گام به گام با عــبير
نويســـنده : غلام رضا
آقاي صبورالله ســياه ســنگ عزيز،
روزنامه انگليسي زبان "شرق الاوسط" چاپ لندن، زماني به درستي داوري کرده بود که گذشته از معدودي شاعران سوريه و عراق که به بازتاب جنگ عراق ميپردازند، عرصه ادبيات در اين ميانه سخت تهي به چشم ميخورد.
خيلي خرسندم که افغانها از سهمگيري در اين گستره فوق العاده بااهميت شانه خالي نميکنند و به روزگار تکاندهنده قربانيان جنگ، به ويژه زنان و دختران ستمديده عراق روشني مي اندازند.
نوشته شاعرانه، دلانگيز و غمباري که شما از زندگي عبير، مرگ خانواده اش و تلخي جانکاه آن اندوه بزرگ نوشته بوديد، همه رويدادهاي دهشتناک روز دوازدهم مارچ 2006 را يکباره در روح و روانم زنده ساختند.
نوشته شما براي من يادآور خنجري بود که ژرف و ژرفتر فروميرفت و سرانجام وادارم ساخت که من نيز در نقش يک نويسنده در پرتو مسئوليت اخلاقي خودم دست به قلم ببرم و در پيرامون آن رخداد فراموش نشدني بنويسم.
من دانش آموز يک دانشگاه امريکايي در قرغزستان استم و نوشته هايم که بيشتر شعر و داستان کوتاه و داستان بلند اند، همه به انگليسي ميباشند. کمتر فارسي مينويسم.
داستان کوتاه زيرين را به ياد "عبير حمزه" نوشته ام و آن را از طريق سايت زيباي "کابل ناتهـ" به خوانندگان گرامي تقديم ميکنم.
20 مارچ 2007
The Moving ‘Fragrance of Flowers’
The whole day he was dizzy and lost, thinking about a dream that had troubled his sleep for two months; anywhere he went, those ethereal eyes alluded at him. He had never seen such innocent black eyes throughout his life and lacked the slightest idea where he could find such eyes. Any eye he found in his surrounding, like his own, was tiny and deep-socketed; and he hated them; he needed those eyes from which gushed out a pleasant fragrance of flowers he had never smelled; he was sure that fragrance belonged to a world other than the one he was living.
A rebellious desire incited him to pray to God if He could dupe her so that she would come straight to his room and submit herself to him. But he remembered that he did not believe in God. He did not want to be a quasi-believer who refers to God when in engulfed in trouble. He had ceased believing in God a year earlier, when he was only nine. But he was now ready to submit to any authority if those eyes would appear before him. “How beautiful those eyes are,” he whispered as tears poured down his eyes. He suddenly shot up, donned his cloths, and raced out of his room—the place he always thought of as a prison—not knowing where to go.
“Were they yours?” shot out of his mouth to the shopkeeper.
“What?” the perplexed lady said.
“Sorry, cigarette please.”
He lit the cigarette and inched out of the shop, dithering whether or not to ask her again. What if I ask her to pluck out her eyes and give them to me? he thought. While standing on the sidewalk, his eyes turned to the south and caught the sight of snow-capped peaks of the mountains under the assault of gigantic dark clouds from behind. For an instant, he saw those eyes in the clouds, alluding at him, and smelled the same agreeable fragrance that had flooded his nostrils in dream. While himself marveled, his legs moved toward the mountains. He cared not a trifle about the long distance to the mountains as far as those eyes mattered. As if mechanic, his steps got quicker and firmer to reach the mountain, the peak, the clouds, and the eyes. And while there, he decided, he would gently hold her hand and take her directly home; or if there would not be any hand, he would safely slip those eyes into his pocket and return home. “Hay, you lecher kid smoke,” a stinging voice of a senile woman came from behind; this was the old woman who had once kindly asked him to sleep a few nights in her bed, but had been refused the invitation with a grand gesture. He did not take a notice of her, for such stupid--he always took them as infringements in his private life--words had been drilling his mind for a year now; he continued striding forward.
The sun had faded out of sight behind the dark clouds. He hated the sun at those moments, for it was striving to pierce the clouds and thus those eyes; he hated the strongly-blowing wind for a similar reason too; and simply he hated anything that would meddle. Every once in a while, he would stand ramrod in his place and stare at the clouds if the eyes were still there. But he never saw them again. “Perhaps, they’re the shopkeeper’s,” he muttered to himself, but did not stop going forward, for he knew that the shopkeeper’s eyes were as small as his own and had no flower fragrance but dirt. He cursed these distractions and decided to think only about those eyes until the peak and the clouds and the eyes.
If no father, no mother, no family, no God, no friend, he had firm determination. His determination robbed him of everything and everyone. It was one year earlier that he was pushed to mind for his life. One morning when he boldly declared that he no longer believed in his father’s God, he became an outcast not only in his family but in the village where his ancestors had lived for centuries in dignity and sincere devotion to God. He had tainted the family’s dignity, and a disgracer was no longer needed for the family; nor was he needed for the village. His family and the villagers thought he would corrupt the whole society, a society that had experienced no change since the times immemorial. They asked him to denounce his rebellion and sincerely believe in the society’s God. Taking their cordiality in regard, he asked them for an ultimatum of three weeks, during which he would study and meditate and would publicly declare his decision. He one day came to an abandoned farm where the whole villagers had gathered and declared: “To the great respect that I’ve to my honesty and knowledge, I go my own way.” Was not there the motherly and fatherly kindness of his parents, he would have been turned into a tiny mount of bone and flesh with the stones the outraged villagers had stuffed their pockets a week earlier from the riverbank. He remembered each bit of his past and praised his firm will. and promised to live with it until the last breath.
The farther he went, the farther he felt himself distanced from the mountain, the peak, the clouds, and thus the eyes. A few thunders struck the sky and a heavy rain followed. He suddenly stopped still, dithering whether or not to go ahead. “No, I’ve nothing in my life but my determination,” he whispered to himself. “I go and bring those eyes.” The eyes flashed before his eyes; but he was marveled to see them drowned in a pool of blood, but from which still gushed out that pleasant fragrance. “No, please,” he broke down into tears as he saw the eyes winking at him as a sign of farewell. “No, don’t go please, I’m coming.” Pedestrians who were rushing for shelter against the furious rain were staring at him in dismay. His cloths were soaked with rainwater as his teeth were beating against each other as cold had overtaken him. It was February. He kept his nostrils up into the sky, in search of smelling the fragrance again, but the eyes and the fragrance evaporated.
In the darkness of the evenfall, he managed to reach the foothill. The rain was still heavy. He was somewhere, that for a good five kilometers not a soul would saunter. His surrounding was calm, a place he had always dreamed about. He hated the city, the noise and smoke and crowd and hypocrisy of it. He wanted to find a place to give him peace so that he could devote his life to his meditations, and now to think about those heavenly eyes. Looking around, even he thought of his settlement somewhere on the hillside. But before, he had to spare his account with the eyes which had interrupted his dreams for months. He wanted to ferret out to whom the eyes belonged to and what she demanded of him.
He was worn out; he had walked for almost eight hours nonstop and felt himself unable to stride forward. But he kept going. He was firm to reach the peak at once and the eyes. A thick blanket of fog sheathed the mountain. His entourage so much darkened that he lost the path leading to the peak. Several times he crashed with boulders with his face that made him sit for minutes, cry, and rinse off the blood drops from his face. Cry not for the pain of scratches on his face, but for the joy of reaching those eyes; his heart hailed any trouble and pain known to his fellow beings leading to those eyes. The fragrance again filled his nostrils. His ears raised and eyes widened like those of a horse reacting to an earthquake. He thought the eyes might be somewhere in his surrounding as he heard the mild shuffles of feet. “Who is it?” he shouted but heard the echoes of his own disgusting voice. “Anybody here?”
He did not blame himself at all for what he was doing, for he knew what he was doing, he knew that the eyes were up there, he had seen them there; does anyone doubt his/her eyes? Therefore, he was full-heartedly ready to endure any pain toward the eyes he had located atop the mountain and inside the clouds. As he advanced forward, only stones were appearing under his feet and now and then his feet would slip over them. As he advanced, one of his legs suddenly flew up and he slammed on the stone floor and wriggled down amid the ferocity and chaos of stones traveling with him. It took his unconscious body two minutes to reach the foothill. Was not there a bloodstained boulder stained with the same fragrance he had smelled, his body would have been dissolved in the river, roaring down the mountain.
The fragrance filled his nostrils and woke him up. He aimed to open his eyes but failed, for a sheath of congealed blood had sewn his eyelashes. He heard the roar of water within his reach; his right hand was broken and his left hand still sustained bleeding injures. He wriggled himself toward the river and dipped his face a few times into the water until the blood dissolved and his eyes opened. He doubted his eyes; an interminable clamp of green trees heavy with the chirrups of birds had sprung up in his surrounding. He looked up to the mountain and the peak; the sky was clear and blue, no trace of the spring clouds, rain, fog, and thus the eyes had remained. “Where are the eyes?” he whispered to himself and broke down into tears. He cried for an hour while looking around in despair.
It was July 12; a day which was going to witness how alien men under the garb of liberation, democracy, and prosperity would attack the fragrance of flowers, rob it of its family full of pleasant and innocent fragrance, taint its dignity, riddle it with bullets, and set it on fire to get dissolved, for the alien men could not stand fragrance of flowers. All these events would take place in lands afar from where this kid was bearing the pains of searching a transient fragrance and eyes.
He hailed all the pain for Abeer, “the fragrance of flowers.” She was made of flower, her family was made of flower, flowers that oozed a fragrance that would dissolve into nothing, even into the smoke of aliens’ guns who had invaded their home to rid them of their fragrance and liberate them. But for the last few days, fragrance smelled blood. Because some alien soldiers were sauntering around their home. Their bodies and cloths, and eyes, and rifles smelled blood. They smelled blood and death.
He again sensed the fragrance in his vicinity, and pushing his nose forward to discover the source, he thought it traveled back and forth in a chain from the mountain peak. He shot up and began striding toward the peak, following in the trace of the fragrance. He did not feel at all fatigue and thought fresh energy was circulating through his veins. In the middle of the mountain he stopped and threw a look down at the city, a city he had not seen for five months. The city was calm and had turned into a green lash. It looked like a village rather than a city of five million populations. It reminded him the village he grow up, and his family, and the day they kicked him out of the village; he remembered the three consecutive days on the way toward the city and that vagabond man who used to be a prominent mullah. In three days, the vagabond mullah mastered a great deal of flippancy to molest him but thoroughly failed. “If you come close to me,” Daver said. “I’ll fuck you.” The vagabond mullah said he was happy if Daver would fuck him. But he did not. The mullah had been living in the area stretching from the village to the city, and nearly no teenager boy, except Daver, within his reach had gone unmolested. He had lived that way for twenty years and preferred death to leaving Daver go untouched. Whenever tired of molestation, he would take refuge in the silence of the mountains beyond the reach of man and read aloud the book he had written. Everything in the book was resolved, but one: whether or not to vote for marrying with boys.
He wiped the sweat from over his brow and looked contently at the peak; a happy smile appeared on his face as he noticed the mere two hundred meters to reach it. Running his nose around, he found the fragrance direction, which was going upward, and followed it. Upon reaching the peak, he stood still, appalled. ‘FRAGRANCE IS IN MAHMOUDIYA’ was written with blood from which gushed out fragrance on the last boulder at the peak, a flat black boulder. “Mahmoudiya,” he whispered to himself with despair. “Where is it?” After five months, those black eyes again flashed before his eyes. Those big black eyes. After plummeting to the foothill in the first venture, he had never seen or dreamed about them. He thought he was foxed and was wandering around in vain; and thus decided to give up all his adventures stirred by figments, go home, and begin a new life. One reason was that he felt unable to get there; he had never heard such a place as ‘Mahmoudiya’ before. He looked around, at the city that looked like a garden, at a jet fighter hovering high in the sky and spraying blood, at the furious river, at the place where he had slept for five months, and at other peaks surrounding him, and came to look at himself too. He thought a force, a devil of divine force he did not know, did exist within him and commanded every bit of his life without himself having the slightest authority. He thought deeply to fathom whether it was a foreign force or his own. The conclusion, of course without any explanation, was that he was himself doing everything. But he could not satisfy himself, for he did not know why he dreamed about those eyes and the fragrance for two months. He remembered not a wink that he slept and did not dream about those eyes and the fragrance. He always dreamed about them, he thought about them, he smelled them, he saw them, and he lived them.
“Mahmoudiya,” he whispered in a disappointed voice. “How can I live without those eyes and the fragrance? How can I get to Mahmoudiya? I can’t.” tears flooded his eyes.
The sun was waning; it was more furious than ever and was sending a sharp red light. He suddenly noticed that like himself the whole world seemed glum and sad, awaiting for a terrible event to take place. For a few seconds, he listened carefully and did not hear anything from the whole world, so calm as if the world had passed away. While wiping his tears, he placed his head on the caption, his face toward the west and while looking at the red sun he fell asleep.
As if being dragged by a coil of fragrance, he was breathlessly running in the trace of the fragrance. For him it was another sign of conviction to his determination; that he had run for three days after the fragrance nonstop. His cloths were already saturated by pools of sweat many times. He felt terribly thirsty but declined to ask the fragrance for a pause. They arrived to a city that had got used to breathing with violence and death. In this city, the trees had long refused to drink the water of Tigris River, unless it was blended with blood of the Iraqis; while some other trees had boldly refused anything other than pure blood. The city was on the road to become another Kabul, where the fighting factions once ate each other. This devastated city was Baghdad. He was badly afraid of the mere name of this city: Baghdad, always blood, bomb, death, rape, and disgrace. He did not stop there, because the fragrance moved on in haste ‘southeastward.’ On the way, he several times stopped to watch the killers who were busy placing bombs on the roadsides to kill their fellows and miserable soldiers who were brought there to establish democracy. He pled to them to love their fellow beings, but they did not take a notice of him. He sincerely pled, even he wept to a few of other killers who were busy planting a stash of bombs in a market where poor fathers were busy looking for a couple of bread to their waiting children, but they threatened him to death too. That is how we are when we go animal, he thought and moved on. Another time he was passing through a garden that three government soldiers were raping a young lady while she was yelling for dignity, a word that had already left their city for planets afar.
The fragrance slipped into a house in a remote village called Mahmoudiya. He no longer sensed the fragrance and instead everywhere smelled blood and oil. He turned around the house and found the door to the anteroom but found himself dangling from his neck in the air. “Please let me free,” he said, looking at the soldier who was a copycat of a bee he had killed when he was six years old. “Go away you fucking little boy,” the soldier said and let him go. “We democratize this house.” He was appalled and decided to go away, that heard the repelling voice of another soldier collecting Abeer’s father, mother, and little sister to another room. He pushed his way inside and was kicked in the butt and sat on the ground crying for minutes.
“Daver!” he felt his body was burning when he heard the voice of a girl calling him by name that he had never seen. “Daver, please help me…they rape me…kill me…Daver.”
“No, please let her,” he shouted and run again forward but was again kicked. He remembered how his heart ached for these soldiers who were innocently blowing into pieces on the streets of Baghdad; but he was now facing them in person. “Please for the sake of other soldiers’ honesty let her.” But the soldier responded him with a fine slap. “We’re the real soldiers, get away.” The cracks of a Kalashnikov rattled several times in the house and he heard a soldier pleasingly saying to his fellows: “‘I killed them all, all of them are dead.’”
He turned around the house to a window guarded by bars of metal. Holding furiously from the bars, he kept shouting at the soldier who was now planting democracy within the legs of a lady who was shamefully looking at Daver with the very same eyes he had dreamed about for months. “Those eyes are tearful and shameful because of these rubble soldiers,” his blood was boiling as he kept shrieking at the rapist and his collaborators. When the rapist finished, he shot up, pointed his gun at Abeer’s head. “No, please don’t kill her, she’s hopes for future.” But the soldier, Mr. Green, shot her in the forehead a few times. When he brought the lamp to shower her with kerosene and set her on fire, Daver had already stumbled on the ground, unconscious.
“Abeer,” his woeful shriek echoed throughout the mountains, as he sat in his place, violently breathing. “Abeer, no, no…where’s Abeer? They killed Abeer…they raped her…where can I go now and find her…they raped and killed her…I’ve no other way, but to join those eyes, to join Abeer, to join her father, mother…her sister, to smell their fragrance.”
He stood in his place, looked around for a minute, and flung himself from the peak down only to turn into pieces of flesh smelling FRAGRANCE OF FLOWERS.