↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Thursday, September 29, 2005

ataullah & company

a battered truck pulled in the lot
the faded sign on its side door
read ataullah & company
an old man, face taut, weather beaten
emerged from the truck and sat
at the far end of the thatched roofed stop
intently he gazed at the dottle
then tapped it on the clay ashtray
once, twice, thrice.....till the dottle fell in
restocked the bowl with tobacco
retrieved from a lined leather pouch
tapped it down with his fore finger
satisfied he smiled and lit a match
puffed on it quickly while the lit match
circled the pipe's rim clockwise*
at the other end of this stop
hamid sipped his second cerveza
wahid toyed with his remaining lunch
and i gently nursed the cohiba
as the cars and and trucks whizzed by
and the crows debated jinnah
or gandhi or lahore or delhi
i couldn't care less and shooed them away
the old man, pipe now freshened up
mistook my shooing for a wave
came over and pulled himself a chair
i offered a shake '...ataullah?'
'no,' he smiled and said 'i am satan'
'where are your horns?' quizzed hamid
satan's wrinkled face a weather map
of high and low pressure build ups
lines scurrying, dipping and curving
as he smiled the wrinkles formed crescents
how can this man be satan thought i
looks can be deceptive said his eyes
'if you really are satan
why are you not leading us stray?'
asked hamid, not one to hold his peace
'nah,' the old man said as he inhaled
'no need to, my work is done here.'

the sun was up and we were in no rush
the old man sensed our eagerness
puffed on his pipe and continued
'aye i knew him when he traversed
the sands that hid the wealth beneath
measured his steps, words, actions
voice of Allah named him his followers
i who served Him since eternity
bidded my time to checkmate him
his followers with conviction
spread his influence east and west
soon they ran out of zeal and vigour
they forgot how patient i could be
i rest, waiver nor falter ever
nothing is oblivious to me
sunnis, shiites, sufis all whimper
slaves they are of a mecca
that i created in their minds
i swear by my Allah who favoured
clay over light, me over you
even Muhammed will disown you
there is nothing more for me to do.'

at the Ka'aba pilgrims are required to circle anti-clockwise


Post a Comment

<< Home