The Last Meeting with a Revolutionary
I had known him for many years.
He had been my classmate
For a decade.
He called himself a Revolutionary
And he was dedication and patience manifest…
We met many times during those years.
He had something to tell me;
Something to discuss;
Some message in his heart and soul to share;
A great concern for me, my future, and my family, and everybody;
An objective social seeking…
I knew these things very well about him…
And I enjoyed my right perfectly over him.
That day he came rather more vigorous than usual,
And the moment he uttered the first word
I began to speak:
“Now listen to me, my dear innocent friend!”
I didn’t address him as:
My Foolish Friend!
Which is what I rated him for:
“Listen to me instead,”
I ordered him.
“You may speak later.”
Here I took a long pause.
And he stood dumb.
“This world, this life is spiritual in nature
But you are a spiritual desert.”
I told him plainly.
“Our Holy Prophet’s name is recited
Billions of times every day;
Our Holy Book is preached hundreds of millions of times
Pious Allah is glorified all over the globe
One million times every second
Adhan is heard three hundred thousand times every minute….
“Hindus preach Gita,
Recite mantras and bhajans,
Worship their deities…
Billions of times each year…
“Christians run billions of discourses, articles, discussions,
They distribute Bibles
And conduct uncountable activities
He tried to pass some comment
But I was alert to forestall him.
“The list of spiritual activities
Of humankind is inexhaustible.
The greatness of human beings
Is at par with angels now…
But you are wasting your life
And exhausting your time
“Allah has bestowed you talent
You can understand, discuss and explain philosophy,
You can explain Zero and Infinity,
You can give enthralling discourses
On religious texts
And the Holiness of Allah
You can compose hymns and psalms
And you can sing
Far better than billions of people…
You can earn honor of all people,
You can become renowned,
You can acquire superabundance of wealth,
For yourself and all your kith and kin…
“But Devil has possessed you.
You care for none of these…”
Here I paused for arranging my ideas.
And he managed to utter:
“This has been going on for thousands of years,”
I asked by error,
For I was not inclined to listen anything he wanted to speak.
And he managed to tell it to my face:
“Hundreds of the generations of my forefathers
Have been doing the same thing
I too have heard about the glory of Allah’s
And Prophet’s names
Many times daily.
I have also been taught Koran
Thousands of times so far
In which thousands of hours of my life
Have already been spent.
This is our history…”
I stopped him short, because I had been enraged.
“What do you know about history?” I uttered furiously,
“You know nothing.
I know the world history much better than
The greatest professor of world history.
And I can swear
I know it much better.
Our civilization is superb.
It goes back to more than 7000 years.
We are all,
That is all human beings are,
The descendants and adorers
Of the Tribe of Yazidis.
We love the ancient warlords, heroes and deities
Of our savage and barbarian tribe and time,
And we are confident that they have
An utterly glorious future…
And we are proud of ourselves
And our helplessness.
Our helplessness is our Allah.
Our Allah is our helplessness.
But we live
To impress one another
And deceive ourselves,
For we know clearly that everybody
Every other person for
But we, in fact, live to plunder, enslave, humiliate,
Degrade, fleece, rape, murder or punish one another.
This is our past 7000 years’ history…”
I cut myself short. For I was myself puzzled
At what I had just heard myself saying.
I turned silent.
I knew I had committed a sacrilege of speech.
I needed to atone for it.
I remained mum.
He found his opportunity to suggest,
“I wanted to share my understanding with you about
Classes, property and its origin,
Statics and dynamics of capitalism, feudalism, slavery,
Society, world history, capital, surplus value,
Anatomy and diseases of the State,
Poverty, illiteracy, wretchedness,
Religion, politics, philosophy,
What is to be done, etc.,
Anyone of these topics for today.”
“OK.” I said for courtesy,
“But it must be short.”
“For about five minutes.”
“No. Any of the above topics will need more than an hour at least.”
“It is too much” I retorted, “to demand
An hour from a man like me,
Who has been at
Work in the office for the day.
You can speak for five minutes
And that is much more than sufficient
For any topic in the world…
Ei yeah.” I yawned.
“You are feeling drowsy.
Sleep!” He suggested.
“No. You can go ahead on your topic
For five minutes.”
I felt it my honor to speak so.
“No. In order to have a meaningful debate”
“And better understanding
Of the world we live in
Your one hour everyday
Or every week
Or as you like it
Or as you can mange it—
I need at least your twenty-five hours’ time
Over ten days
Over a short period of time.”
“Ei yeah.” I yawned again.
“Sleep!” he suggested again.
“Yes, Good Night!
I shall inform you when I can spare
An hour for you.” I promised.
And he left.
And I went to sleep.
Seventy-two years have passed since then.
I’m ninety five years by age now—
And at the verge of my grave.
I spent my time
Purchasing a living place,
Marriage pleasures and anxieties,
Bringing up children,
And worrying about my health…
I spent two decades of my total earnings
On purchasing a living space,
One decade’s salary for the education of my children,
One and a half decade’s total emoluments
For my daughter’s marriage
For her dowry and other things
[And she took divorce from her husband
within five years of that marriage]
And my entire pension so far on medicine, etc.
As far the self-propelled “Revolutionary”
He lived in our society till he was forty years
I never went to meet him
I had never the slightest bit of curiosity or interest
In knowing about
What was happening in our society;
Why was it happening;
What were our and others’ prospects
But the Arrant Fool
Calling himself a Revolutionary
Wanted not just curiosity
He was gravely disappointed perhaps
With all of us, his classmates and relatives.
“I bid you good bye!”
He sent me a note, fifty-five years ago,
Seventeen years after our last conversation.
“Good Bye! Take Care!”
I replied him in my heart of hearts.
Somebody reported that
At the point of crossing the border
Of our world
He shook off the dust from his shoes,
And he took a bath…
Nothing was heard about him thereafter.
Nothing was heard about him thereafter.
I spent thousands of hours in pure gossip,
Thousands of more hours
In scolding my wife or arguing with her over trifles;
Thousands of hours
In worrying about my children’s welfare;
Thousands of more hours
In talking about debauches’ adventures and whores’ fetes;
Thousands of hours in watching and discussing nonsense and movies;
Twenty thousand hours or more
Twenty thousand or more hours
In listening to and pleasing Mullahs
And other spiritual leaders…
I have truly lived a complete life!
And today, at the verge of my grave,
Why did he wish to
Bring into my knowledge all those useless things
That he had desired?
Was it to end unemployment and negative or destructive employment
And spare me
From having to purchase a Flat,
Or spend so much on the education of my children
Or for my daughter’s marriage
Or for my medical care?
Did he mean to make all these things free?
Can these be free?
Is ending unemployment possible?
Did he mean to develop the intellect, strength and independence
And deprive me of the heroics, engagement, entertainment, pleasure,
Misery and, at times, even wretchedness
Of having to argue, scold or even abuse my wife lifelong?
Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses
Are always venerable.
On the seventy-fifth birth anniversary
Of a Benevolent Socialist His Majesty
They distributed blankets
For shielding people from winter
It was a supreme event
Which one and all enjoyed
With absolute revelry
And Lord was in euphoria,
He needed a sacrifice,
And my neighbor’s daughter
Was trampled to death on the spot
To achieve Lord’s objective…
With all these thoughts
Comes another thought as well to me.
The glimpses of my great granddaughter
Who was kidnapped—they
Demanded a huge ransom money.
We could no way arrange that much.
Nobody would lend us—
The nicest and wisest people on earth: as we truly are—
For saving her life…
Her throat was slit open.
And we feel honored
By her great sacrifice
For the freedom
Of the people of this great country,
And this great civilization
That goes beyond 7000 past years.
I have truly lived
A full life…
Zihannasheen (November 23, 2014)