13/01/2018 by Siddiqui Fayesal
It did take an inordinate time to reach me. I’m writing this as soon as I have received the letter and am hoping to catch the second clearing today itself.
Divya is doing well. The past few weeks have been lighter on our hearts and I can see subtle changes that bode well for her and her daughter. Jr. and Jia have almost resumed their daily ramblings in the nearby parks and are lost in their playtimes like earlier. It is just my imagination but I think I see a certain forced respite in their candid conversations and play. I’m probably seeing it because I expect it to be there; at least if I was to be judging adults and not children. I think they know that they need to make a better impression and be happy for the adults to start making more sense.
I really don’t know what to make of it, Rehan.
In more ambiguous news, I was invited to a dinner party last week by Shagufta. I had no idea why she decided to call me after more than 3 years out of the blue; with such a false put-on, that I was surprised she didn’t think I’ll see through it! She expected me to forget all the destruction she caused and join her for dinner??? I immediately declined and hung up at the first possible moment without being mean or nasty. She called again, you know. I tried talking my way out of it, but how long can one be defensive without being honest?
Since she insisted, I gave her the full blast version of my ‘Honesty’.
I had to give in. I give her full points for taking in everything with silence…and acceptance. She wept. She wept and whimpered and wailed on the phone, but wasted not a single word. Not a single word in defence; not a single ‘truth’ countered; not a single denial. I lost my steam and gained a bit of humility in the process. I had begun the phone call with the intention of giving it back to her, but when I finished, I was left stranded alone on my high seat of perceived righteousness.
I know I was in the right in being insulted all these years and was a seething inferno when I began being ‘honest’ with her, but it all ended up being moot, Rehan. I did not feel an iota of happiness to tell her all I had wanted to all these years. On the contrary, I felt embarrassed of my outburst and accusations. See! I’m even calling them accusations now. Hadn’t we agreed to it all that she was the mean one, the brutal mad-arsed woman who bad mouthed me and my family? Hadn’t we agreed that it was a victory when I had walked out of that house in the middle of the raging argument?
Then why the feeling of emptiness? Why the feeling of loss and guilt? Shagufta’s silence made her the better person today, Rehan. In all my angry outbursts today, her silence ricocheted the longest. They hurled themselves at me in silent anger and returned with added fury after every word of my so-called ‘truths’. My truth suddenly lacked legitimacy and I felt that the gods must be smirking at me; thinking of me as a child who needs to be told off for hurling tantrums at the smallest of things. I felt her pain with enough clarity to break my barriers down.
Isn’t it true that one need not judge further than He to prevent His anger? I judged Shagufta harshly and had to weep
Of course, I’m going to dine with her. I expect a lot more tears when I meet her; a lot more pain when I return. But it’s going to be worth it, I think. It’ll be a lesson for me to not charge at my alleged adversary, hiding behind blind faith, that eats out of the stores of ego and self-righteousness.
I am sorry for not addressing your concerns and questions in this letter. Like you mentioned, my heartstrings are stretched taut and if I continue walking the same path, I am afraid I shall miss the second clearing of the day.
PS: The wick of my life will burn brighter when you search for hope, so you find me easier, Rehan. The tone of my previous letter lacked warmth not because there wasn’t any within me; only that I was too fraught with disillusionment to contain it and spend it on you. I apologise for the temerity I found within to vex you so.