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Thread: Arundathi Roy

  1. #61
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    Muhammad Nasrullah Khan (@ cach*) on: Fri Jul 30 06:32:37




    Short stories For Arundhati Roy, From pakistan
    Muhammad Nasrullah Khan.

    23-C Commercial Area Satellite Town –C

    Bahawalpur, Punjab.

    Pakistan.

    Phone: 0092-3006825501 E-Mail: nasar_peace@hotmail.com


    BIO: "I try to write heartfelt stories based on bitter realities. I belong to a country where people are afraid of life. Their sleep has lost dreams. I want to reawaken their oppressed 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 should face death bravely. My writing is the echo of their flagging hopes and raging desires."


    Unheard Melody
    By

    Muhammad Nasrullah Khan


    The hot tea sucked me back into reality, my mind rudely awakened from frequent naps. It had recently succumbed to the habit of chasing thoughts unrelated to the topic at hand. My mind returned: ‘Wasteland’. I was sitting at a large wooden desk, examining the assignments of my students, but my mind was wandering elsewhere.
    “Sir, your class-time has started”.
    A voice brought me back.
    All I wanted to do was to run…far away! I wished I could be able to write another ‘WASTE LAND’.
    I had lost my enthusiasm in teaching years ago. I was merely going through the motions. I had long given up love for Chaucer or Shakespeare or Hemingway and Faulkner. My students had become nameless faces in the class room and faceless names during grading time,

    The day ended with the usual monotony. In the afternoon I came out of college and started walking towards the sea---my only refuge. It was dark, so dark that I could barely see, and the thick fog obscured my vision further. It was December and the few trees lining the path towards the sea were chewed by the blood dripping jaws of autumn. An atmosphere I did not belong to. Stagnation---apathy---entropy---life there was a sad mystery.
    Were these only dark thoughts echoing in my already distressed mind, or was this seed of malcontent very real? I didn’t know.

    The road was overly familiar to me, twice a day; I walked on it and encountered Bengalis, Philippines, Sudanese, Egyptians, Indians, and Pakistanis; people almost representing every country of the entire poor world. They had come there to make money, fight against the eternal hunger of their lands and to fill empty stomachs of their families. They all were coming back from their long shifts in industries. They never had time to turn their faces. How full of life they had been in their youth when they were lost in fantasies and gentle dreams. How terrified they became as little by little truth made them cold and indifferent. They had left everything behind—children, wives, homes. But the future did not yet belong to them. Neither would it belong to their children nor to their children’s children. They belonged to the world where a terror of royal flesh prevailed. I was one of those many faces, out of my poor country, Pakistan, in search of livelihood. Many years ago I wrote some stories. I believed I would find the same stories again. Neil Marr, an editor of western literary magazine, had many times reminded me that I was a writer and I must continue to write stories. How could I tell him that my mind had become an empty trash bin, filled with the needs of daily life? I had to work from dawn to dusk. The monotonous routine had swallowed many years of my life. I had a small, sweet daughter in Pakistan, whom I had not seen since her birth. But Neil Marr was still advising me for a new story. Wow! I myself had become a story in search of stories.

    Lost in my melancholic thoughts, I reached the seashore. Wild tides were smashing on the shore like a desperate animal. The cold wind would have frozen me if I had not entered the restaurant. Aslam, the waiter, recognized me and gave me a warm smile of welcome.
    “Hello Professor, take a seat. Nobody comes in the restaurant with this killer weather.”
    I thanked him with a smile and sat over at a corner table. The Sitar Music of Pakistan, a great achievement of human civilization, spoke to me with impossible complexities.
    The wild tides of the sea outside reminded me of “Time” by P.B. Shelley:
    “Unfathomable sea! Whose waves are years.
    Ocean of time, whose waters of deep woe
    Are brackish with the salt of human tears!”

    I got up to see the descending sun and stood there until it was completely lost in the horizon.


    When I returned to my table, I found professor Ramnath sitting at a table next to mine, staring out of the window.
    “Cold, huh”, he murmured.
    He was a professor of the English department at an Indian College overseas. He was an interesting fellow and a brilliant old man. He was as jaded about the world and people around him as I was. He picked up a cigarette and lifted it to his lips. He could hold the smoke in longer than anyone I knew. He must have been a whale in a previous life, as Indians believe seven lives are lived in this world. The smoke coiled around us.
    Ramnath was looking sad and dejected. It was something new because he was always a loving and jolly fellow.
    “You seem to be engrossed in something,” I said.

    ‘Have you heard the B.B.C. News today?”


    “There is nothing new for me to know ----tell me if there is,” I replied.

    “American Space Shuttle Columbia burst in the space, just before landing,” he told me.

    “Yes, and there was some Indian lady, named Kalipna on it,” he added.
    Yes, it is sad news,” I replied.

    “But Kalipna was not someone just in the news for me, since I knew her personally”, said
    Ramnath.

    “Personally, but how?”

    “She was my student, and I had great love for her.”

    He uttered the word “love” in a sad tone. There was a world of revelation in that word. I found tears in that word. He was looking out of the window where a seagull was diving to catch mackerel. Professor Ramnath could not prevent the flood of memories from washing over him. This episode of the past haunted him. All was revealed in his eyes with great aching clarity. He could not conceal a single detail, nor could any pain conceal itself from him.

    “Go on with your story.” I said.

    “I met her when I just started teaching at the Punjab Engineering College. Kalipna was in her second year as a graduate student. She had shoulder length black hair that she clearly never worried about. It was tousled and covered the sides of her plain and unadorned face. When she looked right at you, you could see that her eyes were slightly lazy and her features were not what you would describe as traditionally pretty. But there was something in her eyes, a certain sparkle, which made you spell bound. There was also a slight curl to her lips that made her seem intelligent and alert. Overall, she was a very attractive girl. To me she was beautiful. I know I loved her.”

    The Professor stopped talking and looked outside where the seagull was still diving for mackerel.

    “What attracted you to her?” I asked.

    The Professor sighed and said, “Her eyes... They are probably the one thing I will never forget. How much peace I attained just by looking at them. Her eyes made me feel how wonderful the earth was when I looked into them. How I wish I could close my eyes and see hers again---to see her eyes for one last time; to feel her smile once more.
    Whenever we were alone, she wanted to learn. I explained quantum mechanics, geophysical terminology, and English literature to her. I had much to teach and she was a fine student, with a flexible mind. She was never afraid to admit her ignorance. She asked many questions:

    “Is there necessarily a difference between energy and matter? May I join independent clauses by a comma?”

    I wondered at her lust for learning. Once when there was a get-together, she turned her attention away from the party and asked me away to ask me something about the transit effects of light and colour in Impressionist painting. One day she was holding a big bundle of books from the library. I asked her if she had time to read all those heavy books.

    “I always have time, professor. This is the best way to prevent fear and loneliness.”

    I kissed her hand and said, “I love your knowledge, which sparkles in your eyes.”

    How can I forget that evening when I delivered a lecture on astronomical history? She held my hand and said, “You are a wonderful man. It is no wonder you have such success in your work!”
    I blushed at this, red as a boiled lobster.
    She smiled and said,” Your modesty makes you all the more adorable.”

    “She was an intelligent girl. I loved her mind. You know what made her distinctive from other girls? Other girls were a collection of body parts controlled by a mind, but she was a mind supported by body parts.

    Her only dream in life was to visit the moon. Since her childhood, she had been dreaming of it. Once she told me about her childhood, spent in a poor village of India. Her secondary school Education passed her by in a lonely blur. In solitude she wandered the school grounds or sat under trees with a pad and pen. Her lunch breaks were spent in the library accompanied only by science fiction books. At home, after completing her homework she would spend her time dreaming of space and the moon. She passed her exams with distinction but it meant nothing for her. This was not her dream. Others may have escaped reality by dreaming unrealistically but she never forgot the hardships and lessons of reality. She never allowed reality to obstruct her dreams and plans with defeat. She knew that she had to harness talent more precisely to pursue her dreams.


    “She wanted to join NASA. She won scholarship and got admission in aerospace program in Texas. She made her way to her goal smoothly. I knew she would get her target one day. It was not amazing for me when she was selected as an aeronautical engineer in NASA.”

    The Professor looked again at the sea, where the seagull was still diving to catch the fish.

    “Did you express your love for her, Ramnath?” I asked, presenting a cigarette to him.

    “No, never. The beauty of love does not lie in expressing it directly. It lies in hidden words. As you know ‘Unheard Melodies are sweeter.’ But I got one thing very real from her. I was mystically transformed by her. She converted me from being nonexistent to being existent.

    I still remember the sad evening of her departure from India. Something in me was telling me that she would never return. Such people never come back. They never look back. Their destination is always ahead of them. The sun’s last rays were sinking behind the trees. Shadows rose from the dense woods on both sides of the track. I saw her, waving her hands; I could see her sparkling eyes even from a distance. The distance eventually made her vanish and I could not see her anymore. Oh life, cruel stepmother, why have you separated the two of us?”

    The Sea was silent now. Smooth waves were singing a sweet song. Ramnath stood up, walked slowly over and leaned his head against the cold windowpanes, overlooking the unfathomable waters, where the seagull was scraping his beak after eating a mackerel.

    I looked at the sea again as I thought about Ramnath and his sorrow. Life has no mercy.It scraps us up like the seagulls do when they find their prey.

    I reluctantly rose from the chair, sighed, took a look at my wristwatch as if the time mattered and walked out the door. I walked onto the sidewalk and up the street leaving Ramnath behind without saying goodbye. Most of the place was quiet. A few workers were returning from their night shifts. I was thinking about Kalipna who left her land to achieve glory and how death finished her at the moment of her glory. I thought about Neil Marr advising me to write more stories.

    I put a cigarette in my mouth, but instead of lighting it I just placed it in my mouth for effect and to give my fingers something to do. I did not want to think anymore. That was enough for one night.


    Muhammad Nasrullah Khan.

    23-C Commercial Area Satellite Town –C

    Bahawalpur, Punjab.

    Pakistan.

    Phone: 0092-3006825501 E-Mail: nasar_peace@hotmail.com


    BIO: "I try to write heartfelt stories based on bitter realities. I belong to a country where people are afraid of life. Their sleep has lost dreams. I want to reawaken their oppressed 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 should face death bravely. My writing is the echo of their flagging hopes and raging desires."


    Before Sunrise

    By

    Muhammad Nasrullah Khan.

    Neeha Roomi was only 12 when she was raped for the first time. She was a famous model and dancer. Her delicate untroubled style was famous throughout Arab world; it aroused the deepest emotions of her audiences. It was hard to tell, as you watched her perform, that she had been raped repeatedly in her childhood.

    I had known of Neeha for many years. I had seen her dance on Arab T.V. But I did not meet her until my friend, Abdullah, took me to one of the most highly reputed Arabian nightclubs, to a special show in which Neeha’s dance was featured.

    As he and I found seats at a small table, Abdullah said, “I am going to tell you something about which you will want to write a story.”

    He knew that I was a writer, and I knew that he was a good story teller. And so he spoke, and I listened. Abdullah poured wine and passed a cup to me.

    He began, speaking slowly:

    “Rape is very common thing in our country, Pakistan.”

    “So what is strange about that?” I said. “Evil itself is very common in our country. Some are dropping bombs on innocent people and others are raping girls. More important, our leaders are raping the whole land, while we are exchanging talks about our fatherland like a volcano vomiting. Let us drink and forget our aching prayers “I raved on, indifferent to the poor, ravished girls. I stood up and looked out at the sun, like a golden ball growing smaller, which was disappearing behind the fast shut eyelid of the ocean.

    "Did you not hear what I just said?" asked Abdulla with a sound of anger in his voice, thinking I wasn't listening or that I cared not to what was happening in our country. He set his glass down heavily, seeming very annoyed.

    "Yes, I heard you. Speak, I'm listening."

    Abdulla stared at me for a while. Finally he began: "Neeha is a Pakistani girl. She left home at a very tender age. She was sold to a Brothel house and was exposed to endless rapes."

    Abdulla walked toward the window where I stood, both hands in the pockets of his pants, as though in thought. He then turned his back toward me. I could tell something was not right as he walked toward the table.

    I frowned. “Girls are taught about this danger from an early age. When a young pretty girl runs away from home, she takes her chances.”

    I felt no remorse for my unconcern. However, I then spotted an opportunity. Perhaps the outrages about which Abdullah wished to speak would make a good story, a story which might be beneficial to my reputation as a writer. As the band played unmistakable theme song from” Magnolia Girls”, I clinked my glass with Abdullah’s and urged him to go on.

    Abdulla continued, while the music’s resounding beat snaked through the bar. “Neeha ran away from home because she had been raped by her father.”

    I snorted with disbelief.

    “Believe it, my dear writer,” Abdullah said. ”Facts are always strange.”

    He looked at me closely. “Shall I continue?”

    I was not sure. Abdullah and I had been friends since college, and I’d never known him to lie. But it was such a bitter truth, so hard to believe.

    Why her father? It was such a disgusting truth. As I sat with face in my hands, pouring out my heart, Abdullah poured himself another drink of wine. "Care for another?" he asked offering me my cup.

    "No, I just want you to tell me more about Neeha."

    Abdulla proceeded;

    "I was in my twenties when Neeha was born. She was the daughter of Fatima Dai.

    Dai is the title for women in the villages who earn their living by singing at weddings, and births of male children. These women live to entertain others. They make people laugh, children happy. Lovers use them to deliver secret messages while elders delight in them. They are like minstrels. They live on peoples' joys, though no one cares for theirs.

    At seventeen, when I became a man and first felt the stormy urge for sexual satisfaction, my friend revealed another secret of Fatima. He told me about “feeding time”, when young men are trained for sex.

    One day I stole five rupees, the fee for “feeding”, from grandmother's old box and walked to the dark hut of Fatima. As I knocked on the door of her muddy, dirty room, my hand trembled.

    She came outside. There was a strange look on her face.

    "Is your mother okay?" she asked.

    "I'm not here for my mother. I have come..." I paused.

    "Don't be afraid," she said. "Tell me frankly why would you come here in this darkness?”
    “I---I---“

    Fatima broke into startling laughter.

    “What is it you will do with me?” She laughed.

    I started to laugh as well. My fears melted away.

    "Yes Fati, I am here for feeding." She grasped my hand and took me inside.

    "Where is my fee?" she asked immediately.

    I gave her my five rupees.”

    Abdullah paused. He did not meet my eyes.

    “What did she do?” I asked with great intensity.

    “Knowing that I was immature, she did everything.”

    “So you got what you paid for.”

    I looked at Abdulla and waited to hear what else he had to say.

    "I am not sure. There was an intolerable smell on her body and mouth, like the stinking smell of a dead animal. Even at that young age, I sensed that sex should be sweet and gentle, not repulsive. But that is not the worst of it. Afterwards she told me, ‘Run away now’.”

    “No love or kindness? She just told you to run away?”

    “Correct, “Abdullah said, lowering his voice to a whisper. I looked at her dumbfounded.” Why should I run? I asked her.”

    I moved closer to Abdullah. “What did she say?”

    “Her answer was quite upsetting for me.” Abdullah moved back to the table, sat down, and examined the tablecloth closely. “She said, because now it is feeding time for your father. Your mother is pregnant, you know."

    “I felt as if someone had thrown a bomb on me. I ran and ran until I came to a graveyard. I fell to my knees near a saint’s tombstone and wept bitterly. For many years afterward, I was sexually abnormal because I had been exposed to sex in such an insensitive manner. “

    “A year later Fatima married Gulami, the male Dai. His status was the same as Fatima’s. A year after that, she bore Neeha. It was hard to believe such a pretty girl could come from such ugly parents.”

    “Later, Neeha's father became another victim to the young men from the Pakistani Army. In those days there was tension on the borderline between India and Pakistan. The army would come and forcibly take poverty-stricken men away to fight against the enemy. As you know, dear writer, a poor man is unlucky by birth.”

    “The Indian Army conscripted Ghulami for ten years. When he returned he was not the same person. He looked 100 years old, like a moving skeleton with a long white beard. We hardly recognized him.”

    Abdullah went on, “That is when Neeha was raped by her father.”

    I turned my eyes away from my friend. Was I, a born writer, actually beginning to regret asking him to tell me this story?

    Abdullah sighed, “In those days Neeha used to go to Mosque to learn the Holy Quran. She always kept her head properly covered. Her father encountered her at the mosque. When he was taken away by army, she was 2. Now she was 12; he did not recognize her. He also experienced severe memory loss; he probably did not even realize that he had a daughter.”

    “still--“

    Abdullah persisted with the story. “Neeha’s crying brought tears to the eyes of the most stonehearted people of the village. I am sure that even God in Heaven was weeping. When Ghulami discovered his victim’s identity, he was driven out of his mind with remorse. He disappeared into the barren mountains and was never seen again.

    “I went on with my life. I forgot about what happened until one night when I saw Neeha in a dance club. And now you will see Neeha for yourself.”


    Soon after, the emcee announced Neeha’s arrival. Tears sprang to Abdullah’s eyes. She is still so beautiful!” he said.

    I was amazed to see how well Neeha danced. Her every step seemed to hold the breath of life. With a delicate, untroubled style, she aroused the emotions of the people. Her style perfectly combined both both beauty and art, both the promise of heaven and assurance of pleasure. She was amazing. She was wonderful. Her eyes held a feeling of hope and charm. My mind went back to the time when she was raped.

    On the way to the bar to see Neeha, Abdulla wondered if Neeha would dance as she did the last night he saw her. To his surprise, she captivated his very soul.

    After the show Abdulla introduced her to me.” He is a Writer. He has a rich heart and great love for life and arts.”

    “But does my base love for money and fame surpass the loves my friend has mentioned?” I wondered. Aloud, I said, “Though we have lived through different circumstances, it seems as if I know you. How might we become acquainted?”

    A coy smile slowly crept across Neeha’s face. It lingered as we walked out the door.

    "So you want to write a story about me?" she said still Smiling. I did not answer. I was beginning to question my desire to use the outrages of her life to raise my own status, to wonder if debasing her in such a way might debase me still more.

    She bent down, picked up a stone and cast it out toward the dark waves.

    "What odd chaps you writers are," she said.” You sell the afflictions of people and gain reputations. Then you die and other writers sell stories about your miserable life. First you talk about others, and then others talk about you. What a foolish desire to be known. I learned a long time ago that we should walk away from this life silently. Remember, all roads lead to the dark grave.”

    Her talk of death fascinated me, frightened me, and confused me. I lost all desire to exploit her for gain. My mind returned to the group of men who had exploited her so mercilessly, a group I no longer wanted to join.

    “How could she have put up with so much?” I wondered. She was smiling, but I was sure that deep in her heart she was aching with sorrow.

    She looked me in the eyes and in a most delicate tone she said, "Do you hear the sound of the sand constantly running? Do you hear the waves splashing against the cliff?’ She hesitated, ever so slightly. ‘Do you hear steps creeping around the wet road 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..."

    I stopped her and said:

    "Yes, yes, you are like me, a child at heart, even in this commercial society where feelings have become commodities. You love nurture and the arts.”

    My heart was developing feelings that I had never thought it could contain. I felt free, totally lost in the moment.

    The waves had thrown a fish upon the sand. Neeha noticed this and ran to throw the helpless creature back in the water.
    “We are like that fish.” she said.” We get out of the water and someone, much like death, throws us back in. In this world, we are actually out of water but thanks to death, which takes us back to life. Death, in fact, is the real name for life. The rest is all sand! The desires we have are just love for sand."

    My heart began to beat more rapidly. Neeha seemed to have a strange power over me. She had changed my mind, my feelings, and my outlook on life. We walked hand in hand along the seashore, looking out over the ocean waves. We no longer spoke.

    The sweet confusion grew. My manhood bloomed with the desire to be closer to her. I was overwhelmed with the frightening but wildly exciting desire; I suddenly wanted nothing more than to love her forever.

    We stopped and looked at each other. In the twilight of early morning, I could see her eyes glitter as if accepting my silent commitment. I took her face into my hands. She closed her eyes in surrender, and I softly placed a kiss on each of them. My heart leapt with joy.

    "You are so beautiful!" I whispered.

    But then I sensed a change in Neeha’s manner, a sudden distancing. She pulled away from me and looked at the rising sun.

    She said softly, "Yes but, this beauty is for the beasts." And she walked away.

    I stood alone on the sands of time waiting for someone to come to throw me into the water.








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  3. #62
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    Shakti (@ 219.*) on: Tue Aug 24 05:31:57 EDT 2004




    hello i'm shakti from Malaysia!
    i'm postgraduate student, doing my thesis base on Roy dan Kamala Markandaya's novel. i compare The God of Small Things and Nectar in sieve in feminism' point of view. so if anyone interest in this topic can mail me.
    My mother tounge is Tamil. u can mail me in Tamil. TQ





  4. #63
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    Ramanju (@ ) on: Fri Nov 26 06:58:19




    Respected Madam

    I want to read The God of small things please send me.

    Thanking you Madam
    Ramanju





  5. #64
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    nisha (@ 218.*) on: Sat Nov 27 09:52:20 EST 2004




    Whom are you expecting the book from, Pal????? It is sold in bookstores!!! Go get it for a pretty sum!!!!!





  6. #65
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    jayakumar (@ 92-2*) on: Sun Dec 26 06:03:45 EST 2004




    Respected medam
    iwant to read the God of small things please send me
    Tankingyou Madam
    jayakumar
    from jay5_play@yahoo.com
    <a name="last"></a>




  7. #66
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber Surya's Avatar
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    I hear that her book "God of little things." I think is good. But based on reading some of her other stuff, I'm not her biggest fan.
    Started writing again after a few years... Just some typos (Didn't wanna say kirukalgal) :P Lemme know...

    http://www.mayyam.com/talk/showthrea...thyam-Cineplex

  8. #67
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber Querida's Avatar
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    it is a pretty good book Surya..though at times graphic it still did not lose its flowing poetic style

  9. #68
    Senior Member Senior Hubber nirosha sen's Avatar
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    Did she write another book after God of Small Things???? I would love to read it, Pa!!!!

  10. #69
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber Surya's Avatar
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    Cool, I wanna try it.
    Started writing again after a few years... Just some typos (Didn't wanna say kirukalgal) :P Lemme know...

    http://www.mayyam.com/talk/showthrea...thyam-Cineplex

  11. #70
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber Querida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nirosha sen
    Did she write another book after God of Small Things???? I would love to read it, Pa!!!!
    count me in...i've been waiting for ages for her to write again!

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