By Mir Umar
I hid my pain even from myself, I revealed my pain only to myself
Agha Shahid Ali
Nature seemed to be blended with colors of sunlight. Flowers that tend to bend towards the sunlight, shine when light touches their leafy petals. The light also feels the essence of joy when it falls on flowers. The scent which flowers spread into the atmosphere luckily drives the birds towards the flower.
The sun is shining with its entire splendor and its light reaches to the dark room which is covered with artistic curtains. In the room lays a teen age boy under the quilt, with the color pencils, empty sheets and the amateur drawings lying beside him. The black goggles also lay towards right of the corner where from the sunlight doesn’t come back. Sunlight has alarmed the boy and he wakes up. When he is standing upright, he sway his hand in every direction and feels everything what comes in touch with his hands. Eyes closed and those frightening eyes held in a pale yellow face makes it a strange scene. His eye lids held in a constant position on the eyes as they wish to get their versatility back. The scars on the face easily reflect the pain which he bears. He feels everything but can’t see those things. He feels the odor of the water color and crosses his finger tips, when he draws the sketches but is unable to see the colors from then. Each and every day, he feels the intense sunlight in his room but cannot see the grasping nature of sunlight. Unfortunately he is too young to travel to the dark world.
As he continues to sway his hands to find his black goggles his mother enters and said in a low voice, “Get up Son, It’s too late”. The boy grasps the black goggle and puts it on his blinded eyes. “Mom, Help me to get up”, sighs the boy. This evokes strong emotions in the mother’s heart and a sudden flow of tears flow from her eyes. But the boy was unable to understand what was happening around. Only he could hear the cries of his mother. For him, it was all black. Holding her tears for the rest of the day, the mother takes her son, grasping his shoulders and takes him to washroom. Now, the boy takes a handful of water and splashes it against his face which is half wounded. When he touches those scars, a new pain is created in his heart. He remembers the scary shots of pellets that were fired deliberately at him.
It was one of the bright days of summer when the boy was lying beside his colorful world, color pencils, water colors, sketches, and a half completed sketch of his own was surrounding him. He had desired to make his own sketch from days but he couldn’t have compelled it. Finally , the day had come when he was drawing his own sketch. His room decorated with the fine garish paintings, some of his own and some of the professionals like – Picasso. They had been pasted on the four walls of the room. He had a dream of becoming an artist. But, that day his dream was shattered. He was carefully drawing the final lines of the sketch when he heard a frightening sound from outside. The sketch had only eyes left which had to be drawn and after it would have been completed. But the sound made a pause for the boy. He took to the window sill of his room and breathed away the tiredness. He was seeing the smoke coming from outside and decided to close the window. While he was closing it, sudden tense, small pebble like needles with sharp pointed ends hit his eyes. He was badly injured by the pellet shots that were aimed at him. The blood was oozing out from his eyes and he fell to the ground. The blood from her eyes sprinkled on the sketch giving it a color Red. The sketch which had only eyes missing became the portrait for the boy for the rest of the life. When he opened his eyes, it appeared dark before him. Only he could hear the chaos of people around and the cries of his mother. He could not see the vibrancy of colors which were once companions to the young now blinded artist.
Soon after this tragedy he was left alone with his pain. Friends of his, faded away as they hesitated to receive a friend with no eyes. This left him alone with his agony. They turned away their eyes. He was fighting with himself. The suicide option also crossed his mind but later looking from soul’s eyes towards his mother he gave up the idea. People visited the boy after the incident and the queue was fading day after day. Now, no one visits him rather the sorrows. This dream shatters him even today.
The boy remembers all this in the washroom and got over from his nap while the water was swaying away from his hand. He moved away and entered the world of his own- the room. Now for the rest of the day, he is alone with his agony. Everyday his day starts with the pain and the frightening moments. Now , the colors have fled away from his life and he lives a life of color BLACK!
—The author is a student of Comparative Literature. He can be reached at: [email protected]