A Wrecked Resolution
A Wrecked Resolution
She was the queen of words, whenever she spoke, people were awestruck and the participants anesthetized. The end of her every speech showed that there shall be none other but her winning the competition. After delivering her speech, she herself would marvel how she did it again. She was thrilling on the dais.
Her confidence was her key and it always worked on the right time.
Off the stage and contrary to the contests, she was a quiet, docile, reserved and… moody girl. Perhaps none had tried to touch her personality till then. Her class mates were envious of her___ Girls due to her capabilities she always showed from nowhere and boys due to her modest beauty and least concern with the happenings around her. Girls of her age were joyful naughty and garrulous but she wore the cover of civility, and, this made her exclusive.
She was in the final semester of her Masters in English Literature at International Islamic University, in the federal capital of the country.
Books were her best friends and library used to be her abode after class.
“May I disturb you ma’am?” someone asked.
One day, in the library, she was pestered as her attention was diverted from an interesting elegy of John Donne.
“Any reason for disturbing me?” she inquired unwillingly.
“Actually I have come from the boys’ campus to look for a book on Romantic poetry. Can you please guide me?” He looked quite innocent asking this.
Oh! So another here to charm me!
“All right Mr. Yaqoob. Which Romantic poet you are searching for?” she asked.
“P. B. Shelley, if you don’t mind please.” he said.
“O Shelley, he is my first love in poetry you know. Why do you want to read him?” She at once felt enthralled at the name of Shelley. She always went in trance reading his poetry.
“I think Alia, Shelley is a poet of solace, he is a respite in the immeasurable ocean of soreness. You know, when I read Shelley, I just get drowned into the sea of love.” his eyes were speaking his tongue too.
How familiar, Alia thought.
“You are right, Shelley is really a prophet of love but I am chiefly a big fan of his Desire; his urge for love and his aspiration to bring a Revolution in this chaotic world through love. How utopian” she looked as if she really was feeling his words inside. His “Adonais” conveys the same message.
Will you tell any verse of his you like?” she asked him.
Oh lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let Thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale…”
“My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast,--
O press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last…” She completed it.
“Oh this poem is my all time favorite one!” She was elated.
“I love this portion of the poem” he said, perhaps meaningfully.
“Have you read his “West Wind?” it’s a beautiful ode and the most representative of his poetic genius.” she was lost in the discourse.
“Yes but that’s not in my hit list.” He said with a little upset note in his voice but Alia did not notice.
“I like the beginning of this poem; it simply forces the reader in first glance. Rather I guess Shelley’s all poems capture the attention in the first sight, like
O Wild West Wind, Thou breath of autumn’s being and
O love, O life, O time, and
Music when soft voices die
Vibrates in the memory”
She could not stop herself from sharing it.
“And you know his ode shows the power of nature over the entire universe and a helpless man craving for the strength like that of the west wind, Shelley’s extreme desire to amend the world being as strong as the wind. I like another verse of Shelley in the same ode,
I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed.
By the way, don’t you think Mikaal, that life only gives thorns?” she said lost.
“Hello hello miss debater! Why do you feel so passive? Just see yourself, you are a national debate champion, it’s a red bloomed rose for you. How can you say so?” He tried to chill out.
“I don’t know why I feel like this. Even though I have achieved so much in my life but this passiveness does not get out of me, perhaps it’s my instinct. I simply can’t help it.” she said.
“Do you know Mikaal, what does it mean by Hamertia?” She further inquired.
She did not know why she became so frank with him. She was famous for her attitude in the whole campus, but only to the strangers. Her friends could be counted on perhaps one hand’s fingertips and now, Mikaal was an addition today. She wondered why she was discussing her personal outlook with a stranger but could not get any answer. The library was empty but the two kept sitting, discussing. No other boy had ever ventured coming near to her lest she’d spit out her anger with a slap, but he came and his mettle was worth appreciating. She felt as if she knew him for a long tine and thus is sitting with him.
She once had made a promise to herself after reading Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” saying, “frailty thy name is woman”. She decided not to prove this notion of that master of human psyche, neither she wanted to be captivated by any one, any lad, any man, whether a president or a door boy.
But right now she was sitting with him discussing her personal ideas. Why? She could not find any answer.
“Well miss, how you define Hamertia?” he asked instead of replying.
“Hmm, Hamertia is a tragic flaw, a tragic weakness that basically is found in the character of any drama, novel or a story.” She said.
“Ok, do you undergo any hamertia yourself baby?” he asked.
Baby, she felt a little uneasy but then got relaxed and said, “I think Hamertia is not only found in literary characters. All of us have a failing, a tragic flaw that inflicts pain upon us all the way through our life.”
“Right, so it means you are also suffering from a tragic flaw dear queen of words!” he said amusingly.
“May be yes, rather…of course yes.” She said thoughtfully but could not understand why she was opening her own pages of life before an unfamiliar person. Was she breaking her promise? She was unaware of the things to come.
“I think we should move now, its evening and is already cloudy so may be it’d rain soon. We shall discuss things right on our way outside till we part.” He suggested leaving.
She consented and they rose up.
“What’s your hamertia Mikaal?” she asked.
“Well, I guess I have more than one hamertias, and yet do not know which is dominant!” he replied.
She laughed and was about to slip off the stairs, he held her waist and helped her stand upright.
“Wow, Wow, Bravo Mikaal bravo, you are a genius and always win what you bet”, a roar of mob she heard.
She was stunned, he was still holding her and a large group of boys was laughing like hell.
What is this? She could not understand.
“Hey buddies, take a snap shot, I have won the baby today!” Mikaal was extremely happy.
And then she understood everything. She gave a hassled and complaining look to Mikaal who’s bold and bright eyes were glazing with happiness that………. he had won the bet.
“And here you go with your one thousand rupees.” a voice was heard.
Another, “and this is your five hundred.”
“And your keys of car.” another voice said.
“You won the bingo buddy!” someone said.
My God! How cheap is my being, my pride, my self, sold for just these infernal things.
She was wounded.
“I am always the winner” he was saying, and she felt lost.
It started raining. She slinked away from the place as the boys were celebrating that a national champion of words was today the loser of a real sort of contest, she could not mesmerize Mikaal.
She walked into the bustling rain toward her car, tears rolling down her face and Charlie Chaplin’s heart touching saying was resounding in her mind.
I cry in the air so that others could not see my tears.