The Darkest Truth
The Darkest Truth7 mins 11.1K 7 mins 11.1K
The month of July with its new life of showers had knocked the doors of the deserts and dry lands. The clouds had perhaps put the veil on the remarkable beauty of the sun. The rays of the sun yet sparkled and came down like the long, open, golden silk fabric embellished with the zari work of Bengal. The fabric that was draped over the sun’s diminutive body touched my face benignly and broke the shackles of disappointment and anguish that I was living with. The droplets fell down like the pearls of the necklace worn by the sun. She shed her pearls like her dignity to end the long thirst of the soil. I was looking for that hidden beauty behind that veil and the long golden fabric. Her pearls fell on my body and adorned my soul. My soul that was earlier deprived of a smile was now laughing with a gleam of joy and appreciation. I sat on a rock that was nearby and glanced down the hill. There were huts and buildings. There were many who had shelter and there were still who don't. Hours passed and the sun lost her power and the battle. It was now the dark side of hers that seized the moment. The golden fabric turned into a black, elegant gown with sparkling stars as the worthless jewels. She walked in her attire with a mirror to let us know that there is always a dark and inevitable side of everything. The side that is abhorrent yet indispensable. In the dark moments of the place, there were street lights flickering in every corner and the silence was being reverberated by every building. There was nobody still I could hear car horns blaring and kids crying. A man with a radio in his hand walked past me. He was listening to some old Bollywood song. The continuous noises certainly interrupted the contemplation of the silence and I turned back to see the same man with the radio. This time the song was different. He was right behind me so I jumped on my feet. He was of my age perhaps one or two years older. He had brown eyes similar to that of the colour of the soil after rains. He had wrinkles near the end of the eyes and he had a big smile which had some unusual spark. I glanced at his clothes. He was wearing a simple shirt tucked in loose black pants and a pair of old and dirty sleepers.
"Do I know you?" I asked.
"No, but I know you really well. Do you know Mia, Mr. Zaid? He asked nonchalantly.
I didn't expect either my name or Mia's at this point of time.
"Yes, she was, I mean, is my sister." I replied with the same impassive and cold face. "But how do you know me? I have never seen you earlier and how do you know Mia? Is she safe? Is she...."
"You have to meet her Mr. Zaid. Some things are better if not told." He said and started walking down the hill." If you want to find answer to every question, you need to follow me." I did the same as I was asked and after about an hour, the man stopped outside a tall building.
"Go to the second floor you will meet her." He said and started walking. I took note of the building again. It was tall and there were huge glasses and nothing else. I walked in and took the lift to the second floor. As the doors opened, I saw a nice restaurant. The place was brightly lighted. There were lamps in every corner and it didn't seem crowded at all though no chair was vacant. I looked around to find Mia whom I thought was dead in that disastrous bus accident. Perplexity had sheltered my mind and didn’t allow any other thought to enter.
"Sir, the seats are already filled. You have to go upstairs to have dinner." A waiter asked with an empty tray in his hand. He had a genuine smile and his accent was American.
"I want to meet Mia." I said.
"May I know your name?"
"Okay, go to that room right next to the cashier. You will find her."
I did as I was asked to. I opened the door and there she was. Her face hadn't changed much in ten years.
"Good evening, I am..."
"Zaid, how are you?" She came closer and embraced me as hard as she could. A sudden chill went down my spine. I was there in this restaurant and I had my sister with me. Her affection soon initiated a number of memories in my mind.
"I am good and you are now, the owner of this restaurant."
"Not just this, the whole building is mine. What you have seen is not the end. There are stores and clubs and many more things. The best thing is I am going to launch my fashion brand next week named after me. And you, I didn't hear anything about you in these years. What were you doing?"
I noticed her as she was speaking. She had a perfect angular visage with high cheekbones. The colour of the eyes was similar to that of a fresh leaf after spring. She was wearing a sari which certainly surprised me at that moment because she used to despise Indian attire. Her green, silk sari suited her fair complexion. The anklets and bangles that she wore produced music every time she moved. Her hair was tied to a neat bun adorned with a garland of jasmine flowers. The room was filled with the scent of rose petals.
"Well, to be honest, I am a gangster and a drug dealer." A part of my heart melted as I uttered those words. She gaped at me for a moment.
"Zaid Ali, the greatest gangster. How come I didn't recognise you earlier? She turned back and sat on her chair. "You may leave now Zaid. I can't afford to have a gangster right in my restaurant. My whole empire would be in ruins." Her tears tickled down the cheeks. Yet, I could see disgust and anger in her eyes.
Nothing but despair filled my heart and I left the place. But something held me back. I went again into the room and went closer to her.
"I have a few questions. I just need your answers."
"Okay, you may sit." She said and offered the glass of water. I drank it and then those questions like the winds of autumn started blowing.
"A man brought me here. Who is he?" I started.
"He was my school friend. Now he finds business for me. His name is Fariq and he knows you really well." Her expression was cold yet serene.
"Who helped you in starting this business?"
"I did it all by myself. I sold burgers and sandwiches first and then I have this." She said. Her words were firm enough to explain her struggle and infinite patience.
"Are you married?" I asked and stared directly into her eyes.
"Who is he?"
"I have already answered a couple of your questions and that would suffice your impeccable hunger."
"That doesn't matter. Just tell who is he?"
"Albert, the owner of coconut industries."
"You are a rich woman now, Mia."
"At least, I worked and now I own something." She said and her voice broke down with an outburst of exasperation.
I left the place and walked out of the building. I walked along the lonely streets. That day I looked at myself in the mirror of the dark queen. I saw my darkest side. I looked at something that was despicable but true in nature.
I realized that my whole individuality was killed by the sword of my timidity and greed. The winds blew and the first rays of the sun touched my face like the grains of the golden husk. I tried to feel it but something held me back and pulled me into that dark truth of mine. A strong breeze of acceptance of my own individuality began striking every corner of my body and I flew with it like the dried leaves and twigs of autumn.