CLOUDS

by Ilhamul Azam                                                                                    

Regret

‘A good family is where a father doesn’t have to go to his children to express his feelings since his wife is reluctant to have a discussion with him,’ I wrote in my diary.

I always write things that I observe. It is a pretty lavish trait for a middle-class boy as getting a diary he likes to write in is expensive. I often write incoherent things but they always end up being philosophical. I then decipher my own writing. Everything I write becomes coherent, I just have to be metaphorical.

“ What are you doing?”

I look up and see father is standing.

“Nothing,” I say

Father then sits on the bed. It seems like he wants to have a talk. Should I start the conversation? But I don’t, I am really afraid of my father, he is a very very good man. But I don’t know why I fear. Is it that the people you love most are the people you fear most?

“ Do you know how many countries there are in the commonwealth?” asks father.

“No, I don’t know,” I say just so he has a chance to get him out of this awkwardness.

“ There are 54 countries.”

“Oh!”

Then silence……

He sits a while and then he stands to leave. I wish I could talk to him as he wanted me to. Regret is so bad.

Father doesn’t speak much, even if it is important. When father became ill last month, he grew extremely talkative as though he conveyed all his deep suppressed feelings that were meant for us to hear.

“Put your hand on my head,” he said lying in bed, closing his eyes.

I couldn’t do that. Regret is so bad.

Childish Consolation

I often talk to my mother. When I ask her to give me her phone, I see a dread in her face, she tries to delete something. She knows that we are aware of what she does when she gets out of the house at night or on holidays lying that she has some work to finish. Even then I often talk to her.

One day Shilu came to me saying that she saw mother today on someone’s bike holding on tight to that unknown person.

“ It wasn’t father, Dada*[1]”, she said with a crying face.

Does Shilu understand this evilness? Shilu is getting big.

“No No, it couldn’t be mother. She was with me when you presumed to see her. It must have been someone like mother,” giving her a false consolation I wish I could get from someone.

Mother isn’t ashamed. Why am I?

That day Shilu came to me weeping, “ Dada! They say bad things about mother.”

“ Who?”, I asked, caressing her.

“ That tall and fair uncle,” hugging me and weeping harder.

“ People say bad things about good people. Bad people envy the goodness that stays within good people,” I said to her, moistening my eyes as well but I try to hide it. I don’t have someone to have consolation from, I am unfortunate. 

I don’t want to talk to mother regarding this, but if I end up saying it to her, she denies the fact.

“ I swear! I don’t have anything like this in my heart, I would never do this consciously,” says mother.

I become angry with her. I don’t want to be angry with her. I don’t want her to be accountable to me.  


[1] Conventional regard for big brother in Bangladesh.

A Teacher

Father doesn’t stay with us. He works in another city. He comes once a week. When he returns home, mother sleeps early or pretends to do so. Father then switches on the dim light so that mother doesn’t wake up. In that darkness, he tries to find his medicine box and comes to my room to do all the rustling. I thought I was the most unfortunate one, maybe this person has endured more than I could ever perceive.

When I was 7 years old, Mother and father had a big fight. Father tried to choke her, “ You diminished the happiness of my life.”

That day I thought I would fight for mother. Today, I feel not the same. Then I respected father, probably didn’t love him. Today, I feel not the same, even today I might not love him but isn’t sympathy a way of showing love? Or sympathy is greater than love?  

I fear father. Father has taught us several things while being silent. I wonder about the significance his teachings would’ve got if it hadn’t come from a person who spoke less. He was full of teachings without even intending to teach us, we learned about life in his simplicity and in the wickedness that was provided by mother. This education is great education.

Mother’s teachings have been complementary to that of father’s. It is important as well if not more. The bad aspects of life can never be turned down in front of the positive aspects since they are superior, they make the world work. The relationship between me and my mother seems to have no abnormalities. Is it because I am not sensitive toward this evil inconvenience or the simplicity of this divine bond is not gonna fall into the feet of worldly flaws?

Helpless Persuasion

Sometimes I think about the helplessness of humans. I am afraid I perceive the perception of helplessness feeling for my father or is it me, who is helpless, unable to do anything for him.

Coming across helplessness is a social convention but the medium, which makes it happen, makes the feeling severe.

I still remember, the remembrance is vague but tremendously awful when I try to comprehend it. Mother came with someone and closed the door, having gone inside the room. I peeked through the rectangular gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Even then my childish mind smelt some distortion, but he couldn’t make his restive mind go through this enormity and searched for something comprehensible.

Many times I tried to label it as a weird childhood imagination that didn’t exist in reality. I wish I could be a better persuader.  

Sometimes I think about the helplessness of humans. I am afraid I perceive the perception of helplessness feeling for my father or is it me, who is helpless, unable to do anything for him.

Coming across helplessness is a social convention but the medium, which makes it happen, makes the feeling severe.

I still remember, the remembrance is vague but tremendously awful when I try to comprehend it. Mother came with someone and closed the door, having gone inside the room. I peeked through the rectangular gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Even then my childish mind smelt some distortion, but he couldn’t make his restive mind go through this enormity and searched for something comprehensible.

Many times I tried to label it as a weird childhood imagination that didn’t exist in reality. I wish I could be a better persuader.  

Death 

I come out on the balcony, there are so many stars in the sky. I look at them, the moonlight floods the balcony with its haunting yellowish light.

“What are you thinking Dada?” whispers Shilu swinging her legs to and fro.

I say nothing.

“ Are you thinking about death?”

“Why do you ask?” I ask without staring at her.

“After Nanu’s death yesterday, everyone has been thinking about it.”

When Nanu*[1] was dying, I was there. She was dying, we all were dying with her. A while before her eternal sleep, her eyes became big. The eyes had something to exhibit, maybe fear that endangered the peacefulness of our existence.

My Nanu had been ill for many days, I was asked to see her every time. I didn’t go. I was afraid of seeing someone suffering who had been so actively lively in my memories, I didn’t want to distort the memory of that bliss. Now, I feel not the same, regret is so bad. Now I see her in my dreams so often, where she is an active person, not someone who is suffering for a peaceful breath, not someone who has not adequate blood running through her body. I don’t tell anyone about the dreams, how do I tell as well? with what audacity? I wasn’t there with her when I should have been. 

“What happens after death Dada?”

She dazzled me with so deep a question that has depth never-ending, that has so darkness surrounding it that nobody can see beyond.

The concept of fear is so profoundly intertwined with death that it seems to me, there could be only two outcomes, either it is nothing after death or there is something intolerable that we will consciously endure.

My friend had once said to me, “ I don’t think there will be any divine punishment after death. The objective of punishment is really worldly and GOD is beyond all these.”

Perhaps he is right or maybe GOD isn’t what we think HE is, HE shouldn’t be also. HE is never to be thought of by anyone that is why HE is GOD.

Maybe the critical criticism of divine deity starts to occur in my age, when the soul is full of spirit, the blood is warm, the eyes have a sparkle and search for answers that might make them stop questioning conventionality.

My mother tells me pretty often, “ You are always against beliefs that we have trusted blindly for years.”

Who knows my questions might end as I grow older, weaker.


[1] Conventional regard for the mother of mother in Bangladesh.

Daylily

Yesterday, I got a letter. I know who sent it, but I don’t answer her. Love seems repulsive, I am not strong enough to endure betrayal, which is inevitable. Love is full of different distinct feelings and feelings change.

“ How are you?” she asked me.

“well,” I replied

“ Do you want to say anything to me?”

“I don’t.”

“Anything special?”

“NO.”

“ Did you get any letter?”

“Who would send me letters in this age?”

The girl never talked to me again, maybe from touchiness.

Someone had said to me, “ Touchiness sores life.”

Shrieve, neither mother nor I. Who knows,  Maybe hurting people who love us is in my blood.

The first teaching of love comes from seeing the happiness of mother and father, probably I didn’t get it, or I did get it but was small to understand it. Love lasts till some earlier years of marriage, then it starts to fade away, fades away like the people in it. My education tells me to be far from all worldly greed. Maybe, in the early years of marriage my mother and father weren’t, they were happy, they were caring, they were loving. What does it matter if it didn’t last long, at least it existed. They could provide a bit of love to the world from them, thinking about it is nothing but ecstasy.

Inexplicable

I have complained about the inadequacy of love in moulding my perception, it is not completely true. I have come across love or maybe something more superior to it which cannot be called love.

When my Chotomama*[1] got married, she brought the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I was enchanted by her mesmerizing beauty. I used to stare at her whenever I saw her, if our eyes met she used to give a smile that brought storms to the ocean of my emerging feelings.

My restless heart had to share the feelings I had for her, a childish love that didn’t have any evil intention.

I couldn’t help sharing and told one of my cousins, “ I wish my wife turns out to be the same as Chotomami*[2].”

That evil boy told it to Chotomami, what an embarrassment. When Chotomami got to know about this, whenever she saw me she used to give me a hug and hold my hand for a long time, what a bliss it was for an adolescent whose heart was full of emotions. 

She once told me, “ If my marriage doesn’t work out, I’ll marry you. Would you wait for me?”

I used to blush, couldn’t say anything, What could I say even? How could I express that her place was never to be replaced, never to be faded in my emotional heart? Maybe that was when I got to know about a feeling which was far superior to love, a feeling that shouldn’t be disgraced calling it love, an enchantment that had no place for evil needs, which was as pure and lovely as an infant.

When they went away from us, I was broken as a failed lover, what an astonishment! what we had between us couldn’t be called love!

I was seeing her compulsion as betrayal, I was seeing my Chotomama as a rival, what an idiot I was! Probably that time was dedicated to idiocy. My affectionate heart searched for something, it still does. These affectionate aspects of life are always going to be daunting for me. I have wanted to be many things, never wanted to be an admirer of enchantments. These worldly affections have come into my life like a black cloud on my sunny life, a distortion never to be repaired, never to be considered for improvement in the way I live.


[1]  Conventional regard for mother’s younger brother in Bangladesh.

[2] Conventional regard for mother’s younger brother’s wife.

 






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7 Responses to “CLOUDS”

  1. Clouds: Childish Consolation | Defenestrationism.net Says:

    […] « CLOUDS […]

  2. Clouds: A Teacher | Defenestrationism.net Says:

    […] by Ilhamul Azam read the suite from the beginning […]

  3. Clouds: Helpless Persuasion | Defenestrationism.net Says:

    […] by Ilhamul Azam read the suite from the beginning […]

  4. Clouds: Death | Defenestrationism.net Says:

    […] by Ilhamul Azamread the suite from the beginning […]

  5. Clouds: Daylily | Defenestrationism.net Says:

    […] By Ilhamul Azam   read the suite from the beginning […]

  6. C. C Says:

    Profoundly written. I’m there with him every word. Just so pure and so good.

  7. CC Says:

    Profoundly written. I am with him every word.

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