Wednesday, July 18, 2007


2007 A.D New Delhi

“It’s too hot these days”
“Hot and humid”
“Why don’t we leave?”
“Because we need a place to stay”
“You know that boundaries of time and space don’t restrict us”
“Yes but there’s something called home”

1585 A.D. Istanbul

“I have a feeling our days are numbered here”
“You always have that feeling”
“This time it’s for real”
“Fear is itself a sum total of reality, future and uncertainty”
“I’m not here to listen to your absurd theories”
“What brings you to this desolate place then?”
“The followers of Nusret Hoja are after us… they are hunting us all down one by one”
“Who is Nusret Hoja? And what do mean by ‘us’”
“These are not the times to be so innocent and unaware. Nusret Hoja is the leader of all fanatics in this country and they are after all men who visit coffee houses and mingle in the company of the dervishes who dance to the tune of prayers”
“Do they have a good enough reason?”
“They say coffee makes you delirious and makes you indulge in blasphemy”
“Do you believe that?”
“Hasn’t happened to me but the other day that dreamy eyed boy Shevket went out of his mind, stood up on the table and announced ‘hey you, men and women of Istanbul, listen to what I have to say. For it is I who controls time. Strange events are about to unfold. The city you live in is about to become the seat of one of the greatest empires which will later crumble under the feet of the Frankish infidels. Your Arab neighbours will unsuccessfully wage war against the Frankish inhabitants of a far-off continent to stop them from stealing their buried gold.”
“What buried gold do the Arabs have?”
“Don’t you pay attention to what those-who-have-lost-their-senses say, just think about where do we go this time?”
“I refuse to listen to you. Last time, on your suggestion we hid among the Jews of Spain and were subsequently driven out by Queen Isabella.”
“But that’s how we landed in this beautiful city of Istanbul”
“Which according to you, is now impossible to survive in”
“Yes, because we have been spotted in the company of dervishes and coffee drinkers”
“Where do we go then?”
“Akbar, the emperor of Hindustan has sent emissaries to the four corners of the world to bring back artists of the highest order to reside in his court. I met one of them yesterday and fooled him into believing that I’m a renowned calligrapher and agreed to leave Istanbul along with my assistant that would be you.”
“I can hear people on the street shouting Allaho-akbar”
“May be its time”
“Let’s leave”

1947 A.D. New Delhi

“The prime minister is closing all manholes and flushing out all undesirables from the city”
“After surviving the partition riots this was the last thing I expected”
“Where do we go now?”
“We don’t have to go anywhere. This city is big enough to hide in”

No comments: