BY NAZIR JAHANGIR
Almost 17 years back, Dr Abid Sahib had my interview for an English Daily. To one of his many questions I told him that “PAIN IS THE CANVAS ON WHICH I PAINT”. Then I added, “whether it is my short stories, poetry or plays, my theme is always pain in its comprehensive sense. Pain is the canvas on which I paint. Each individual soul seems pain incarnate to me. Every laughter to me is fraught with vestiges of agony. Man’s laughter seems insincere while his crying genuine. I think I have seen life raw. Even birds and flowers to me seem writhing with angst. When a flower boasts of its color, that is basically a posture to hide its pain. So far as I have penetrated human psychology, I feel human weaknesses, pride, laughter, dressing and every aspect of human personality as an effort to mitigate that pain, whether he is conscious or unconscious of it. Anyone who refutes me is not saying truth”.
There is no other meaning to pain for me except the pain is just pain. Long bouts of illness and pain have gripped me throughout my life, so I know the pain is a situation which makes one to writhe in agony.
People who say pain is pleasurable are just suffering from either navel-gazing or their theory is fictional. Calling it meaning of life by anyone, too sounds mental freeze with repetitive intellectual activity?
Pain is physical and pain is emotional also. In both the situations it forces a breathed and living thing to cry.
When situation of pain entangles, the meaning of the things change. Flowers lose charm, they don’t look beautiful. Stars don’t seem smiling anymore. Moonlight loses its soothing effects. Songs of birds sound irritating. It is only a helping hand or kind words which offer some feeling of relief.
Since two snowflakes have never been proved identical so how two souls can be same. Different people realize pain in different ways. Pain has a universal idiom. It is never pleasant, but always experienced as unpleasant sensory. Pain cannot be identified with anything. You perceive something which has no other word other than pain. It is a feeling. Its amount proves much larger to a sensitive person than a common man. Only a person having delicate sensibilities can understand the pain, otherwise the depth of pain is hard to grasp.
As I said in the foregoing lines that pain is physical and it is emotional also. When I see anyone in pain that makes me pained because I have been persistently remained in the situations of pain. A writer is basically extremely sensitive. Even a needle pricks his sensibility while to others even elephantine incidents make no difference. Tragedies make no sense to them.
Recently, I was again in pain. This time it was physical. But when physical pain too persists for a longer period it affects your emotions and psyche by default.
Some 40 years back, I’d written a Kashmiri short story hardly covering a page. Its title is “Rata teuq” (Blood Drop). I am giving the crux of that story here:
“Two groups of people fighting and a drop of blood stained the road. People converged there and instantly the number swelled.
While striking the surface the droplet changed the shape and manifested itself in different angles.
It takes various shapes in the eyes of people there. It was a trivial matter.
It lost its identity.
Different versions of people made it mysterious.
The man who just described it was as the tiger rending apart the human flesh, all of a sudden spoke of it seeming dancing girl to him!
Nay the corpses of the little children…… there was a peel of laughter…. the thighs of the killed young girls…..!
The blood stain was there in its original shape. It was the subjective interpretation of people which had changed the size and shape of the blood stain.
My eyes wide open, I saw myself at a crossing point. The vehicles were blowing their warning signals, and I moved to a safer point.”
Nazir Jahangir is a writer & columnist