beauty for beasts
"She was only 12 when she was raped for the first time." Pouring the wine and passing the cup to me, Abdullah spoke slowly as he poured the wine and passed me a cup. "So what is strange in it, this is very common in our country. Some are dropping bombs in mosques and others are raping poor girls, and the gentle fellows are just burying their dear ones; and very few are raping the whole lands. And we are searching other lands talking about our father-land like a volcano vomiting." "Cheers," I clinked my glass with his, " let us drink and forget our aching prayers." The unmistakble theme song from Magnolia Girls snaked through the resounding beat at the one of the most reputed Arabian night-clubs. "But you did not listen my complete statement." Abdulla complained, placing his glass on the table, I moved the glass. He seemed to be very excited. "Yes, I know, what do you want to say more? ... then she left her home, was sold into a brothel house and was subjected to endless rapes, same as it has been happening with our country for ages, once sold to pimps and now endlessly raped by the leaders. What great stuff to write a story. What do you people think, can such plain stories be converted into literature?" I mocked. "But raped by whom?" "Definitely by some man, beasts never rape human beings." "Then listen, she was raped by her father." "What?" I could not stop my shout. "Yes, facts are always strange, my dear writer." "But why? I don't believe it. No, never, father can't do it with his daughter." "Be patient, I am going to tell you everything." I was almost lost, in very strange feelings of such bitter truth. Abdullah was my friend since my college days. We had very good times at our college. He was a villager with a stout body and wide shoulders. He liked to have fun and carouse but was never interested in studies. Therefore he could not complete his education and was shifted to Dubai, one of the richest states of Arabs. His father had established very good business over there and our Abdullah became a rich man without doing anything. I, on the other hand, kept on studying, unaware of dark future in Pakistan. Many years later when I found an opportunity of a job in Dubai, I left Pakistan without even giving a second thought to it. But I was soon subjected to terrible loneliness. Abdullah used to take me to some bars at every weekend. As he was a born storyteller, I used to enjoy! his beautiful stories flavored with dirty jokes about sex. One day I asked about Neeha Roomi, a famous model and dancer on Arab TV. He told me that she was a good friend of his. I believed it at once, because he was an attractive man with a large heart to spend lavishly on such girls. The next weekend he took me to the bar where Neeha Roomi was going to perform, and now he was telling the story of Neeha. "Why are you silent?" "Nothing, just thinking about the inhumanity of humans." "I would like to listen to the whole story." "The whole night is ours, don't worry, I will tell you everything, see the dancing girls first." The dancing girls were moving their bodies awkwardly, just to prove: "Look, we have a body!" But I did not find any beauty in their submissions, I believe beauty lies only in resistance. Abdullah was a bit intoxicated, he stood up saying: "I am going to have a taste of these dancers." I looked in his burning eyes and said: "Yes, dancing is sex's respectable sister, so go ahead and dance." I was now alone to think about Neeha, who was being awaited anxiously. As darkness had prevailed there, the dim red lights of Saloon started shimmering, and the Arabic particular song: "Ya Habibi, ya Habibi", was stirring the drunkard souls of dancers and suggesting a heightened level of sexual energy. Everyone was trying to hide what actually he or she was. What a tender trap this bar is, all you want to do is dance and kiss. In what a wonderful age we are living, wow! There was now a beautiful American song: "Lose yourself in the lights of illusion Dreams become nightmare in daylight shadow" Soon Abdullah came down from the dancing floor saying: "My dear writer, dance is a wonderful activity of modern age, dance and drink is a marvelous activity to forget the guilt that whispers from the pores of our souls like sweat. This is the place where the heart accepts everything, and we forget everything about our disturbing conscience." "Guilt? But guilt for what?" "All the bloody acts we do daily to earn more and more money, our lust, our never satisfied greedy desires, cheating and lot more meaningless practice to maintain the stiffness of our neck finally lead us to the eternal shallowness. Finally echoes of all these acts scorch our brain. So it is better to dance; forget the job you hate; forget the greedy world; dance and drink until you are exhausted and unable to think ... thoughts which kill us." "Modern Don Juan, I am not interested in your speeches, tell me about Neeha Roomi." Abdullah looked at the distant light and started the story: "I was on my Teens when Neeha was born. She was the daughter of Fatima Dai. Dai is the title of those women in villages who earn their livlihood by singing songs at marriages or births of male children. These Daies live to entertain others. Adults laugh at them; lovers take delight by using them to deliver secret messages; children giggle and elders wave at them. Nobody cares for her joys. But they live on the joys of others, they are like minstrels. When I came of age and started feeling the stormy urge of sexual desires, my friend Raheem revealed another secret of Fatima. He told me about the feeding time of young men. Feeding time was the sexual training of youth from Fatima. Excited to have the pleasures of sex, one day I stole five rupees, fee for feeding, from the old box of my grandmother and walked to the dark hut of Fatima. I reached her muddy and dirty room like a thief andknocked on the door with my trembling hand. She came outand looked at me with a very strange look, because I had never gone to her home before. "Is your mother okay?" she asked. She must have known my mother was pregnant. " No, no I am not here for my mother's sake, actually I have come here..." I could not speak more. "Don't be afraid--tell me frankly, why have you come here in this darkness? Is your cock disturbing you?" "Cock?" I could not understand her pun. "But I don't have any cock!" I exclaimed. "Ha, Ha?" She laughed loudly and said: "If you don?t have cock, then what will you do with me?" I got her point and started giggling, and said hesitantly: "Yes Fati, I am here for feeding." Finally I used the code words. She held my hand and took me inside. "Where is my fee?" Before starting she asked. I gave her five rupees. What happened next was quite disgusting for me. There was an intolerable smell of rotten dung in her body and mouth. As I was immature she did everything and then asked me to run away at once. "But why should I run?" I asked. "Because now it is feeding time for your father, since your mother is pregnant, you know." I felt as if somebody threw bomb on me. I ran away and went to the open field near a graveyard. That night I wept bitterly. For many years I remained abnormal sexually. It was exposed to me like a stinking smell of a dead animal. I never returned to sample the charms of Fatima Dai. Just one-year later Fatima was married to Gulami. Gulami was the male Dai, having the same status of Fatima. After her marriage, I heard that Fatima had changed herself. Many times, I myself saw her burning candles in the dark mosque of the village. A year after marriage, Neeha was born. Strangly, Neeha was extremely pretty, sometimes God shows us such miracles that a pretty girl from very ugly parents. In those day some people from the Pakistani Army came in our village and recruited all the young men of our village forcefully. There might be some tension on the Borderline of India. In such situations only the poor are the scapegoats, so Gulami also became a victim. As a poor man is unlucky by birth, Gulmi was arrested by the army of enemies, and disappeared for years. After ten years when he came back it seemed, as if he was an old man of one hundred years. He looked like a moving skeleton with a long white beard. He again lived in the village from which he'd been taken. But now he was not a normal man, most of the time he would remain lost. Somebody poisoned him against his wife and daughter. Fati, on the other hand remained like a saint in his absence. But Gulami was sure that Neeha was not her daughter. I do remember the innocent Neeha of those days. She would go to mosque to learn Holy Quran, with her covered head. But Gulami had turned into a beast. One night he locked the door and raped his angelic daughter. Her cries brought tears in the eyes of even stonehearted people of village. I am sure God was also weeping in the sky. Fati and Neeha remained there for a few more days and then disappeared suddenly. Gulami lost his head and disappeared in the barren mountains and was never seen again. Surely the wild beasts ate him. Soon people forgot that tragic incident and Neeha became a story of the past. Many years later, I recognized Neeha one night in a club. She was now a changed person, after her bitter experiences in brothel houses. As Dubai is a better place for such earnings, so she came here to get the maximum price of her beauty." Abdullah lit his cigarette and turned his face towards the stage, where the compeer was announcing the arrival of Neeha. The appearance of Neeha made people crazy. I was amazed to see such dazzling beauty in dance. Her every step held the breath of life. With an airy, carefree style she was arousing the emotions of people. I had never seen such a beautiful body with such perfection of melody. All the people were lost in her delightful dancing beauty, as if she was made of ivory and rose leaves. Her sparkling eyes were giving hope to all, I could hear her beauty saying: "Well, I will take you to heaven and show you the pleasures!" But I was thinking about the Neeha who was raped by her father. She kept on dancing and mesmerizing the people. "What a beautiful combination of beauty and arts, but what a tragic fate deep down!" I thought. After the show, Abdullah introduced her to me: "He is a writer; he has a rich heart and a great love for life and the arts. Would you join him?" A smile of pleasure passed across her face, and seemed to linger there. "We live in different circumstances, but it seems I know you; how can we harmonize ourselves?" I asked her. "Well, do you hear sound of sand ceaselessly running? Do you hear the waves splashing against the cliff? Do you hear steps creeping around the wet roads on a stormy night? Do you hear the songs of a traveler singing in the vast desert? Do you hear the tragic music of falling leaves in autumn? Do you..." "Yes, yes you are like me, a child at heart in this mercantile society, still loving nature and arts, where even feelings have become commodities." I stood up and started walking with her. Outside the bar she looked at the moving waves of sea, and started walking along the seashore. "So, you are a writer and you want to write a story on me," Neeha said as she bent down, took a stone, threw it on the wild waves. She spoke again: "What odd chaps you writers are! You sell the miseries of people and gain your reputation. It is silly of you! You sell the miseries of others and when you die others publish books on your own miserable lives. I learned long ago that we should walk away from this life silently. Silence has its own beauty and grace. What an odd desire it is to write about others and in turn be written about by others. What a foolish desire to be known. Why don't we realize that all roads lead to the dark grave?" The waves of sea were splashing against the stones. Suddenly one fish came out of water by the force of the waves and started jumping on the sand. Neeha ran to the expiring fish, took it in her hand and then threw it into the water, saying, "The story is simply this, we are out of water and it is death which throws us again in water. In this world we are actually out of water, but thanks to death we are taken back to life. Death is actually the real name of life, the rest is all sand! Our desires for wealth, for fame or for some beautiful woman are just sand. Ah, we foolish humans, we keep on loving sand!" I was feeling as if I had come face to face with someone who was so fascinating that I felt myself merging with her. "I know how poor you writers are, Neehas are just accident, actually you have to show yourself in society from time to time, just to remind the people that you are still alive. You keep on telling great stories to absurd minds and at the end it is revealed to you that you yourself have become a tragic story-- how terribly unjust of life." There was a pause. I could see the bright eyes of Neeha in that twilight of early morning. I could not resist my desire to kiss those beautiful eyes. I took her face in my hands, kissed her extraordinarily pretty almond-shaped eyes. But she remained indifferent, lost in her own thoughts. "You are really beautiful!" I whispered. She looked at the rising sun and spoke softly: "Yes, but it is beauty for beasts." Neeha turned to the road and disappeared in the crowd of people. I was left alone on the sand of the beautiful beach, waiting for some beautiful hands to throw me into the water. The End.
:: bio ::
Muhammad Nasrullah Khan is a prolific writer from Pakistan whose work has already found critical acclaim in his own country and -- via the web -- all around the world. He says: "I live in a country where people are afraid of life. I want to reawaken their oppressed or lost dreams; I want to share their woes; I want to share the suffering of their shrieking souls. Humanity is dying and I am trying to put a few drops of water on its dry tongue so that it might face death bravely. My writing is the echo of their flagging hopes and raging desires."
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