By Mushtaque B Barq
Grand papa is fond of lamb trotters. The last time my granny cooked them, she didn’t allow anyone to enter into her kitchen for better reasons. The smell knocked the wide open windows of my nostrils. I wanted my share, she denied. Grand pa sensed the heat couldn’t ask for too. At dinner, raw vegetables and crispy potatoes were served. Grand pa had all the abuses on the tip of the tongue but his mute mode was genuine. Next morning Granny looked disappointed. “Hell with the cat”, she abused. Grand Pa who was snoring soundly stirred and pulled his quilt.
Art of allocation
Suddenly a crow perched on the tin fence with a piece of bread in its beak, tried to pierce its beak into it, but it slipped off and for the hen down the fence it was blessing in disguise, grabbed it and picked a corner. The hen in hurry pecked it hard and hopped up in the neighbour’s yard. The ants marked the entire area, called the army, cordoned the spot and looted the treasure. A few sparrows pounced on ants and filled their crops. I bowed my head as a mark of admiration, for the Provider’s art of allocation.
My last trip to Moscow was remarkable. At the farewell party friends from many countries performed their folk dances. It was indeed something we had never witnessed. The best team award on the table was shining like a dazzling sun. Every team was given ten minutes to gear up. We were asked to gear up, but we only looked at each other, laughed and pushed each other. On the stage we danced like mad men and it electrified the hall. A trophy in my hand bamboozled me but the kind young judge announced: “They all had different steps unlike others.”
Doctor in the cabin was watching a video when the patient silently took his seat. Bearing in mind doctor’s engrossed posture; the patient removed his shirt and started to examine his body. Nothing adverse he could locate but still he wanted to see the doctor who hardly took any notice of him. Suddenly a book on the table caught his attention and after turning its pages his hands trembled when he found a photograph of his wife in ‘Bipolar disorder’ column. He put on his shirt and left. The receptionist asked for prescription.
“It is with my wife” he replied.
Manzoor was admitted in ward 5 to be operated upon early next morning. Anesthesia was administrated and became the citizen of ether. Relatives at the door of Operation Theater were praying. The door opened and a theater boy announced “who is with Manzoor Ahmad?” They flocked round the boy and he handed over a sealed jar and asked to deposit it in room no. 370. After a while one more container they asked to deposit at block A 35 in Pathology lab. Then the door opened again his son stood up and asked calmly “what is left now in him?”
Madam and maid .
A luxurious car stopped at a tea stall. Out came a middle aged man. The tea wala added a spoon full of masala. In a brand new cup offered him lovingly. He called him back and whispered something into his ear. He joined as a peon, spied for the boss, won the heart of his sweetheart, fell in love with their maid and got a son. His eyes were doubtful like his hair and skin tone, this broke the heart of the sweetheart. The maid and madam exchanged their hard stares, but the peon and the boss tossed their glasses.
He was admitted as Covid 19 positive case at a local hospital. That night an old man died, he sighed. Next day his conditions deteriorated, he asked for his son but died. He was packed in a box and relatives were informed. His son and brother attended the funeral. Protocol followed. Newspaper headline read: One more death. One more admitted, one more died, protocol followed. People mourned, doctors tired and ambulance driver carried on his business. The son and the brother of deceased were isolated, protocol followed. In their isolation, they died hundred times before finally they died, protocol followed.
Even dead man has pulse. Pulse is silence. Silence governs life. Life needs eternity. Eternity is a time. Time is a never ending tale. A tale we narrate, a tale we weave, a tale for we live for, a tale we make a book of it. A book is guide line carrying on its skin our dead end. We read books and forget to make one. We are read when our headstone reads our date of death. Dead man has a pulse; we visit his grave and read from The Book the pulsating verses and move off, reverse is illusion.
A living dead man
When his expected negative turned otherwise, he was shifted to hospital. Isolation he felt as an all-time campaign. He was attended by shattered wits, looked after by withered wishes and nursed by faith. When he was sealed, none of his relatives came forward for burial. A ward boy, ambulance driver and two men clad with mysterious gowns was the crowd that attended him. Before his death he had preserved himself for the rest. His serum was injected where it was needed. He lived in many bodies. His serum immunized a sedated civitas but failed to inoculate his roots and fruits.
Mushtaq B.Barq is a Columnist, Poet and Fiction Writer. He is the author of “Feeble prisoner, “ Wings of Love” and many translation works are credited to the author like “ Verses Of Wahab Khar” and “ Songs Of Sochkral”