Excerpts from the London Underground- Part 1

Writing this story after having read some of Dostoyevsky’s works. This piece of fiction is an “Excerpt From The London Underground” There are 2 parts to this story. A twisted tale, I wrote few years back but the idea to complete it finally dawned upon me after reading ‘The Notes from the Underground’ and ‘The Double’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It inspired me to write a few notes on London Underground .

1.

I am a sick and a wicked man, people! I laugh about this fact. I take great pleasure in it. I still have a good heart deep inside me. I too, question why I do what I do sometimes, people. I often act as if I am not my ‘self’. The self I want to be denies me. The self that’s easy to be, becomes me!

Let me ask you this question, people! Why is it so hard for some people to be good? Morally good, act good towards others! While it is easier for others to be more self-centered, and act out of spite against others. I fall in the latter category, people! I am addressing you as people, not because I am trying to be friendly or telling you all this. Rather I write all this, as I imagine myself to be standing in front of a jury. It does not matter to me how you judge me, but perhaps I am seeking critique of my character, who I am, what I am and who I have become over the years.

I do not work, people! People work for me, or to be specific a number of people work for me. I enjoy the money that comes in. They make a decent sum, it allows me to live somewhat lavishly, extravagantly. Yes, in the eyes of many of my haters and enemies, I am a rich man. They despise me because they haven’t been able to build what I have, people! What is it that I have built, you may ask? I will reveal that too, in due time, people!

But first you must understand to learn to look at things objectively, only then you will be able to judge fairly. As I mentioned, I don’t care how you judge me, however, some parts of me want to know this perspective of a jury. I may be a smart man, indeed I am. That’s the very reason I have managed to stay alive and free all this time. Despite having many enemies, frenemies. You see the life I live doesn’t allow me to distinguish friends from foe so easily. I am a great observer of people, yet I lead a life where friends become enemies if you’re not careful enough.

I guess I am talking all over the place, I may only be making you more curious as to who I am and what I do. I live differently from most members of the society. I take great pride in it. The big brother watches all, but I evade him, people! I find great humour in the fact on how many different occasions, I have slipped through the trappings of big brother. Just how water slips through the net when one catches a fish. I am not a fish, people! Most people are fish and get caught, but I slip away just like water.

When I said I was seeking critique of my character, I lied. I don’t think much of critiques, I know myself too well perhaps. I can say this because I am a great observer of people. To understand yourself, it is important that you understand others. Once you understand the different workings of the minds, it is easier to dissect your own mind. Please be wary though, the mind and the heart are often conflicted, people! If you were as spiteful as I were, the conflict between the heart and the mind would be blurred. This conflict holds true for those who still have command over their caprices, who do not give in to such inner desires, who are in constant battle with these inner whispers.

2.

In the 21st century, you may wonder with all the advancements and technology, why the world remains in turmoil. It is because people such as myself exist in many places. Are you free of all impurities, people? Are you free of your desires? Are you truly free? Then I have another question for you, people? Are you weak? Or are you courageous? Weak-willed and cowardly people such as myself do more harm, bring more harm, and suffer from much self-inflicted harm. The weak-willed man dare not stand up to his friends or foes. He shall never confront them but he schemes and plots to procure harm against his friends or foes. The weak-willed man smiles with you, eats with you, laughs with you and pretty much does everything as a strong-willed person would. The weak-willed man if it came down to it, would hurl curses, swears and aggression the same way towards you as a strong-willed man who loses his temper. Note people! I said lose control over one’s temper for a strong-willed person. I cannot say the same for the weak-willed person because he always reacts emotionally. He fumes up if you pinch him. I have tried to develop a strong-will but because of life circumstances and experiences I have failed at it. I acknowledge my weaknesses, people! I admit that I am weak-willed but only do so when I write here. If I were to admit this fact in front of others, then I will not be as free, or the freedom I have created for myself, the lifestyle I live will slowly push me out of the food-chain and leave me vulnerable. Yet, despite the fact, the circle around me has pushed me to extremes and condemned me to a life of minimal contact with people over the years. It is because I have many enemies, and few whom I could call friends. Even my friends seem to only tolerate my presence. I tolerate theirs too. In fact, not only tolerate, I am always able to get what I want because I buy it with money. Money is a hard commodity, people! Easy to come by if you know of ways to obtain it. Money influences many people. It inspires many people, it enslaves many people. What you do with the money is your business, people! I am only telling you from experience how money can do many things, and perhaps even buy things when a fine glass of wine and drugs of some sort accompany it!

You will know what I mean, if you were to take a walk in the heart of London after midnight. That’s when the devils’ work starts. Perhaps it starts as soon as the sun goes down but it comes out on the streets after midnight. The weak-willed people easy to get to are found on the streets. The devil seeks them and they seek him. Drugs- weed, cocaine, heroine, alcohol, crack. Indulgence for all, rich or poor is widely available. I am the devil, people! But I am not the worst of them. I am merely one of them!

3.

Abandoned by my mother at a young age of 6 after a divorce between my parents. I was sent off to be put under foster care. I hated everyone there. The food, the people and the school. I was often bullied by my senior school mates. I tried to befriend them on several occasions. The three of them lived on the same road as me. I often used to run into them during the morning walk to school, only to be kicked down or forced to do star jumps, sit in a puddle on a rainy day or given their school bags to carry them to school. I hated it, but I did it to be their friend.

Then one day I got into a fight with another boy in my year. The boy had a group of friends whom together with him, beat me up. So, the next day, I went to my senior friends and asked for help. One of them gave me a pocket knife and told me to stop being cowardly, stop crying and be a man. I took the knife and during the break I thrust it into my enemy. Other boys watched in horror. The police was called and after things calmed down, I was sent away to a different city in foster care. Apparently, the boy suffered serious life threatening wounds but the size of the knife wasn’t big enough to cut through the vital organs. If I had to be punished, I still regret not finishing the job.

I was a little devil from a young age, people! I am not writing this to confess my crimes, this is already in the knowledge of the authorities. I despised my life at school, being sent away was no different. My only friends in that town were sand and beaches. My foster family was always suspicious of me because I started sneaking out and smoking at a young age. I even started selling everything to my classmates. I was taking everyone’s lunch money. I enjoyed this, and in turn, I made friends. Friends as some may see it. But to me they were fish and I was the sea drowning them in.

4.

I am still a devil, and just like the sea I am drowning people in. Like I mentioned before, people! I am merely one of the devils. Why do I live such a lifestyle you may ask? Because it has always come easy to me. I am still that child who enjoys taking people’s lunch money. Addiction is a scary thing, it makes one want to spend money on dirty habits rather than looking after one’s self. God help you, my dear people, if you are an addict and have a family too. Despite being the devil I am, I still acknowledge that God exists. But how does God let me do my work while He is there watching? My belief in God has been shaken and strengthened many a times. More than likely, I hold distorted views that a proper believer may disagree with. You see people, there exists in this world ‘Good’ & ‘Evil’. I am sure you must know this already, but I emphasise it in this moment, so you are aware what sort of world waits out there.

Using these very tricks of the devil and often flaunting around some freebies, I have women at my disposal. Parties, drinks and drugs are my way to a woman’s heart. You see, I have never been able to be in a relationship without using these tricks. These tricks serve my purpose, people! In return, I fulfill someone’s desires. I don’t go around seeking it, it just so happens when you know to be in the right places.

5.

This is the very reason why I am also perhaps paranoid. I know many that envy my lifestyle, I know many who hate me. Furthermore, living the way I do, I constantly have to watch over my shoulder. The big brother watches on and I have to be sly, so that I can evade him. I could write a lengthy detail of my many encounters with women and customers, friends and enemies, authorities etc. However, there are plenty of movies in our 21st century, that permit me not to delve too deep into specifics. I will tell you of one incident though, although of no fault or part of my own. I was once stabbed and left to die on the road by random strangers. Teenagers looking to take out their frustration on someone and I happened to be that person. When I think back on this, I still wonder if there was some sort of planned set-up for this to happen or was it just karma telling me, ‘this is what I owe you’.

I leave the remainder to your imagination, people! Imagination is a wonderful thing, it should be cherished. Imagination is also crippling if all the thoughts that pass over and are whispered paint the narrative of doom and gloom. Perhaps, drugs and drinking is also a factor. Is it the only cause though? I don’t think so, people! There are forces such as inner desires, strong enough to tempt and incline one’s soul towards evil slowly, and bit by bit, it eats away the remaining goodness.

The Final Conversation With the Speechless Boy- A Disability Story

Noor has departed from this world. He shines on in the next. The last 6 months had been difficult because his health kept deteriorating.

Due to other ventures my visits also turned less frequent. It gave me a lot of joy at the fact that he used to smile often when he heard my voice.

I was there to see him on his last day. I had a strong feeling that it was his last few hours remaining. I felt a strong presence of light all around him. Angels were waiting for the moment to wrap his soul with the martyr’s robes. He was a warrior to the end.

His soul rests ever untainted, his resurrection too will signify purity. A sound heart!

What was my last conversation with Noor about? I reminded him that these were the best 10 days and the final month of the year, Dhul hijjah. His desire to reject eating and drinking signified his will to fast these last days of his life. His desire? It would be rather proper to say his forbearance.

Our last conversation were prayers. I prayed for him and I hoped that he did for me. He was silent through out it all. But I knew he could hear me. Why was I the last person besides his family to be with him in his last moments? I don’t know the answer to this. Why was it that his last moments were written on the day that I visited him? I am still pondering over the time I spent with him, caring for him.

What lessons were there to learn for me? What was he trying to teach me? He tried his best to elevate me. I hope that some of those experiences go on to stay with me. Looking after him was like feeding my soul, guiding it. Now he is no more, and my ravenous soul may dry up. I am seeking an anchor to keep my soul centred. I am seeking light. It is easy to wander in darkness, it takes courage to be the warrior of light.

His body looked at peace in shrouds. A sort of smile on his face. It reminded me of these verses:

يا ايتهاالنفس المطمئنة. ارجعى إلى ربك راضية مرضية. فادخلي في عبدي. وادخلي جنتي.

Paths we walk

While walking along the river bank earlier, a thought occurred to me. Not the first time I have thought about it, but still reflecting again in that moment provided a good analogy.

Just like how the path along the river is meandering, so too does the path we walk in our lives. Our sights are restricted, we can’t see beyond the next bend. The view ahead is revealed as we walk forward.

Most of the times, we don’t know what lies ahead. Just like walking along the river bank, in life too, there are known unknowns & unknown unknowns.