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The story of the girl whose birds flew away- Bushra al-Fadil

The short piece ‘the story of the girl whose birds flew away’is but a translation from its original language- it all the more tags it some specialty reinforced by a never-drop-it-down feeling until it is read through and again. It is voiced in a personal narrative. Equally, it is enchanted with poetic words that dot the length and breadth of the story, while not letting off the tropes that make it more appreciated. ‘… Whose birds flew away’raises unanswered questions about finding fulfilment, feeling secured.

  It was sometime in summer, a day fresher than a normal summer day. The self acclaimed son of a Central Station, though awake and descending into the street was convulsed from hunger and the hopeless search for work but trimmed his neck to see a car accident or the commotion of thief being caught. Despite his unrest, he remained quite happy. It was a later succour, though the thought of being unhappy seemed to have insufficient reason.
  The commotion he turned to see was a kind of amalgamation of people- ‘not just people shopping for their salad greens, but beggars and butchers and thieves, prancers and prophet-praisers and soft-sided soldiers, the newly-arrived and the just-retired, the flabby and the flimsy, sellers roaming and street kids groaning, god-damners, bus waiters and white-robed traders, elegant and fumbling.’ Through this mass of people he would make a path through that turned out immersed and jinxed in a forgiveness seeking. He went about his way, into a bus, without hamper. Then plummeted himself in some observation spree, he pulled out his eyes and began to look…in all directions.
  Without mincing words, he was out rightly on point with the calibre of people he had estimated- it was a proof of a hypothesis- when a man, allegedly godly and lost in the sight outside passed before him, and he felt the coins in his pocket grow wings and disappeared. But, in the midst of many sights, he saw her. Her gait and demeanour was ideal he wasn’t sated at her sight- more so, he didn’t afford himself a second thought to remark, ‘This is the girl whose birds flew away.’ She started to draw closer, accompanied by a little girl who was her like in every way but her child’s chubbiness. They never were apart from the other, not even their hands that were woven together.
  Just yet, one begins to trace the cause of his amazement, strangely it wasn’t them. He was lost in looking at them that the bus that had pulled by saved the day. At this instance, he imagined how he had come into the bus himself. However, the presence of the girls in the bus maintained him glued to his seat instead of getting off the so called wretched bus, perhaps with some fuss.
  Finally, the bus is idled up and halted at his destination. The girls get off and he follows. Because of his continued followership of the girls, they, coloured with ornate rage query his insistence. Still yet, he addresses the elderly as a close knit cousin, an attempt to loosen the strings of their fury. It sounds as one continued trite, she implied. But he is made up; such seeming hostility couldn’t bar him. Gradually, he gets her to ask questions about his retorts, until she is able to laugh- and friends are made. On his continued insistence, she tells him the other girl is a sister she went about places with especially in the market, because- ‘she protects me from the evil of the cars.’ It may well seem preposterous he supposes the little girl to be her talisman, (his amazement), some kind of spell or charm.
  Nevertheless, some strings of despair are laid bare in his psychological build-up. ‘In return, I filled others with joy, for my fate was miserable while theirs was better. It was as if I had been created to ensure their survival and they survive to torment me…I am the comatose son of sleep, the son of long anticipation and unfulfilled promises.’The yanking he throws up on himself is pressed into full throttle. But part of what unseats him is that ‘women searching for happiness clamour around him only to find suffering under the whip. Those searching for a friend he treats as an enemy; and around him gather those women whose birds have flown away…’

  Tugging out of his immersed despair, he alighted into a band of humanity whose curiosity was as much as his, headed towards the hospital. With his curiosity taking another toll on him like the damned despair lifted for the time being. His questions about what’s happening meet a rumpus of similar questions. Until he was swept away by the crush of the people around the vortex, closer he advanced and ‘Blood!’ he screamed. They were his newest friends and it was almost unbelievable as horrible they look like the murdered and murderers considering the patches of blood everywhere. However, he was led into incoherent assumptions of what might have happened to his friends, to the girl whose birds flew away, and to her never-go-without; her talisman, what he had supposed a guiding spell. Moreover, the story all goes beyond a girl or girls or whirlpool or a temporal merger of people at some corner or flying birds. Read to explore!

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