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The statue

This short story by Altaf Baloch has been translated, from Balochi, by Mahganj Taj.

 

He lived alone and there was nobody else living in the entire city. He was so fond of his loneliness that no one else settled there but himself. The city was so lively and beautiful that it could bring back the dead souls to life.

There were lakes and freshwater rivers in all the corners of the city. The greenery spreading all over made it even more amazing. Almost all types of birds and animals could be found. Every single day, fluffy snow, clouds and raindrops covered one or another part of the city. Apart from the soulful nature, it had a tremendous weather as well. All the necessities and beauty that a city requires, existed there. He was the only one there and he was the owner of the city. It all made him happy and blissful.

One day, it occurred to him that he should be doing something rather than sitting idle and doing nothing. “Something should be done. But what? he asked himself. He thought of doing a thing that does not already exist in the city, but everything already did? He asked again.

After a thorough brainstorming and a detailed walk around the city, he thought the city had everything except one thing; a statue.

“A statue it is!” he agreed and went to the tallest and the most beautiful peak in the city he knew of. There was a tree there and nothing around it. He managed to bring in a big stone to carve through a statue of his desire. And began working on it.

He worked on the statue for days and nights, weeks, months and eventually years. One day it was ready. It was a statue of a tall, young, beautiful and pretty lady with a sharp nose. It had such a human look that he could not believe his own creation.

The lady in the statue had her breasts blossomed like flowers and as if honey was dripping between her two legs. There appeared such an awe-inspiring smile between the edge of her lips that quickly became the most beautiful thing in the city. He certainly never thought he could create such an amazing beauty. He looked at the details and curiously thought that the statue looked alone. “I will make one more statue so that this one doesn’t feel lonely.”

Years later, the second statue was ready. It was a statue of a man. He placed them both close to each other. He was happy and overwhelmed with the feeling of completing both the statues. “Now the city is even more beautiful,” he was satisfied.

The only missing thing in the city has now been added, he thought and went for another walk. The city was big and he had been busy with his statue creations for so long. This visit took him a week. After a week, he returned to the place where he had made and kept the statues but to his shock and astonishment, both the statues were missing.

He looked everywhere but could not find them. It was odd that nothing could move from its place without his orders and every corner of the city was blocked. How could this happen?! As he was thinking, he felt sleepy for the first time in a very long time. He lied under the tree shadow and slept. He woke up after a long while had passed. He was tied in a dark black prison when he opened his eyes. He was surprised and shocked, thinking what was happening..? How come his own created world has changed this way..! What has happened to him?

He heard the sound of a door opening and the scraping of chains. A ray of brightness entered with two people along with it, coming towards him, he could not see their faces. When they came closer, the entire prison was lit now. They were his own creations, his handmade statues.

Time had passed and now the game was out of his hands. The city was now owned by the two statues who owned it in the name of their creator. All the animals, birds, living and non-living things were under their control now. The real owner was tied and prisoned, blackened in regret and shame within himself. 

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