One evening, I was having some coffee at a hotel staring right into the window. A beggar was shouting out loud: “May God have mercy on your souls”. I didn’t know why he was shouting in such a pitiable manner. It seemed to me that in fact, he was in need of God’s mercy. For an instant, I ignored him completely. Suddenly not his words but the hope behind his words had caught my attention.
I stood up, took some money from my wallet, got down quickly and handed over to him. I took my necessities and walked out because I’ve to attend an art exhibition. I didn’t really like such sort of things especially the parties and lectures on art, but a friend of mine had insisted me that was the reason I had to be there in time. It was a cold evening, and people were walking closely together and giving a stupid and silly lesson of unity. As the exhibition was held near my apartment nearly fifteen minutes away, so I have decided to prefer a cab.
Unfortunately, I was late, and the exhibition had started. There were a lot of faces I could see of one face. I was surprised to see some newly married couple. I could look at the hopes and dreams in their eyes. I wish I could tell that couple not to cling to the branches of that absurd marriage tree. Because only care and awareness could keep their relation alive not their promises as the things changed quickly and their vague promises won’t stop it. In the end misunderstanding and illusions led them to their bitter end.
‘Mr. Laban, you are late, you are late again’ said my friend.
‘I beg your pardon; I had tried my best.’ As you know, we are struggling. He roared with laughter, and I supported his laugh although I didn’t want to.
‘Come here I’d like you to meet some people’ said my friend. That was the hard part for me to meet people and forcibly gave empty smiles to parties. So I just met a few people and decided to walk alone in that art gallery. People were whispering that some of the statues were original and some were the copies.
Suddenly I’ve caught sight a mother and her twelve-year-old boy. It seemed highly intriguing, the conversation between a boy and the mother. They were staring into an antique which was the copy, not the original one. But the mother was telling her son in such manner that the boy’s attention made that copy a unique piece of art.
After a while, I saw that mother alone. I made my mind to go and talked with that woman. I got surprised because she already had a one side acquaintance with me. Probably my friend had told her about me.
‘I was not expecting you here’ she said.
‘And what is the reason of your expectation’ I said. Probably she had read my newly published book about art.
‘Because in your book you’ve tried to prove the unprovable’ she mocked me.
‘No I’ve tried to convince myself of my idea’ I said.
‘My sister liked your book, and she had bought it. She said fake jewelry is as good as real thing’ she said.
‘I wish I could be like your sister to accept the things simply and naturally because nothing is simpler about being simple’ I said.
‘I am sorry I am not getting you’ she said staring at me.
‘I simply mean that copy itself has worth, worth in that it leads us to the original and in this way certifies its value. Even we are not original rather only DNA replicas of our ancestors’ I said. ‘The vision matters, not the object, your vision makes the value of things as your sisters vision of fake jewelry’ I added.
‘I don’t like my sister’s ideas about originality’ she said.
‘It seems to me that human race is the only species who have forgotten the whole purpose of life, the whole meaning of existence is to have fun and pleasure. And here your sister who found her way to do it, we should not judge people. If they are happy and enjoying life, then we should congratulate them rather criticizing.’
‘Let me tell you my favorite joke’ I said.
‘Sure’ she said.
‘A man is cast away on a desert island. One day he’s walking on the desert, and he finds a brass lamp buried in the sand. So he digs it up, dusts it off, and a genie appeared and said: “I am the genie of the lamp. I will grant you three wishes. What is your first wish?”
So the man who was hungry and tired, said: “I want an everlasting bottle of cold Coca-Cola.”
The genie waved his hand, a bottle appeared and the man took an enormous drink.
“You’ve two wishes left. Hurry up!” said genie”.
And you know what the man said?’
‘Two more Coca-Cola’ she said instantly and roared laughter.
‘Look it’s not a joke. But there was a point. It’s moral.’ I said. I didn’t imagine that she knew the joke.
‘It’s the laugh there is nothing to do with the moral’ she said and mocked again.
‘He is a guy whose life is simple that he does not need anything rather he’s satisfied with a bottle of Coca-Cola. We should live in the present’ I said.
Suddenly the rain started, and her son started playing in the rain.
‘Come here in the shade its cold’ she said to her son.
‘So what?’ her son replied.
‘You’ll die’ she said again.
‘I’ll die so what?’ her son replied.
‘Look at your son, sometimes we get things from philosophers, writers, and scholars, and we think it’s wonderful. Children just live for the moment. They want to have good fun. They don’t think about the consequences or the causes.’
‘I think I’ve to go now’ I said.
‘But you should wait, it’s raining’ she said.
‘No I have to go.’ I said forcibly. When I left, there was a song being played there.
‘When we parted
It could begin and end in one evening.’
The transitory nature of life and the fleeting consciousness of my mind dragged me back to those moments I spent with her, I who was philosophizing and trying to win the argument find myself trapped in the past and lost the sense of the present. Maybe Nietzsche was right after all about his idea of eternal recurrence, may we always live in the past, or maybe there is no past, no present, and no future, and this man-made idea of time deceives us. These thoughts occupied my mind when I was going back to my room. I thought of that child again, and I thought of my childhood, and a phantasmagoria of images started flashing in my mind, and I thought of the memory, memory is not a way towards peace but melancholia.