” What do you want to see ” ARKO said trying to removing the sleeve. Sleeves were good for great many things, but not for hiding truths. Truths needed a greater more flexible mask. A loud murmur went about the crowd, trying to fathom what the magician had meant. Was it a rhetorical from the greatest crowd puller when it came to abstract arts over the country?
” Oh my dear people, you don’t know what you want to see. Never have you known. You see what is shown, not what is predictably known ” ArKo spoke at the top of his voice, and then walked to the wooden table at the corner of the stage. Placed on it was, something that closely resembled a coffin. Wooden and cut to shape. Obviously his next trick would involve the coffin . But coffin is indifferent to lives, and in that way it’s more human than anyone. Munto and Ghalib of the eventuality you know, his mind wandered ages within. His master was a good actor but a great showman. Theatricality was his biggest forte. And as ArKo opened the coffin, he saw the neatly folded red curtain in it. The curtain that he had once drawn away of a room he was always kept away from.
” Boy do you think there’s heaven up there ” His master that day in long and flowy drapes resembling Ghalib from the heavy book on the side shelf, spoke out. The 14 yr old boy walked in apprehensive about the question posed.
” Master, I didn’t mean to disturb you ” the boy visibly terrified said, and involuntarily turning a copper coin in his pants pocket. He wore a khaki half pant, hardly covering his knee. Heads, his fingers told him. He had the knack of knowing and seeing beyond the obvious.
” I asked you a question…I am Ghalib and now I need to know… Do you think there’s heaven somewhere up there ” He stood up and walked to the boy. He knelt before him and unbuttoned the boys shirt.
” Master, Maybe there is ” Arko said, as he felt his master’s warm and rough palm on his cold sweaty chest. Next few moments changed him forever.
Years passed but the scars never left. His master’s fascination had moved on from Ghalib to Munto. His poems and the little boys screams synced perfectly in sullen silences. One day however it was different. The Master had called the servant over after the dinner. Muntos parchments lay all over the pashmina carpet, as ArKo entered the room.
” Munto is a thinker beyond anything, do you not agree? ” The Master slapped him hard , for no apparent reason. The drama company had befallen over tough times. Actors and the crews were leaving.
” Who are you Arkam ” The Master said again slapping.
” I am a Man who is here to serve you master ” 16 year old ArKo said out unflinchingly. There was a boy somewhere in that house, but he had been strangled to death. They had to kill him somewhere. After Ghalib and Before Munto. A boy they had created, had to die if the man metamorphosing later on had to live. His Master dressed up as a Munto fanatic laughed hysterically.
” What do you want to see ” He roared in the empty room. Before that was answered, a strong force hit him, and pinned him to the ground. ArKo pounced on him and placed the copper coin on his right eye, and held his master’s head tightly to the ground. One finger on the copper coin, and slowly pushed inside…..
” Ladies and Gentlemen, let me show you how death is nothing but a fiction, a story we tell our kids to scare them out ” ArKo waved the red curtain he took out from the coffin. And rolled and over turned the coffin. The audience gasped in horror as a body rolled out to the he floor. Of a little boy in half pants. Arko was the only name his master gave to his servants. And with the boy in the coffin, even his son. Arko’s and His Master’s Son, in very different senses. One with relation, and the other with purpose.
Read Arko’s Whole Story Here : Of Blood And Ink