A Story of Love and Grass

“Bhai koto nise ?”
I turned around at the rickshaw going past us. I’ve stopped counting how many times people have asked that. People in the cities are apparently very curious. It wasn’t like this where I lived. I would stand and walk and poop and do my daily activities and nobody would even bat an eye. But here, everywhere people are staring at me. Am I some celebrity now? Have they never seen a cow? I admit, I am rather easy on the eyes with my red leather and shiny eyes, but don’t they know it’s rude to stare?
I’ve been walking for a while now. Sure I may have gotten a little bulky the last few days, but that’s only because master was feeding me too much, now, I may be naive but I’m not stupid enough to turn down food.

 

Mokhless liked my curves. He thought they were sexy. I wasn’t like the typical blonde beauty; I was and still am a sassy red head. Mokhless was the hotshot. We grew up together since we were little calves. Bulbuli and the others had an eye on him, but we were meant to be. Inseparable till the end. I wonder what he’s doing now. My precious Moo. He is such a sweetheart.

 

“Ei Lalu, beshi genjam korish na, gate er bhitore dhuk !” the man shouted.

 

What the hell? Do I look like a Lalu to you? I am a pure Sokhina. I can’t believe you would give me such a generic name just because I’m red and pretty. Humans are such dumb creatures. No fashion sense, they wear weird stuff. And the females. Oh lord. Painting their eyes with black ink and wrapping weird things around their bodies. I really don’t get humans sometimes.

 

I entered through the gate and they gave me more food. Why is everyone so keen on making me fat? What’s the point if Mokhless isn’t even here to see me? As the night draws in, I sit down and wonder what waits. Mostly wonder what Mokhless is doing. I think this is what love feels like. We haven’t ever been apart before you see. But master told us he was making us big and fat to sell us to the city folks. Master was a good guy and I don’t mind walking a few miles, even though I don’t really get what the city folks would want with us. But if Mokhless was with me, I wouldn’t be this lonely.

 

I stare at the stars above, only failing and my vision being stopped by a ceiling. What kind of lives do these people live? Locked up in little boxes with not a hint of grass in sight. Sigh. I feel bad for them sometimes. Ever since we were young, we’ve heard stories of these boxes stacked side by side. We’ve grown up fantasizing one day coming to the cities and living a rich and happy life. Our lives were black and white. We wondered what color felt like. They said this is where the lucky ones end up. I’m one of them. I wonder what awaits me. Only the new sunrise will tell.

 

Maybe the grass is greener on the other side.

 

How much was it?

He stood out in the cold,
Wearing a single shawl
Over his torn clothes.

Walking barefoot on the snow,
Entire body now almost,
In the state to fall apart.

He had no option
but to beg,
With No Food, No House, No Money.

He stopped near a Bakery,
The Smell of Fresh Bread,
Was something he couldn’t resist.

He walked in with a Hope,
To find some burnt food,
That the Boss would Offer.

As the hope weakened,
With Weak voice, He asked,
“May i have some Food, Master?”

The Master signalled at a Small boy,
A Normal boy of 10,
You would see Enjoying a Life.

But this boy an Exception,
Shivering in Fear, Slowly,
He approached, the Man.

The boy Addressed humbly,
“Beggars aren’t allowed by the Master,
Please leave sir.”

For food the Man Pleaded to the Boy,
Helpless himself, the Boy,
Had to Throw the Man out.

Finishing some Task,
Few days later,
For Reward, the Boy Rushed to Shop.

On his way back he saw,
The man he shooed away,
On the white Snow, Curled up like a ball.

The Boy neared him, to check for life,
Cold as the man was,
The boy realized, to Heaven he was Gone.

With Tears flowing all over his face,
He ran as fast as he could,
With tonns of Questions Rising in his Mind.

“How much is the bread?”
To his master,
In anger the little Boy asked.

Without a doubt, the master answered,
“Only Two pennies.”
The boy repeated “ONLY TWO PENNIES!!!”

Wasn’t his Heart,
As same as the Heart of Others?

Wasn’t his Cry for Hunger,
As same as the Baby crying for Milk?

Wasn’t his Blood,
As same as us All?

Was a man not worth 2 pennies?
Why was he dead?

For Life he wondered,
About the REAL COST of the Bread.
2 pennies or life,
how much was it?

Go Away

We fell in love,
each day I looked at you
I created a new world full of fantasy, in my mind.

you gave me the one thing I never had.

Hope.
Each day I would pray to the almighty,
I believed in him because one of the stories said his realm was somewhere above you. Each day, when I was about to cry, I would look at you.
You gave me hope.
It happened on the day I was walking home,
it was raining again.
Rain always made me sad,
I felt as if you were crying,
yet I walked with slow steps looking at the sky,
and that’s when I saw you strike,
a magical beam out of nowhere with a loud noise,
you destroyed,
my best friends house.
You were my daydream,
But I was wrong all the time.
You in real were a nightmare to humanity.
I stopped looking at you,
as each day passed,
I couldn’t stand the sight of you,
the sky seemed dull with you,
that’s when I realised, you were a parasite
A parasite, which dominated the sky.
years passed by,
I was finally used to being on my own.
But then I heard the news on television
how you created cyclones,
and floods in various places.
Millions lost their loved ones,
just like I did.
I misunderstood whenever it rained,
it was the cries of happiness not sadness.
You were mocking how weak humanity is.
My loathing soon turned to fear,
finally when I got married and had my own child.
Each day she went out,
walking beneath you,
I started hallucinating,
I started getting mad.
My husband left me,
my kids called me mad.
The psychologist said I was just afraid of you.
But little did everyone know,
how cruel you were.
Stay away from me,
you hollow molecule of water
you so-called cloud.
You are nothing but another form of the Satan

~The Poor girl running away from you~

Nephophobia

My friends looked up at the sky,
and yelled out to me
how beautiful you were,
how you made them wonder,
what a beautiful earth we live in.
But a fear crept inside me,
you were nothing but,
the spawn of the devil
as angel in disguise.
When people begged on a sunny day,
it should rain,
I begged the lord up above these
hollow molecules, to save me from you.
I loved the days when the sky was so clear,
I would be astonished at the different colors
the sky could take, from blue to black.
So peaceful and so calm.
Yet like an eagle you soar away in the sky,
With everyone’s admiration,
but nobody sees the risks you carry along.
I didn’t loathe you from the day I was born,
I was foolish like everyone to look upon you and dream,
but one day out the blue,
you the white one, rained blood instead of water.
The Aircraft which hid behind you
shot bullets at my family
making me into an orphan,
each time you moved from one place to another,
you bring death.
The droughts, the flood.
Why don’t people notice?
how you show your true color
when you get angry,
and discharge lightning
to kill innocent beings.
you who bring the drought,
also bring the floods.
Why doesn’t anyone believe me?
as I look at you,
I see you,
the devil smiling at me
behind those innocent white patches in the sky.
The clouds. Oh, how much I wish you would leave the sky,
so i can live peacefully under this beautiful sky.
Some people say I am afraid of you,
but that’s not true,
I am not scared of you I am rather
afraid of what you can do.
Some even worship you,
but little do they know,
you don’t care about anything,
the only motto in your life is to destroy,
all the beautiful songs
how inspiring you are all down the drain.
You are just another thing
bringing humanity closer
to doomsday.
Please go away,
Please let me live in peace.
I know you want to kill me like my family,
but I will die one day,
all the sins I did will pay off
when some particles inside me reach you
and become one of yours.
That’s what real hell is to me.
~ The one who can’t escape you.

Crystal Clear

I walked towards him in long strides, visually inhaling and exhaling in the hopes of calming my nerves which were in havoc. My cheeks, a shade of red which cannot be named. “Now or never”- I thought to myself as his lips locked with mine. They said,” love can neither be seen nor can it be heard. It can only be felt by the heart.” Yet, I wanted to feel more than the feeling itself. So, I kept my eyes open. I watched how his expression changed every moment; from shock to awe, from pleasure to that of pain as if he can’t get enough.

The bluntness of his feelings made me take a step back in a daze. “Is something wrong, Yumi?” His voice dragged me back to my senses only to be drowned by his eyes. Those eyes stitched a million unspoken words into a fine line. The depth of it scared me. They were wrong. Love can be seen in so many ways that it can be frightening to the extent that you can never return the same feelings. So, I ran. I ran and never looked back.

Thus, as I kissed another man after 15 years to seal our marriage; I closed my eyes. I closed them in the fear of finding the passion in his heart which would never burn in mine. I closed my eyes fearing he would notice that blank slate of a heart reflected through my eyes.

Blank

“You’re gonna end up as a prostitute. Mark my words.”

She could feel every inch of her being cringe as her father’s words entered her ears. They wouldn’t register. They refused to. Maybe if they did, she would break his neck. But she didn’t feel like it. She just kept opening and closing her eyelids against the surface of her copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Have you ever heard the sound of your lashes crashing against each word of a book? It feels hypnotic somehow. She used to spend hours doing it. But it didn’t feel the same when her eyes were wet.

She wasn’t always like this. She was a joyful little girl with dreams of touching the sky and dancing beneath the clouds. She used to think her father was the most precious person in the whole wide world. Her mother having died during her birth, she was all alone. Her dad was the only friend she had.

As she reached 6, she saw her dad take her friends from the field to his bedroom room. He wouldn’t let her in. “it’s a game” he used to say. A game she was forbidden to play. She used to sit alone in the porch as the other girls stopped talking to her.

As she turned 13, she saw a new woman come into her life. A new mother. How anyone can have a new mother was beyond her. All her friends had just one mother. She would have two? She was overwhelmed with joy.

As she turned 15, she couldn’t sleep at night because of her new mother weeping next to her bed. She tried to ask her, but she figured she couldn’t help. She stopped dreaming of the sky. Her new mother was the one who got her into reading books. She gave her all her old books and she loved them. They helped her feel something, anything.

As she turned 18, her father burned her books; all of them except one. She had hidden her favorite one beneath her dress. She watched as their old house burned to a crisp, with her new mother and her precious books inside.

As she turned 20, her father tried to take her only book away from her. Hiding it beneath her skirt didn’t help anymore. He could reach everywhere now. And she wouldn’t feel anything. She knew somehow this would happen. That she was the next. She knew, the day she stopped dreaming of the sky.

As she turned 21, she was tired. Tired of never feeling anything. Tired of never doing anything. She refused to let him touch her anymore. So he cursed her again and again. She knew he wouldn’t stop at cursing. He’d go on doing whatever he wanted. That’s just how he’s always lived.

As she finished her book, for the last time, she scribbled down something on the cover. “I love you dad, I always have. If you want me to become a whore, then that’s what I’ll do”. She gently placed it beside his bed and sneaked out. As she walked towards the road, the fire she lit had spread and she could her father scream exactly like all the times her new mother had screamed.

She kept walking and walking wondering about what could unfold of her life. What else could she do? All that was left of her story now was a blank.

 

 

 

Unwritten

Jahrul felt tired.

He’d been trying to write something for the last four hours, but all he managed to acomplish was writing a few lines before throwing the papers away. Now he found himself staring at another blank sheet of paper, which seemed to jeer at his helplessness.

Jahrul Hoque, winner of the Bangla Academy awards for the last three years, felt helpless. It’s all over, he thought. Maybe now he’ll finally receive the long awaited punishment he’s due for.

He looked at the bookshelf across the room. Unlike most other famous writers, Jahrul kept his own books at the top shelf, where they were visible from all over the room. Their sight used to make him proud. Now all he felt was guilt.

But surely he had been responsible for their success. He had went from publisher to publisher, to have them look at the scripts, to have them publish that great piece of literature. It had been the greatest thing he had ever read in his life, and he wanted to share it the world. Otherwise it would have been left unread in a corner of that dusty old trunk foe eternity.

Jahrul loved the man who used to own it. He had been a friend to him; he had been a brother. He guided Jahrul through the concrete jungle known as Dhaka, and he had been an inexhaustible source of ambition to him. Right until Jahrul had stabbed him through the heart.

He was selfish. He was naive. Jahrul couldn’t handle it anymore. He loved the man a lot, but someone so selfish shouldn’t deserve to live. So he took the task upon himself.

But that was the past. Jahrul has moved on. He even named his greatest book after the man who actually wrote it. That way no one will forget his name either. Win-win for everybody.

Jahrul’s eyes darted towards the clock. The hands seemed stuck, unmoving. He’d need to change the batteries soon. But why was it so cold?

“Salam walaikum, Johaib.”

The writer froze. He hadn’t heard that voice in years. Nor did he expect to in his wildest dreams.

Has he returned?

“You surely haven’t forgotten me, have you?”

Slowly Jahrul turned his head and saw the faceless figure sitting on the floor in the dark. “Wh-who a-a-are..”

“I’ve come for you now. It took me a while, but at least I’m here. Look at the shelf, Johrul. How many awards do you see? I count three. Each for the three complete scripts you found in the trunk. But there were four other that were unfinished. Couldn’t you even complete them? Hah! You illiterate imbecile. How does it feel to claim credit for being awarded for something you didn’t do? Don’t you have any bit of shame left in you?”

Johrul sat frozen in fear. He could hear the unmistakable growls of anger in it’s voice. “What do you want from me? A public apology? My name will be stripped from it’s honor. I will be shamed forever!”

“Don’t you dare! You’ve shamed yourself ever since you put my name in the cover of your first book! Now it’s time you get what you deserve.”

“I made you into sommething!”, Johrul screamed at the figure. “You were nothing before! I’ve taken your work and given it the credit it deserves. You should thank me!”

“My work? Who do you think I am?”

As the figure approached him, it’s face appeared out of the dark. It was his own face.

“I am the real Jahrul Hoque. I’m not a fraud, or a liar. I am everything you once had hoped to be. Look at my face. Every word you stole from his work has left a scar on my skin. LOOK AT ME!”

The scars glinted red as the face distorted into a sneer, bleeding badly.

“He gave you a roof to stay under, he gave you food and clothes. And this is how you repay him?”

Johrul decided to escape. This is his only chance. He cannot afford to die now. As he tried to get up from his chair, a ragged black shape shot out of the darkness and pushed him down. His head slammed on the table.

“Tonight you’ll pay”, the scarred man said, “Tonight you’ll be punished for destroying ME!” At the last word, the dark figure drove a knife through the pinned man’s heart, the same knife Johrul himself had used once before in his life.

Blood painted the walls and the furniture. Yet the white page remained blank.

It remained unwritten.

Blank Moon

Kaito Zhang had spent months designing the streamlined body of his masterpiece. The outline itself had taken months to perfect, with all her swells and dips, even with the sophisticated software he’d written himself for the purpose. Detailing her features, from the texture of her hair to the exact tone of her skin had taken even longer.

Working on the electronics designed and modified to fit snugly in the cavity that was her body was a welcome escape. Most of that consisted of programming some chips and testing every component again and again until he was satisfied. But it was only a small reprieve from the personalized hell he’d put himself in. Continue reading