Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Today i am getting a chance to do something which i don't get to do very often: feature the writing of another fellow writer. It is an article by Dure Aziz Amna, a dear friend and like a sister, and offers a mixture of political insight and wisdom of a fairy tale. The ideology of the article is, of course, purely hers, and does not represent my views. Read it for yourself, and feel free to comment.
The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land
Dure Aziz Amna
Once in a far-off world, there was a place called The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land. This land, as can be deciphered from its name was a lovely, truly lovely place.
There were mountains which stood tall and white
And rivers which gushed with might
Deserts with winding tails to tell
In short a lovely place to dwell
But you see, this breathtaking beauty had been bestowed at a price. The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land had come into being after a lot of its darling people had given their lives for it. And when their sacred blood soaked into the land they had lived and died for, it granted to the area a shimmering beauty, a vivacious energy.
There lived in The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land many people-some good, some bad, some both, some none. There was however one man who was known by all the inhabitants of the land, a man who had risen above all of them-he was the creator of The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land. They said of him that he had great conviction and dedication, they thanked him even after years and years of his demise, they prayed to God to be as good to him as he had been to them. They truly loved him, as if he was light if they be moths, as if he Rain if he be the parched earth.
Then there was another man, also an inhabitant of The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land. Actually, he was a poet. And aah, what a poet! He dreamt and wrote, he felt and wrote, he sighed and wrote, he cried and wrote. Entrancing though his eloquence of language was, what was even more striking was the deep love he had for his country, which shone through every verse of his. He cared for his country and made no efforts to hide this fact. However, in The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land, this was a huge crime. When you cared for a people, you were honest to them. And truth at the time was one of the most despicable sins in the land. As this man himself said, the land had a ‘tradition of submission, whereby no one could walk with his head held high’.
For such and similar outrageous statements, the poet spent many years languishing in prisons. However, his reaction is best summed up when he writes: ‘On this heart there is every stain except that of shame’.
Some years after this man had died too, there rose on the scene the third man of my tale. This man felt that The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land was too less beautiful and too less unfortunate. He decided that something had to be done about it. Although his favourite colour was brown as he often wore clothes of that colour, he tried to paint The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land a deep, frightful black. Slowly at first, he at last erupted. Erupted like a huge grenade, crushing everyone around him. Now he openly started a Machiavellian drama-trying to throttle every throat from which issued a voice of dissent against his cruel rule. So much so that any inhabitant of The Beautiful, Unfortunate Land could be taken to the gallows if they dared to utter a word against him. But you see, the Brown Man was a little batty. It is indeed easy to silence one irritating voice, two, or three of them. But when millions of voices began to oppose the Brown Man’s repressive regime, he knew that all hope was lost, that when a whole nation had been stirred there was no way he could continue with his brutal rule.
And then the triumphant inhabitants of The Beautiful Unfortunate Land (which was much less unfortunate now that its people spoke out) celebrated. They danced and sang their unique ditties, they laughed and they clapped, they bowed in thankfulness to God and cried out of sheer joy, not at a single man’s defeat, but at a whole nation’s victory. And although it is untrue they never had any problems again, they definitely were able to have one word deleted from the name of their land, which was now simply The Beautiful Land.