:

“Now you can go”

I was thrilled to move out of his room.

As I was about to leave, he called me back

“Hay, if you ever see a saint in life, do inform me as well”

I smilingly responded: “Definitely”

He only laughed at me and called me ‘domestic utensil’ repeatedly.

I only smiled.

“His epithets are like his abuses”, I murmured and left the room.



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