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      /  Literature   /  The Statues

    The Statues

    Author: Altaf Baluch

    English Translation: Mahganj Taj

    He lived alone in his city. There was no one else living anywhere in the entire city. He was fond of his solitude. Not a single person had settled in the city except himself. The city panorama was so pleasant that it could bring the dead souls back to life. There were freshwater rivers and canals everywhere, and the parks and gardens were green and flourishing. All kinds of birds and domestic and wild animals could be found in this city. Along with the delightful scenery, it was unique because of its wonderful climate. Each day without fail, clouds covered some part of the city, and a pleasant rain fell here and there. All the necessities and beautiful adornments that a city requires existed there. He was the one and only owner of the city. His solitude had never troubled him. In fact it made him happy and blissful.

    One day, it occurred to him that rather than just sitting around idle he ought to do something useful. “Yes, something should be done. But what?” he asked himself. He thought he should make something that did not already exist in his city. “But everything already exists in my city. What is left to be made?”

    He pondered it some more. After a thorough brainstorming, and a long walk, and a close inspection of the city, he decided that the city had everything, but if anything was missing, it was a statue. A statue it was! Everything else was there. He decided to make a nice, tall and spectacular statue. He went to one of the most beautiful, flourishing and highest peaks in the city, and there, next to a tree with nothing around it, he placed a large stone and began to carve the statue.

    He worked on the statue for months and years. One day he felt that it was ready. It was a statue of a tall, slim, pretty and attractive lady with a sharp nose.

    He painted it with such human-like colour that it looked like a real person. No one could tell if it was a real human being or a statue. The lady in the statue had breasts that blossomed like flowers and it was as if honey was dripping between her legs. The smile on her lips was more beautiful than anything else in the city. In her eyes, it looked as if a world of new hopes had begun its journey toward a bright future.

    He looked at the statue and was overwhelmed by what he had designed. He certainly had never thought he could create something of such amazing beauty. It occurred to him that if the statue stood there all alone, it wouldn’t look as great as it could. “I will make one more statue beside it. Let there be two of them.” He brought a stone of the same size and began carving a second statue. After months and years had passed, the second statue was reaching completion. The two statues were standing very close to each other. When the second statue was finally ready you could see that it was a statue of a man.

    Having finished the statues, he was very happy and content. “Now my city is even more beautiful than before.” The last thing that was missing is now here. He went for another walk to take a good look around the city. It was very big, and he had been busy carving his statues for a long time. It took him a week to look around the whole city. Then he returned to the place where he had made the statues, but to his shock and amazement, they were both missing.

    He looked everywhere but could not find them. He was sure that the city was secure in all directions. No one could enter without his permission, nor could anyone leave. Overcome by thoughts and concerns, he felt sleepy for the first time in a very long while. He fell asleep in a cool and shady spot in the garden. When he awoke, he felt that a long time had passed. He opened his eyes and found himself imprisoned in a dark black cell. He wondered what was happening? Why was the world he created himself changing in this way? “What calamity has befallen me?”

    A moment later the sound of a prison door opening and the scraping of chains reached his ears. A ray of light entered. Two people were coming towards him, but he could not see their faces from a distance. As they approached, the entire prison lit up. When he saw them clearly he was stunned. They were his own creations, the statues made by his own hands.

    Then he remembered that he had made the statues beside the tree that brings life, wisdom and knowledge to whomever is touched by its coolness and sweet scent. But what was he to do now? Time had passed and the game was out of his hands. The city was now owned by the two statues, who ruled it in the name of their creator. They had subdued all the animals, birds and other living creatures. The real owner was imprisoned in a dark cell, full of regret and remorse.

    Published: Isteen, Magazine, November 2018

    Courtesy: Unheard Voices