Wish I Could Pray
He knew well that the furore and the fermentation were momentary. By the evening, the people who hurl stones would resume their routine life. They would hardly pursue any reformation. The conviction led him to stand conveniently and firmly midst the largest gathering of the world, under the shower of stones, thrown by emotional and enraged people. Some people took stoning in true spirit of the ritual though majority seemed personally involved. They flung stones along-with slurs and slangs yet he stood fearlessly and carelessly calm. His condition was like a giant-fruitless tree, standing under hail storm, with nothing to lose.
‘Keep stoning, vent your anger, and exhaust your grudges. Then we shall meet again; meet when your chest is free from any prejudice against me.’
‘Although I’m surprised that you blame me for what you did yourself.’
Satin took the stoning as a sheer convention of Haj or Umrah. He saw people over aged, after pilgrimage violating the line again, so he did never mind the stoning though horribly feared of two things; the ’Islah’ (reformation) and the Hidayah (divine guidance).
Meanwhile he got agonized by a small pebble, thrown reluctantly. He felt miserabl disappointed on finding the man who threw it.
‘Now I realize why Mansoor was unbearably hurt by a flower.’
The pebble was thrown by a man whom Satin called friend. The man carried his mission successfully in some part of the world.
‘Politics, you know politics’, said the friend.
Satin realized that he did not lose a follower.
‘I see! Deception is one of my traits. My followers must have it.’
The friend threw rest of the pebbles while praying to Allah. Satin instantly enquired about the purpose of his visit, also shrinkingly asked about the prayers, if uttered earnestly.
‘God granted your wishes even when you turned a transgressor- a permanent transgressor. Why won’t He listen to me, when the doors for reversion are open?’
The friend was eventually on pilgrimage after losing an official power and fame. The power and the fame obtained by betraying his own land, own people and his own soul. Realizing the cunningness, people abandoned him lately thus made him useless even for his masters. He was in a limbo - a total limbo.
Satin smiled on his honest reply, simultaneously lurched by the phrase ‘doors for reversion are open.’ He felt apprehended by the thought that if the friend reverts, their association would end. Consequently, might destroy his plans and achievements. The alignment can, however subsist; in case the friend re-acquires the lost power, probably he came Mecca for.
‘I wish, I could pray for you!’
The friend too wished that Satin could pray for him. Nevertheless he expressed full faith in God, believed that He would not deject him like his people and his masters did.’
‘Don’t worry your prayers will be answered soon.’
The friend wanted to know that if Satin has any information about the future or he just tried to coax him. Satin convinced him that he was acquainted with the future. He advised him to pursue rigorously and not to surrender at any point, although, Satin lied as he feared the prayers, the friend just uttered. The lie helped in distancing the friend from praying again.
The friend burst into tears. He got emotional. He had a habit of reciting poetry at emotional moments. Till now his favorite couplet was:
‘Kitna hai badnaseeb Zaffar dafan ke liye.
Do ghaz zameen bhi na mili koy-i-yaar mai.’
(How wretched is your fate, Zaffar! that for your final berth.
You couldn’t get in your beloved’s land, two meagre yards of earth.
Receiving a guarantee card from Satin he felt what ‘Bahadur Shah Zaffar’ would have felt, had the British promised to return his throne. He immediately shifted to a different line:
‘Hum dekhenge, lazim hai ki hum bhi dekhenge’
(We will see, it is inevitable (that) we too shall see.)
The friend overwhelmingly bid adieu. Satin thoroughly brooded over the phrase ‘doors for reversion are open.’ He thought that if the friend regains the power, he would stay aligned. He would indulge in same activities he was involved earlier in, may be more brutally. He was about to feel contented when another apprehension struck. What if he does Islah (reformation) and receives Hidayah (divine guidance). The thought depressed him and grimed his face. He looked towards sky with begging eyes.
On the other hand, the friend accomplished the pilgrimage. His associates could easily see his face radiating with joy. Their analogue was that the pilgrimage has been accepted. They submissively enquired.
‘Idiots, only God knows about the pilgrimage status but yes I have been given a good new by a friend’.
His associates took him no less than a Malang (wandering Sufi), a Malang who has a friend in Mecca.
Since then Satin is anxious. Indeed he is uncertain of the future. He does not know what his friend will do. Will he endure the alignment or go for Islah (reformation)? Since then Satin often looks towards sky and say in despair:
‘Wish I could pray.’
Irfan Baba is the author of a novel ‘Love and the Other World’.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.