Written By Onongo
Hope this letter finds you in good health. Though I have learnt, you have aged a lot and have been battling with the rotten cells on your body for quite a long time. I will pray to the Almighty that They might take pity on your dying condition and free you from this agony for once and all.
The last time I showed someone my letter, they said I am just another rebel who is frowning upon someone else’s mischief. Just another rebellious kid trying to find his way in this capitalist world. A kid, huh!
So this time I was a bit unsure whether I should write to you or not. I mean, I can understand, even with your deteriorating health, you are still trying to save the less infected cells on your body. And you are quite busy with your wrapped up schedule, joining seminars after seminars, and now webinars, pleading with them to acknowledge your existence even though it might minimise their profit.
But anyway, here I am today. All set to tell you about my discovery, what I found out the other day, or maybe a long time back.
I was in grade two, perhaps, when I first learnt that humankind is considered the best creation in this universe, Ashraful Makhluqat.
And it was the same grade when my classmates started picking on me. I don’t behave like them, they said.
I was in grade four. My tutor was telling me a story about a great saint Bayazid, who stood up all night for his ailing mother.
That poor girl lost her mother only some days before, and while telling this tale, her eyes started watering. With her shaken voice, she kept on telling me how great a human can be because only they possess humanity, a rare virtue that cannot be found in any other species.
Suddenly we heard a chaos. We went outside, and my mother was screaming. She was screaming at a Barn Owl, ‘Lokkhi Pecha’. And that tiny creature was rampaging with a horrified look on its little face, trying to find a way to escape from our house. Later on that day, I asked my teacher, “Why was my mother shouting at that harmless soul?”
“They are considered ominous.”
“I am not sure exactly. Maybe people are not used to being around these birds very much. I mean, a Barn Owl is nothing like a cute pigeon or a parrot. They only come out at night and can be found very rarely! That’s why maybe, their sudden appearance causes discomfort among people.”
“I mean, you understand, right? People are not used to things which they don’t see every day around them!” she added.
A ten years old boy was not supposed to understand actually. But somehow, he knew that he was a ‘Lokkhi Pecha’.
I was twelve when my mother said to me, “You need to change yourself. It can’t go any longer like this. It’s disgusting. People won’t shut up their damn mouths, and I am so tired of this shit! How can you bring shame to your family, which has looked after you for the last twelve years? Your brother can’t even go to school; his friends are always teasing him about you. Did I carry you in my womb for nine months to see you grow up like this?”
And she kept going and going. Then suddenly, she was becoming very specific about what exactly needed to be changed in me. And I kept shrinking like a sweet, little mimosa, exhausted with the monotonous eagerness of its world around.
Dear humanity, I saw my mother losing her compassion gradually. I lost my friends and met a bunch of mates who hang out with me like a chauffeur in a hearse. My brother despises me, I know.
A human is hating another human being, pretty natural, right?
I have met humans a thousand times. They eat like animals; they devour our guilt; they abandon us just like other animal moms leaving their ailing babies behind. They lie, they kill for pleasure, and they hide their emotions. They loathe their feelings, and they fear expressing them.
Then my 19 came, and I got up one morning and discovered how humane I have become. I am my mother, my brother and my friends. I prick the mimosas around me; I hurt them unnecessarily and seek pleasure in their agony.
And this thought changed something in me. Those days of self-pity and comforting myself in the corner of my head were over. And a sannata, a numb silence, started to fill up the void. I started to stare at things for much longer, though I was not actually looking at anything. Before the blame game could even get over, my days of repentance started. It started way too early, when I was not ready, not at all.
So today, on my 21st birthday, I am coming out.
I am coming out as an animal who considers itself just like any other living creature on the planet. An animal who is leaving behind all its hollow pride, its sense of entitlement, its brief history of meaningless achievements and its deep connection with your existence.
Because there is no you, no humanity, rather just a developed animalistic instinct, which led us to believe in an illusory image of ourselves thousands of years back.
So dear humanity, you melt into the air, as my ashes will after my death. You can finally retire after this decades-long pretension, which made you think you might be able to bring a change at last, which strengthened your belief in a greater good when there was none ever.
So dear humanity, now rest in peace.
Not an Ashraful Makhluqat.
Onongo is a human, identifies himself as a queer, pronouns: he/him. Sometimes he becomes a hopeless romantic and sometimes feels allergic to the word, ‘Love’. He thinks of himself as an aspiring writer and daydreams about becoming an actor someday. Rituparno Ghosh is his favourite and Onongo loves cooking. He doesn't care about people much and remember one thing, he is humane, very much humane. And he is a conscious sinner who knows his flaws, all of them.