July 7, 2012
Written in Urdu by
Transformed into English by
The cool and quiet waves of the ocean got agitated. Number of monstrous ships captured the ocean, and strange activities were taking place in it. That old man was silently witnessing the activities that were beyond his understanding. For the first time in his life, he was seeing the ships, which were awfully different from his boat. Their structure and formation were entirely different. They were neither depending on masts and sails nor did they have oars and paddles. They had the quality of sailing on their own. They were of very high-speed and caused panic and consternation in the whole ocean.
He was looking at those ships with suspicion and doubt. He was highly skeptical about them, and was certain that something was going to happen. Standing at the shore, he used to stare at them for hours together. He felt as if, his peaceful life was slowly being clouded over fear and fright. He was becoming anxious and worried. The soft and silky sand on which he used to lie down and sleep immediately, began giving the impression of being hard.
Day by day, the numbers of ships were increasing and they seem to have formulated their own groups. Each ship was waving a flag either of red, or green, or white or of black color. The ships were sailing, day and night across the ocean, producing plenty of commotion and turmoil. It was appearing as though a violent storm was broken and would engulf the complete world.
For many days he could not make salt. The people of his town waited every morning for him. They had a great liking for his white and shiny salt. Today, he woke up early in the morning with an intention to make salt. It was freezing cold. He tied a towel on his ears firmly, covered his body with a long black sheet, picked some needed things, and moved towards the ocean. The sun was not yet awake. Far away in the ocean, the ships were still lit with tiny bulbs. After taking some steps, rather inadvertently he stopped and began looking at the ships quietly; those were busy in their activities. Despite his efforts, his feet were not allowing him to move forward. He came back to his hut and sat down putting his head to its wall. But his eyes were even now fixed on the ships. The day advanced. He could not leave to make salt. Later in the evening, he got up silently and came out of his hut. The declining sun resembling a red ball was standing on the ocean.
Every evening he used to sit in his boat and sail afar in the ocean whilst singing. He had a great admiration for the ocean. The never-ending enormity of the serene ocean always tempted him, and he always wished to reach the place where the sky and the ocean embraced each other. But now there was no space for his small boat, as big ships seemed to have cordoned the total ocean. The poisonous smokes of the ships were, drop by drop consuming the ocean. He was helplessly looking at his boat, which was lying vainly on the shore.
For the meantime, much of antagonism was created amongst the groups of ships. In an attempt to acquire the bigger parts of the ocean, they stood against each other and the ocean was alienated into numerous parts.
He was certain that the ocean would explode into flames; he could see that the horrifying flames were growing higher, and the shrieks of the ocean were making his whole being tremble. At any cost, he wanted to rescue the ocean from the blazing fire. He moved towards his village. No sooner he entered his village, all people ran towards him for salt, as if they could not live without the salt made by him. They were disheartened to see that he came empty handed.
“What happened? You did not make salt today?” They asked.
“The life of the ocean is in danger. Come. Let us all together save the ocean from fire.” He could not hold his tears. There was a dying ocean waving in his tears.
The people indulged in whispering for quite some time, and then they went to their homes and closed their doors. He could not believe his eyes, but when he found himself alone in the whole village he was shivering with anger and grief. He was yelling and was calling them, but all in vain. None of them came out of his home. It appeared as if not a single man was in the village, and they seemed to have vacated the place due to some intimidation; there was no hope of their coming back to their homes. He sensed a lot of negative energy coming from him; paralyzing him from his neck down. With great difficulty he pulled his lifeless body to his hut. The frightful darkness of the night broadened. The dying ocean was promptly being enveloped by the dreadful shrieks of mushroom clouds. Big ships cordoned off the complete ocean.
Next day, some strangers fully armed, shoved into his hut and warned, “Old man, you have got to be on our side; else you will be no more.” And they left.
After a while, some people, carrying weapons, entered into his hut forcibly and holding his neck told, “If you support anybody, other than us, we will put your hut on fire.” And they also left.
He laid down on the sand in his hut helplessly; the hut was built with dry leaves, only a spark of a fire could raze it in seconds.
Late in the night a firebomb hit his hut. Had he not leaped out of the hut instantly, he would have burnt alive in the hut. The fire could be sighted on every nook and corner of the ocean, and the eerie flames were touching the sky. Ships were ceaselessly hurling firebombs on each other. No ship was eluded from the bombs. This was continued the whole night. By next day in the morning all ships were obliterated. Many of them were drowned deep into the ocean; others were burnt and wrecked. Many men were missing and many of them burnt to death. Not a single human being was escaped, all of them were dead. Many corpses were lying on the shore. The portrait of the destruction of ocean was completed.
He, at a snail's pace, came near the ocean and looked at it with fainted eyes. The water of the ocean was not worth making salt. The entire ocean was red with the blood of human beings.
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