The God That Failed

The lost memories of Zoya Alam dated to 1947.


Dear Kartik,

The stolid memory of my brain only allows me to see the fragments of my life past. Although the knowledge I procured about the behaviour of modern man still falls short every time my vision glares upon your portrait. How old were we then? Twenty – three, I reckon, for I remember the young and angry blood flowing in you. I remember the charm of your face and the sparse beard around your cheeks. And that is all I remember about you, until my maid recently recovered a lost album, our last memory together. I remember you giving it to me.


My memory is weak and the more I take my pills, the more it gets diluted. I would see flashes of our past visions, a stagnant moment, where my hand was being amputated by the meat knife. And yet with the same hand I write this letter as my fingers are smeared with black ink brought from Peshawar, and hold a quill my husband had brought from London.


Do not mock my love for the reason I married a man from my clan. It is as the life that performed according to the will of the God. But then again, which deity did implement these ideas upon my life? Have you an answer to my question? Which of the Gods tried to brand my life with a religion I, above all, had no choice to select from? If you know, do not come to me with the answer, rather meet my husband and comfort his soul. I know him for his dear heart, and he will understand.


My health deteriorates more rapidly than the sky changes its colour. The dose of chemicals I receive from the medicines push the aura of death a little away from my soul. So if you obtain this message, do visit me as I restlessly miss the presence of your comforting arms and your voice which I have long forgotten. Consider this a message of my last plea, as every day I seek God in my prayers, begging Him for the answers, and pray for the comfort you so deserve after a much regretful life.


Apologies for the smudges of ink left by me, these trembling hands do not know how to work on paper. All that they have ever done were held yours in the troubles of life you went through. The warmth of your fingers still comforts my nerves when I remember them once in a while. I stare at the album book siting placidly on my lap and wish to open it, perhaps my eyes would sleep peacefully today if they see the memories held inside the four walls of the leaves. For who knows when they would cease to look, forever.


You prayed to your God, and I prayed to mine. I do not blame you for what happened. But when I saw you, I felt your heart screaming against the actions committed, I felt your eyes protruding out of fear. I sensed your guilt and the tremors you felt after. And then I realized that my faith in God slipped out slowly as the tears from your eyes.


I do not have the ink from Peshawar; neither do I have the quill from London. I remember now, this is all an illusion. My husband sleeps peacefully and has done so for the past seven years. This letter does not exist, for I have no hand to write with, for I removed my limb from the butcher knife they brought, for the people who saw us together felt an excruciating amount of fury towards our relationship, for they held their sword against your neck and demanded you to cut my arms with which I pray, yet I, a simple woman whose love for a man was greater than my own limb rid myself from it leaving me faint and tortured. You were not to be blame, the God’s people were.


I still live in illusions. For where else can an old lady live? I lived in a canvass of pain and suffering, yet the sight of you in my dreams made it pleasant.


I saw your eyes, bright like the golden flames that torched my house to smoke and ash, when all ended with a nick of the sword against your flesh. I saw you leave me alone in this mortal world of jealously and hatred. I felt your soul leave mine in search of the answer for this hideous deed done in the name of God. So when your last rite commenced, I saw your ashes flow with the wind, singing to me, smiling to me and waving me a last goodbye before returning to the God that failed.


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