The Dark Days of Akhtar Hussain

There is a time of day when time stops, all the humors of the body come to a stand still, an impending sense of doom prevails and begins to suffocate my existence. The journey I have took in my life is all a blur. The future isn’t any clearer. It is like the lucid interval some coma survivors report before succumbing to their oblivious sleep. Up until recently such attacks weren’t worth a mention.

Now they are beginning to define my personality. They are the reason you will see me in shades and pulled up collars. Shying away from the crowd. My complexion has grown a sickly white because of the time I spend indoors churning out my stories. As tired as I have grown of life, I still hate sleeping through it and this is reflected in my pathological desire for caffeine and everything associated with it.

This is not an insight into how came to be what I am, rather a heavily fictionalized journal into my days and nights on this lonely earth.


“Guilt is a disease!” These weren’t the words of my psychiatrist (though I could use one) but my good friend Yasoob Ghori.

“Indeed, I could do something about it if I knew why it was there in the first place. No, no…” I shook my fingers as if trying to delete my previous sentence, “…I could do something about it if I were sure that it even existed.”

“Denial, killed the cat.” he pressed on.

“Then I wouldn’t be the first one to go. Would I?” I laughed.

“I certainly hope not, for your sake.” he seemed worried.

This exchange may apparently seem like the discussion of two bros sitting in the college canteen.

This exchange was actually taking place in my office. There was a noose hanging from the ceiling. There were ligature marks on my neck, he had rescued me in time, according to him.

” I am going to put this, some where safe.” he said as he wound the rope around his hand.
“That wouldn’t be the only way out. Would there? ” I joked.

He grew uneasy. ” You are my friend. A good one. I don’t want to loose you. I don’t know how to ensure you of my sincerity but I do.”

“For starters,” I said as rubbed my neck, “Stop! Stop interfering with my life, all this is my fault and no one will be to blame.”

I woke up in the middle of the night. I tried to remember the dream I just had. I had tried to commit suicide and a friend had saved me. The truth was that I didn’t have any friends. Least of all a super here who would rescue me from such a critical situation. I didn’t know any Yasoob, it was a dream. Its prospects as bleak as the my existence.

I woke up for my morning coffee at 4 am. Not too early for me, no Sir, I was just in time for my morning rituals which would span an hour. They were the only source of calm in my sordid days.

Why were my days sordid? I did not know the answers to the question. I hear friends are the ones who help you out of situations like these. I had none. I had rationalized that I needed none. My dreams were telling me other wise.


One thought on “The Dark Days of Akhtar Hussain

  1. wise people are very wise, they tell u easy half the story and forget the difficult half of it, they tell u not to lose hope but don’t tell u what if u do lose it, what to do next? what if you are lost in lucid interval and want to blossom again like a fresh flower from where to get the sunshine and water to make it happen? that is why people do not understand what wise people say and are not able to find answers to their questions so it is better to listen to your own voice, which is at times wiser than the wise people……

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