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mehreen ahmed

 

Queensland writer, Mehreen Ahmed has been publishing since 1987. A featured author for Story Institute, she has published The Blotted Line, a collection of short stories. More recently, Snapshots, a book of travels was published initially by PostScript Editions, UK. This was followed by a dream allegory, written in stream of consciousness style called Moirae, also published by PostScript Editions, UK. A later edition of the book was published on CreateSpace. So far, she has co-authored two books - Magical Golden Egg and Write to Remember. Jacaranda Blues is her debut novella. To learn more about Mehreen Ahmed, please visit amazon.com/author/amazon.com.mehreenahmed

MOIRAE

Following the stream of consciousness technique and embedded in dream allegory, Moirae depicts human predicament exploring notions of fate and religion. Taken from a fantasy land on a planet with two moons, called the Lost Winds, this story is about human oppression under a tyrannical regime which calls itself democratic. Much like our planet earth, people flee to seek protection in a place called Draviland, a long way away from the Lost Winds. Dramas pertaining to such human conditions often appear in the main character's lucid dreams and knitted in pink honeycomb pattern. This metaphor is used to construe self organized behavior among men, herding as they try to escape from persecution.

 

Chapter One / RED TEMPEST

Chapter Two / ASH WOODLANDS

Dizzy Dizzying pace Grosnii was a place where dreams came true In the city I walked the footpaths by the parliament building Properties appreciate here in the city Look for work Tahu was settled in her job I brushed her hair in Tahus little shack In the village I got up to eat breakfast The boat was waiting I got on The boat began to sail City was crowded Oh my My so many people Getting on Almost squeezed in the boat People once too many Tahu where was she in this humdrum No address Mother you weren’t here with me in the city Lost I am completely Lost I am drowning The boatman was but a boy The storm boat was sinking I was sinking mother and my father Tahu I was sinking The city was crowded but I searched to find Tahu No impossible village was much safer Oh no no let me go you bastards let me go Do you think I was your whore I came from village looking for work Tahu worked in garment factory The job was good I could send money to the village Tahu let me stay here I needed money more and more Not enough I was hungry in the village No money Evening passed into night In the street of the city I walked home to find Tahu Horrible Blood Pain On the street five men on top of me one after another I was in gang rape A victim How shameful Shame In the village the Murma flowed unheeded I sat in the front yard in the morning Mother made breakfast I had some bread I couldn’t stop crying Property prices were good in the City I had nothing to lose now Nothing Paels brother Pontu in Mundip His sister said so 100 thousand cash payment was needed Pontu was in jail Mundipian Police caught him Pontu was kept in a house full of eight Hingyan riders Pontu escaped In the deep jungles of Mundip he climbed up trees to hide Police in the darkness of night found Pontu Terrible beatings Bribery Pontu was still in prison Poor boy Fled from the country Alleged murder case Where would Pontu go Who could save him Money where was money coming from No food Hungry Pontu was asleep on the cold floor Hard knock on the door woke him The police were here Mundip Hurt Oh how it hurt They were beating Pontu for more and more information He had given them all he had There was no more to give Lie said the agent Lie or else they would send you back to the village I sat brushing my hair on the front yard of my home in the Lost Winds The boat was caught up in the storm the boat boy saved me I was found unconscious on the bank of the river Murma Tahu in city was getting ready to go to work She cooked fish Packed it up in lunch box Now on her way to work Her new husband looked at her and said dont be late Where is yesterdays money gone Under the bed Why Dont go squandering it drinking What is it to you Ill beat the hell out of you Tahus husband took a belt and put two lashes on her back OOOH Here take it take the money Tahu was pregnant The child was still safe in her womb Villagers were here I have been shamed in the city I have been in gang rape Tahu or her husband could not save me Why it wasnt my fault What was my fault mother and father Could you have saved me Save me from those bastards They came to kill me They came to take me away to sell me into prostitution Back on the boat I was on my way to the city Again Tahu would take care of me I would work as domestics cook and clean for people in the city Me I told meself Forget about property forget about garment factory forget about everything Pontu was languishing in Mundipian prison Transporters sold freedom to people like Pontu Told him he must lie to them he must tell them that economic crisis made him a rider Pontu sought freedom in Mundip Police were looking for him in the jungle they wanted bribe Hid behind the tree It was night time He was very quiet Squatted like an animal like a cat on all fours The police had gone He made a plank for himself in the jungle to sleep on with whatever branches twigs he found in the dark woods under dense tree Lucky that snakes did not get him I made bed for meself in the slip lane off one of the city streets The distant mountains looked like a series of corrugated shadow against the backdrop of a blood smeared evening Bloody evening sky A lonely boat travelled on the ocean of huge waves Headed in search of new land A child was born incognito People threw up everywhere No land was visible No No

Conflict of free will and pre-destination; what choices could this child exercise that he was born on a boat full of riders destined to go God knows where ...?

The child It was on this boat not in pain Yet he had needs Tahu was in pain In city she was at a hospital where her baby was born Unloved child born in poverty In the slums A product of domestic quarrel A kind of rape This child who would never see wealth Tahu cried along with the baby The love child No not at all Marriage did not always make love children I waited for my lover by the Murma river One day a boat would come and my lover would get off Mother would I be happy again In city domestics were paid quite well I should get a good job Mother I had a beautiful house in Shingdi a vegetable garden Vines of bitter gourd lettuce English spinach and tousled coconut trees Coconuts fell on my darling husbands head One day we made love under the tree Now I was pregnant just like my orchard full of fruits with the love child Oh I ran as hard as I could from the shadow These were shadows of time shadows of the past I woke up A dream The sun was going down over the horizon of the Murma river in the village from where my brother left Pontu left Dolphins saved my brother on those rough seas Tumultuous waves on the sea I was heartbroken Brother ran away from that vampire of a farmer and Pontu for his alleged murder Mother would they be happy again In city you struggled to deliver the baby Tahu in the berthing suite of the hospital Tahu your baby boy born into marriage but out of love In Shingdi My baby boy would have been born he would have had a loving home My husband my love we loved each other so much He kissed me on the cheek first and then on the lips He whispered into my ears your red ruby lips drives me crazy I laughed I was happy with my family in Shingdi  Mother I wept as I made my bed on the streets in the city Every night men came and they did bad things to me One day Mother I too will fall pregnant Oh what would I do then with the child A child who would hang down my waist like a clinger Malnourished Mother I so need a home to stay Beg An unsightly beggar I wish I could go to Mundip with Pontu Brother came out of the house of God one day on Wellington road in the city of Troy The priests were with him He found peace in Dravi philosophy Their Religion of Jesuit faith in one God His friends have stopped talking to him One friend looked at him full of hatred was his best friend too One who travelled on the same boat over the high seas Walking on Wanji streets in Troy Brother brought some flowers to carry to the house of God service At the alter there were candles and flowers where the priest also stood giving his sermons Brother took lessons wanted to live a happy life The wealthy farmer nearly got him He had people visiting him in the village demanding money or else they would kill him Money 50,000 was a lot of money father Told him not to call on his mobile again He became a Dravi Loved prophet Jesuit Not prophet Mohammadan He loved his life more A freedom seeker in Troy Brother thought must convert What if he still did not qualify to become a freedom seeker His friends looked at him weirdly Five people stayed in one room Two in each bed placed side by side One on the floor on a mattress He didnt have to convert He didnt want to be a Mohammadan any more He loved the Jesuits now as much as he loved his life He loved  He went to the house of God from now on Finished worshipping and boys came out of the Mahammadan house of God in droves wearing white long dresses looking like moving refrigerators and heads covered in round cotton caps hugging the shape of their heads That was the noon worship that the village men had gone that afternoon Those were more peaceful times when they felt peace at heart Peace in the universe and towards neighbours Men turned up in Honda wearing sun glasses that one child in the village called Library Sunnys Teenagers were asked to work for the regime Recruitment was taking place Brother cleaned his teeth Friends have eaten dinner but have not asked him to join them for dinner In their home on Wanji street in Troy Brother became stronger He resisted he avoided looking at them Dravi priests brought peace to his mind and to his life No more recruitment My wedded husband was found in jail Brother went up to him to ask him Why he would soon be out He would bribe his way out of jail Pontu would bribe the police He has had enough of it Mundip police took the bribe but was still unrelenting Pontu got beaten up one more time for being an illegal in Mundip Pontu worked as an Illegal Mundipian Transporter paid in full Pontu vomited on the high seas over the boat rail The new born baby looked at him Pontu smiled Tahu also smiled at her new born in her slum dwelling Husband entered drunk at night and beat her up The baby was malnourished so was she There was no milk in her bosom for the baby She lost her job at the garment factory Along the Murma river the wooden boat cruised Tahu gave the baby a water burial She wept until her tears dried up Yet there were more More tears flowed There were no safe houses for people like us Poor Born in Poverty Raped The rich mans daughter in the city said she hated her expensive wedding sari All this jewellery but loved only her shoes Strangely  She was married to a multi millionaire who owned five Mercedes Benz She was covered from top to toe in Diamonds Glittering diamonds were forever and so was this bride supposed to be Thats what the groom thought anyway I heard him say jokingly to his friends Thats why he covered her with so many sparkling diamonds Rich girl married to a rich man There was no end to food and jewellery The house was full of them and expensive perfume wafted through the air I started work mother I worked in this house in my cheap sari Pretty I was Pretty too The rich girl just left with her new husband in expensive car Wedding was now over In Shingdi I sat down with my knitting I loved knitting honey comb pattern in pink yarn for my baby yet to be born My baby mother Was this dream ever going to be real mother I woke up in Shingdi I worked as a domestics in this wealthy house in city doing dishes scrubbing floors cooking running errands Tired Slept In Shingdi there were lovely flowers What lovely flowers They were Gardanias Sunflowers and Roses I bought some for Tahu back in the village Tahu sat crying in her house in village I brushed her hair well I brushed her mad hair Tahu was losing it Sanity she just lost her baby A baby lay smiling at Pontu in her mothers lap on the boat of the heaving waves Tired but the happy mother nursed it My husband mother walked the streets of Mundip I was awakened from sleep One night he called me on the mobile let go let go of everything Put it all in the past and move on It was never meant to be It was such a farce my marriage with this man He too fled from the police in Mundip he just saw one  police and disconnected the phone abruptly Never meant to be mother Where could I go Villagers would not let you be in peace because of me They had a meeting saying I am bad bad to the bone I am not Not my fault I never asked for any of this to happen mother Im but 16 Brother flossed his teeth in the bathroom he must move out of Wanji street he had enemies now his friends had become his enemies his family too for converting he did this for survival but he loved Jesuits Three years on Those pretty diamonds couldnt keep the rich girl the bride tied up to her rich husband in the big house in the city In Londau she sat having coffee twirling her pony tails flirting with her new lover Husband sat in the quiet city room in oblivion of the Sordid affair Money corrupted she said she wanted to visit a friend Indeed he kissed her red lips They lay between those sweaty sheets in his bed Bodies entwined For hours his carriage ran though the congestion clogged up traffic in city He was going to send more money to his bride the girl he had married and covered with diamonds

boyfriend in Londau will take it all, will take all, would have cried the chorus of Sophocles in Oedipus Rex. Blasphemy, adultery. She spoke of loyalty with a forked tongue.

I just finished my chores in her mothers house How the world jilted me The clock struck two in morning they should wake up soon Tea will then be served at the bed with sweet biscuits I slept By the river Murma a boat came sailing down A boy rowed it wearing a patched white shirt as he sang in foreign tongue.

“I‘m so tired of life that I can’t row this boat any longer; pick up the oars o the captain    of my soul...”

Shrill telephone sounds woke her up In Londau a terrible accident had claimed the lives of two people Car crashed They were in hospital Nurses in their starch white gowns and blue caps attended to the patients in the emergency No no no the flat line on the computer screen said it all And that was that The nurses were sad the world was shocked as shocked as the parents where I worked as domestics The husband sat in his Mercedes in the traffic What a terrible tragedy But who was the Man with the rich girl Questions remained unanswered One two three four I count with my fingers Days gone by Life returned to normalcy Mother I dont want to die at 16 Could I live here in the village with you and father A walk by the river Murma I wanted to live by the Murma It was the burial place for Tahus little baby What else would it witness Villagers would kill me eventually They think I shamed them Mother city is not a place for single young girl Tahus husband was in jail for robbery She stopped eating and drinking I wanted to live with you Mother Monsoon in the village is greener No trees in the city Rain looks strange and gloomy Tahu was pretty and Pael too Men left in droves Mother what would happen to the rich girls jewellery she got when she wedded Now maybe a newcomer would have them Some some lucky girl would make this unfortunate man happy Wedding bells are ringing already mother I hear them as I see diamonds glitter everywhere once again In the city Shadows cover the streets and knives smeared with blood shine in the darkness of these alleys Mad It is a mad world Wedding lights are the colours of the rainbow again Mother I wouldnt want my life to end at 16 no matter what No matter how many times I have been raped These are mother the unforetold miseries of our times.

 

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