Not Just A Dream

Not Just A Dream

Farrukh Javed

I had a very hectic day and on the way back, the news on an online podcast hit my ears. “There is no more space for dissent in Pakistan.” I sighed and closed my eyes. I wondered where Pakistan would stand in 21st century. Suddenly, my taxi driver waked me up and said, “Sahib, ponhch gye hain.” “Oh!”, I replied, “Here is your fare.“ and stepped out.  I was so tired that I threw myself at bed as soon as I entered my apartment and went to sleep.

Suddenly, I found myself at a deserted and devastated place. I looked around. There was a weird tranquillity in the air and chaos on the ground. The serene beauty of natural snow-capped mountains behind this ravaged village had me wondered about this place. It seemed to me that the intoxicating cool breeze was inviting me to enter this town. I summoned some courage and jumped across a stockade placed near to me. The cool breeze touching lush fields of crops and a gentle sound of burbling river nearby prompted me to find more about this deserted town. I roamed around the village but couldn’t find any trace of human being. I looked for any trace which could help me understand what actually happened to this place but I couldn’t. I headed into the narrow alleys of village in a frantic search. At the end of one alley, there was a big luxurious building. It seemed that chief of this village lived and worked here. I thought there must be some record of what calamity hit this village. When I entered, I saw the walls of his house decorated with amazing paintings and acrylic wall art. I assumed that this place must have had best of creative minds. Across the corridor, there were numerous war medals hanging on a display shelf with hooks. “The town must have had some best fighters.” I deduced. Beside the shelf, there were piles of books and newspapers. Titles of these books and news headings attracted my eye and I readily opened and went through them eagerly. “These are the finest pieces of writings, I ever saw.” But to my shock, there was nothing written or reported about the misfortune this place had to encounter. I came out of the building and roamed about the fields and there I saw an entrance of a cave. The idea of entering this cave shivered my whole body but I had a weird feeling that this horrifying adit had all the answers I was looking for. I gathered myself and decided to go inside. The murky, dark entrance, inside that, was a cabin around a torch. A shadow of man was orbiting around that torch quietly. As I stepped inside prudently, “Is anybody there?” I hurled at it. To my surprise, there was none except a vision. I asked, “Where is everyone?” A vigorous and horrifying voice came. “Dead.” I replied, “How?”. “A long story.” “I want to hear. “Collided the echo of words with each other. The ghost pointed its finger towards a wall near to me where something was written. I puffed dust on it and there were some lines written under a title of “A tale of Odyssey.” I further read.

“Once upon a time there was a country which was a flag bearer of truth, honesty and piety. This country had a narcissistic and puritanical king. The king used to rule the people the way he liked and no one could question him. He had issued a decree that lying was the evilest of evils and a liar would be beheaded as punishment. There was a rebel. One day, he gathered people and addressed to them, “People, listen. This king is a liar and corrupt, and the ones who speak against him, he gets them beheaded.” Some of them affirmed this statement and followed him as he marched towards the palace of king. When the king came to know about this rebellion, he got him arrested and ordered for his public hanging. Then he addressed to the people, “This man lies. This man is a liar.

Suppose if he were right, I would have had him beheaded, not hanged publicly.” People thought through for a while and endorsed the king.” Next, there were some lines which were totally unclear. I tried to comprehend the writing but I couldn’t. I turned to the ghost and asked who that guy was and what had happened to this town afterwards. The ghost sighed and suddenly, I was at my bed, dehydrated and hungry. The clock was hitting 2’O clock in the morning. I tried to get a bottle of water but there was none. I cursed myself for not being responsible as now I had to go to market. On the way to market, I was trying to figure out the meaning of a dream I just had.

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