Kaashaal

8

Translated by Fazal Baloch

 

“I want to write down my dreams,” he looked at me as if he wanted to seek my advice.

“That is a good thing,” I replied. “Kafka had written his dreams too. The real creativity comes from dreams. But don’t you know not everyone can dream? Many can’t even dream at all. What if you’re one among them”?

“You haven’t seen my eyes then,” he was annoyed, and at that precise moment his childish innocence was revealed to me.

One year back, we used to live in the same flat for six months in an alien city. Sometimes, I had the feeling that we were the same person. That is why he was shy to look into my eyes, and I into his. When we returned home, I kept recalling what he used to say: “A man can’t face himself.”

During our time together, I had discovered the various seasons of his eyes. The third season had been stolen in his childhood. Of the remaining two, one was occupied by a calm sea and the other by a night-tinted morning.

“What are you thinking about”? He put his hand on my shoulder, jostling me out of deep thoughts. His face looked as fresh as a forest recently washed up by rain.

“What do you think dreams…”

dreams-ps4-screenshot-01I interrupted him. “Look, dreams are unique to every person, and no one shares someone else’s dreams. What would you do if the readers reject your dreams as meaningless”?

“I would write my dreams for my own sake and wouldn’t share them with others. It doesn’t bother me if people don’t like them. All I want is to write them down”.

Afternoon descended upon. It felt as if we had arrived at a shady place after a long journey. We both were silent, not even exchanging glances. I surreptitiously tried to understand his eyes. They were still in the grip of the two seasons: the season of the calm sea and that of the tinted morning.

“You better not write them,” I suggested while lighting a cigarette, only to break the uncomfortable silence and catch his attention. In the glow of the match, I could clearly see tiny wrinkles on his face.

“That’s not going to happen, unless you’re going to poison me to death”.

“But why”? I looked deeply into his eyes, trying to read his heart.

“If I don’t write them, they’ll soon kill me. I am alive just to write them down”.

“If you own your dreams and as you claim no one have any share in them, then why are you asking me for my opinion”?

I stood up and strolled towards the door, thinking he had lost his mind. To put it frankly, I had gotten tired of him.

“It’s true that these dreams have been carved out by my eyes and nobody has any share in them but you are the protagonist in all these dreams. I have seen these dreams along with you. If you don’t ask the opinion of the protagonist before beginning to write a story, you would never be able to finish it.”

I stood still, stunned. I was suspecting I had lost my mind. Now I was unable to figure out who he was and what he was saying.

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Fazal Baloch teaches Urdu at Atta Shad Degree College, Turbat. He is the first regular translator of Balochi literature into English.