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Crippled Soul (standard:fantasy, 1417 words)
Author: Muhammad Nasrullah KhanAdded: Nov 05 2001Views/Reads: 2081/1334Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A woman who meets an image of past
 



Crippled soul by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan I cannot believe what I have
been witnessing. Isn't it ironic that those persons, that we try to put 
in the dark corner of our memory box, appear suddenly at that moment of 
life when we can't afford any burden of conscience? This unwanted 
appearance makes us more pathetic when we have convinced ourselves that 
whatever we did in our lives was not worthless; that the life we have 
spent was not so futile and absurd, as is the case with the majority. 
However, there is another court, in our internal self that gives its 
own verdict. Now we start suppressing that internal voice. We lull our 
conscience but, in spite of all of our firm efforts, it becomes more 
violent. Even sometimes it breaks its boundary, destroys our 
well-maintained external world, and leaves ridiculous imprints on our 
faces. Why has he appeared, at this moment of life, when I was about to 
forget him? How pitiful it is that in this one moment, only one moment 
amongst millions of moments, that it is going to erase all my efforts 
of thirty years! This pitiless one moment does not care about the hard 
work of uncountable sleepless nights. Isn't it miserable that one 
should spend thirty years of one's life to forget only one person? 
Isn't it funny that I am being sentimental while sitting with my 
granddaughter? How would she feel if I told her that that old man 
sitting under the dark shadow of night is causing a stirring in my 
heart? He is sitting with the same style of Socrates, lost somewhere, 
quite indifferent to his surroundings. I can recognize him among 
thousands, the same style of lighting his cigarette and inhaling it. 
The same style of folding one arm on his chest and the other moving 
slowly towards mouth, his eyes fixed on the distant horizon. The only 
difference is that shivering of his hands that now can be felt at a 
distance, and his white hair is more unkempt. Two strong images of his 
personality are still alive in my mind. Firstly, a lively young man 
with intelligent and sparkling eyes and sensual mouth with glorious 
exalted words. Secondly, an image of meditation; a man with graying 
hair, lost in the secret world of self, like the old, tired and 
despairing Sidhartha. How ambitious and full of life he was when, 
thirty years back, he started teaching. He had the natural talent for 
teaching. Moreover, his communicative style of teaching and exalted 
thoughts made him very successful while above all, he adopted this 
profession as a service, not as a job. He had studied extensively and 
had wonderful vision but all this was very embarrassing for other tamed 
and empty teachers. For them, the highest things were their grades and 
gray hairs. They had very clever and cunning brains, because they had 
been working hard, on these lines, for years. They would show 
themselves as wise and their little sayings and truths made them 
funnier. Their superficial and shallow wisdom was endangered by the 
presence of this young man, for there was something, which made him 
different from the others. This made others love or hate him extremely; 
there was no halfway in reaching him. The most irritating thing to 
others was that he never showed any reaction to the crazy attitude of 
people. It seemed as if he had overpowered those violent desires. The 
head of the department was a cruel, shrewd devil, who, with his favor 
and disfavor, could build or destroy the careers of newcomers. Though 
he had a doctorate in literature, he was good for nothing, merely a 
holy ghost. He compelled people to respect him, surviving by his mean 
authority. In short, there was everything except education and decency. 
Therefore, that intelligent young man became intolerable for them. His 
only flaw was that he had a good brain amongst brains that were 
mediocre. Why did I become jealous of him? I was ambitious for a secure 
and successful future and did not want to miss any chance of getting 
the favor of existing authorities. That was a very comfortable and easy 
way to reach the height, the only requirement was to please the 
monsters. Therefore, I did! All possible mean ways were adopted to 
force him to leave our wonderful heaven. Ultimately he left, silently, 
without even saying a word. His commitment to the profession and his 
intelligence could destroy us all. Therefore, before our destruction, 
we destroyed him. His departure made life smooth again and soon 
everybody forgot him. Lecturers became professors and professors were 
awarded with medals. I also earned a scholarship for higher studies, 
which would otherwise have gone to him. The peacock of a P.H.D was put 
on my head. My books on education and literature became part of every 
syllabus. I have come here to deliver my scholarly lecture. I shall 
tell people how I worked hard to educate the generations of my dear 
fatherland. My words will make them spellbound and then there will be 
much applause. In the pleasing sound of that clapping, I will forget 
this tormenting image. My ego will become stiff and proud but he has 
again appeared here, in a very concrete form. Before today, he was 
washed from my memory, but today he has appeared after thirty years. He 


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