Basharat Bashir

The Beast

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By : Aijaz Ganai

The Mountain is still there – broken, fallen, but it is still standing like an old man guarding his family. It has a long tree line shadowing it from the scorching sun and a stream that sings beautiful songs to it. Oh! I forgot. The bear was happily living in the woods with a family. The mountain somehow manages to bridge the gap between the stream, trees and sleeping bear family.

Trees were looking striking from the reflection in the stream and they look frightened when they see their own roots, exposed, damaged and cursed.

The stream kept on running from that old shaggy mountain, every time taking a stone with it. The mountain never complained nor did the tress.

The bear rose a few days ago from a long slumber and found a tree burnt down to ashes. He couldn’t t do anything but just see the dead wood and ashes with his dreamy eyes.

This whole tragic incident keeps on repeating since a long time. They were hurting themselves. The stream hurts the mountain and the mountain bullying the tress. But somehow they managed to be happy with this process.

Then, the beast arrived.

A two-legged beast came down walking with an axe and a hammer in his left hand, a bottle of kerosene in his left pocket. He was wrapped in a bear outfit. A cloth was wrapped around his head. It was warming him a bit.

I was very little. My mom and dad were out to find some food for me. Behind a tree, I was watching what this beast is up to, but I couldn’t see from a distance. I asked the mountain who is this? and he whispered to me don’t get close. He got my attention by putting that bear coat away and was trying to set a tree on fire. I drew very close to him, and suddenly I saw my mom behind the rock, full of injuries. I rushed towards her. Out of breath I just took my hand and touched her forehead and she started to cry and tears rolled down her cheeks. Where is the father, Mom? Mom was not able to stand, and she hugged me and said the beast killed him. Killed him!? I wanted to get my revenge, now!

I left my mom with these injuries there and started to run for the beast. I was stopped by a branch of a tree that begged me and said, “don’t go, don’t go it will kill you”. I didn’t listen.

The beast was sitting close to the fire, almost laying down on a rock. I got very much frightened by the fire but I had to avenge my father’s death. I went close enough to the beast and saw my father’s skin in parts lying beside the beast.

Suddenly something hit me and I became unconscious. When I opened my eyes, I found myself in a cage barred by steel bars, and fire all around. They have that huge monster home. Their kids are so tiny, they abuse me and throw stones at me. They call me bad names. I couldn’t do anything. The cage was very strong.

3 years later:

I often thought about my mom and the stream and trees and the mountain. Sometimes I have bad dreams but mostly I have very nice dreams about the trees and the stream.

On one fine morning, a beast baby unlocked my cage and tried to feed me. I got out and killed it and ate her. I was hungry, what was I supposed to do?  The whole village got mad. They came up with those fire rockets, torches and axes and oil and what not. I kept on running to the woods. I didn’t remember the way. After searching for one month, it was home across the stream.

The mountain looked terribly sick; the beast has slashed it in two parts. No trees, no roots, the stream was caged in two huge concrete walls. It can’t breathe. Very briskly I kissed the mountain and the stream and asked about my mom. They never told me anything. They lost their value and courage. The only thing they said was that the beast is powerful.

I lost my home, my father, my mother, my friends. I lost the stream, the music, the shadows, and the family. I lost the mountain. I kept on walking alone amidst burnt trees; everywhere the beast has marked its territory.

Rain started to fall and kissed my cheek and hugged me. Nothing has ended yet my love.

Nothing has ended. We will avenge it.

Why is the beast so ugly and arrogant?

My name is Brown, this is my story.

Aijaz Ganai is a student of filmmaking and can be reached at [email protected]

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