The Lady In Her Dreams

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Aligarh is a fascinating city. It is a historical city with a century-old university and striking architecture. You will experience sheer bliss when you see fallen leaves dragging with the air on the wide roads of the university. There is a pause in nature that makes you ponder about things. It is a land of many love stories, some pleasing, some hurtful. Some of them are known to people, and many of them are unknown.

This is the story of a boy named Ahmad who is an ambivert, focused, observant, charismatic, and intuitive. He has a complex inner life and an active imagination. Mostly, he is a secretive person in his pursuit of writing. And a girl named Hasiba, who is delicate, enthusiastic, compassionate, and sophisticated. She grew up in a very intense and violent atmosphere due to territorial conflict over her homeland. Yet she is a harmonious kind of girl who wants to do something for her homeland and for her people. Both of them are politically active on their campuses and want to contribute to their communities.

They fell in love at first sight when Ahmad got stuck in her eyes; he found ecstasy in her wide, glittering eyes. Everything except her eyes was delusional to Ahmad. The way he looks at her with tenacity and revelation makes her also fall in love with him. In the scorching heat of the city, they found frigidity in each other.

Things went further, and they started hanging out together. They were also classmates, so they meet regularly. They usually meet and sit on a concrete bench in front of their department; the bench represents a bittersweet feeling. The autumn and the falling leaves make this bench more embellished. By ignoring the sneer of their friends when they say, “Why love someone who comes from a particular community who loves to break hearts?” And why give him so much time when you have to break his heart at the end?They met at this place and sat for hours, adoring each other. Hasiba likes Ahmad’s smile the most, and besides that, she likes his kindness,  honesty, and the way he persuades and speaks with innocence. Have you seen the ecstatic beauty of the Ganga river and the ghats? when she explains how beautiful her homeland is: snowy glaciers, pristine lakes, picturesque mountains, dense forests, gushing rivers, and everything about that place. Ahmad likes how she encourages him when he says unnervingly that he wants to write short stories and novels despite his previous few poems and stories being below par. Sometimes he feels enigmatic about her, due to the way she speaks about the moon, stars, and sky. She says we exploited the land by claiming it for our greed, but the skies depict a sense of freedom. The moon and stars shine brightly because they don’t claim the sky. She feels gratified when she sees the sky.

After a few days, when they met again, Ahmad noticed a strained and uncanny look on her face. He asked, “What happened?” You look tensed. So she explains that she is feeling a poignant sense of loss. She’s had the same dream for the past two weeks, and yesterday she had it for the fourth time.He asked, “What is the dream?” And why is it making you sad and tense? What is it? She said she is seeing a lady in her dreams with long, thick black hair and wide, glittering, mysterious eyes. I have never seen a woman more beautiful than her. She was sitting on the side of a big, wide window in a mansion located in an unknown place, and suddenly she started running towards upstairs with her weighty, bulky dress. She encountered a man on the next floor who had a frightening smile and was slowly approaching her; she became terrified and ran to the next floor, where she heard a voice say, “Come to me. I will not harm you. I am all yours.”And suddenly she sees the face of a man emerge from the darkness, but she thinks that he is manipulating her, so she again ran and went to the roof. It was a scenic view up there; the stars and the moon are shining brightest, but a volatile situation erupted when I found that lady on the top of the roof’s boundary. She was facing me with a dazzling smile, and then she spread her hands horizontally in the air and fell from the top of the mansion. After that, I woke up in a panic. This is the dream I have been having for the past two weeks. Then Ahmad consoled her, saying, “Don’t worry; it is just a nightmare.” You will be alright. These things happen; don’t think too much about them. And with a smile, they further continue their conversation.

Winter, their favourite season, has arrived.They both like the coldest season of the year. The most lovable thing about this cold for them is the air. When they walked on the road together, holding each other’s hands, they felt like they were disappearing in the mist. This winter’s warmth from the sun gives them a sense of accomplishment.But this winter, they spent very little time together because this time she was going home for winter vacations. He goes to the train station to see her off. With a heavy heart, he was drowning in the poignant situation. He doesn’t want this separation, even for a few days. Her departure deprived him of loneliness. She comforts him by saying, “Don’t be sad; I will be back in a few days.” She has no idea how painful separation is, but it is the only truth in the end.When the train arrived, she sat down and waved from the large glass window, her heart aching.Standing outside the train on this rarely frosty, dark night, he waved her off with desolation.When the train whistles, he stops waving, but he remains standing even after the train’s departure. In this hazy atmosphere, he felt the same way that idols do when their devotees pour them into rivers, where they slowly melt in the waves.After some time, he returns to his hostel, but the whole night, the verses of a Persian poem are roaming in his head, which are translated as: “You look sleepless; in whose embrace did you pass the night? Your intoxicated eye has still the signs of somnolence.”

After a few days, a protest arose on the campus due to the decision of the central government to end the scholarship for the minority students. This scholarship was very beneficial for the minority students to continue their studies. Ahmad delivered a speech in which he condemned the center’s decision and demanded that it be reversed.He taunted the government for this discriminatory decision. However, the consequences of his speech resulted in an unfavourable situation, as he was arrested on the charge of manipulating students on campus.His speech was declared inflammatory by the state police. He was taken to jail. He was experiencing this situation for the very first time; he was nervous and anxious, but he was consoled by his lawyer that everything will be alright once the hearing starts because they have no evidence to prove you guilty. One day his friends came to meet him. He met them with a smile and in a cheerful manner, but he felt something strange because he was seeing unsettled looks on their faces, so he asked, “What happened?” They replied with mumbled assent, “We have egregious news for you.” What is it? Ahmad asked. They explained, “This morning several people died in the valley (Hasiba’s homeland). They were protesting against the military because few days back they found four missing boys’ bodies on the shore of the lake. They were accusing the military for this act and protesting against them in a large number, but the situation got tensed,  heated, and unmanageable, and they opened fire on the civilians, in which many people lost their lives.” With some consoling about the situation, he takes a few seconds’ break, and just as he was going to ask about Hasiba, his one friend said that Hasiba also died. He was shocked, and he treated this situation with scepticism. He asked in a mumbling voice, “What did you just say?” His friend expressed his frustration once more; she died.He got numbed. His friends were saying many things, but he was not listening to anything. And in a few minutes, the cell in charge comes and says, “Times up!” When he entered the premises, he just stormed out. This bereavement situation was incomprehensible to him.

After 21 days in  jail, he finally got bailed as there was no evidence against him. Now he was a totally changed man. He had gone to jail as himself, but when he was released, he was a different man. Circumstances make him isolated. In a couple of days, a boy came to meet him. He was the younger brother of Hasiba; he gave him an envelope in which there was a letter. Ahmad got confused, so he told him that his sister gave him this letter one day before the incident happened and said if something happens to me, give this letter to Ahmad. Ahmad doesn’t know how to console him, so he takes the letter and takes leave. He was in total shambles. He rushes towards the roof of his hostel in a hurry and opens the letter in misery. The letter is inscribed and sums up as “I know you are in a distressing situation; perhaps this whole life is nothing beyond the sufferings.” I pray that you always shine and smile. If you are reading this, that means I am already dead. Death is a luscious pink tea that no one wants to drink, but everyone has to in the end.There is no escape from death. I want to talk to you one last time, but you don’t have your mobile phone with you. So I don’t choose social platforms to text you. I preferred the old ways because, through this letter, we can touch one another one last time. Tomorrow morning we are going to protest against the military since they are targeting our valley and killing innocents. My older brother passed away a few years ago.Now I know tomorrow will be a haunting day, as they don’t care about the innocent lives; they can kill us. But we don’t care; it is the matter of our existence and our legacy, and no one is greater than him. I have a feeling that my time is approaching; I value everything I have in this world, but one thing I value more than anything else is YOU.I wished to be with you indefinitely, but my time has come.I will be waiting for you hereafter. Now, as you promised me, you will fulfil your dream of writing; just start writing what your heart says. And write in such a way that people can feel their pain through your words.Make them marvel at your writing. and I know you can do it. One day, you will be a great writer. In the end, I just want to say, “Come visit my grave; I want to see you one last time.”

After reading the letter, he burst into tears. He was unable to control his emotions. In this poignant situation, his hands were shivering. And now the same apricity feels like adversity to him, whereas it was once the synonym of contentment for him. He cried out loud that day.

After a couple of days, he packed his bags and started his journey to Hasiba’s home. He took the same train on which she used to travel. Finally, after a long wait, he arrived at his destination. He met her younger brother there, who introduced him to this location.Ahmad was astonished and amazed by the splashy view of the place. In his whole life, he had never seen a more beautiful place than this. This land was exactly as Hasiba explained; it was as beautiful as she. The mountain peaks, lush green valleys, and glistening lakes—everything was reminding him of her. and the snowfall was embellishing the scenic view. When he appeared on her grave, all his adoration turned to grief in a few instances.The snow was covering the grave as if it were a precious diamond.The rose’s petals on the grave are adorning the grave in a most magnificent way. He can’t hold back his tears and starts blubbering after falling on his knees. When he plunged, the rose he bought for her chushed, giving him a wound in his hand.The blood flowing from his hand just mixed with the petals of the roses. He was unable to say anything; he just fainted.

In the scenic beauty of the land, he was experiencing sheer pain. To console him, Hasiba’s brother takes him to explore the valley. They came near a tea shop, so they stopped to drink tea. There Ahmad got into a warm conversation with an old man, who said to him, “You are not looking for this place.” You must have come here for your beloved, but my only beloved is this land. The old man continues the conversation, and Ahmad is just listening to him. He went on to say that today, under the heel of the enemy, this land, which was once known among the wise as little Iran, has become weak, helpless, and poor.This country claimed this land as their own, while the neighbouring country said this land belonged to them. And no one is interested in knowing what this land wants. Ahmad saw a deep sorrow in that old man’s eyes, but he said nothing and just left that shop. They came back to their place, and after spending the night there, he left that land with a heavy heart.

It took him long enough to pound on about the promises he has to fulfill. He was anxious and afraid. But he plucks up his courage and decides to write a novel.

After years of hard work and dedication, his novel was finally at its culmination. It was a wonderful story that could be summarised as the story of a lady who faced adversity as a result of her two so-called lovers, who wanted to control her and use her for their own greed.She was dealing with the toxicity and self-distrust. She took her life by jumping from the roof of a mansion to get rid of them. At the end of the story, he portrays the lady with a place and the two lovers as two countries, one his own and one neighboring.She took her life because she considers her body an embodiment of self-doubt, suffering, and misery, but when her soul left her body, she felt relieved. Her soul represents freedom.

He wrote this novel by keeping Hasiba and her homeland in his mind. He thinks his beloved represents her own homeland, and all of the people who gave their lives for that land were depicting the sense of an end to their suffering.

This novel becomes the breakthrough for Ahmad. From all over the world, he was praised for his writing.This novel becomes a best-seller. And after that, he wrote many best-selling novels and laudable short stories and poems. Finally, he established himself as a writer. His dream was fulfilled, but at what cost?

He hasn’t been able to stop crying since her death. He becomes a mysterious and enigmatic figure to the rest of the world. It had been many years since her death, but for him, it was just yesterday. He regularly sat in his garden with a cigarette in his fingers and without any boundary between him and the sky. He remembered her and their happy memories with sadness. Holding tears in his eyes, he murmured, “The moon and the stars shine bright because they don’t claim the sky.” The stars depict a sense of freedom. by assuming that she is watching him from the sky.


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