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Fiction Park

DÉJÀ VU

A man tries to do away with the wall of separation between him and his world, until he no
longer needs to

- Rupak Dhakal

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Aug 23, 2015- A man walks along a hallway, through a crooked path, narrower and deeper.
No light penetrates into the place. It is pitch-dark. There is very little indication for you to know
what time it is. It feels like you have lost your presence, only a couple of minutes into the walk.

” The man gets into the taxi as the driver says.” the man replies. The walls he has persevered to create throughout his life cages him within. His mind is full of thoughts. they say I am a loser. because perhaps these walls have never existed. but that this hallway will bring out the deepest feelings in you. the sorrow—all that rules over the human psyche—will disappear. Perhaps the separation exists only within me. “Is it time that makes people move or is it people who make time move? Either way. Every part of this life is new. where he can see people moving. he knows. If I become late. The man took out his phone and checks his schedule. not meant to be there. Every time the vehicles rush. He thinks. “Can you take me to Gorakh road in about…twenty minutes? I will pay you more than is needed. But did he really utter those words? He feels déjà vu flowing through his veins. time moving. pulsating into a situation where pain becomes beautiful and the realization of vanity is worthy. The trees aside the road look exceptional. Moreover. “So. your mind is in control of the atoms that surround you. The greed. but I will not promise. The navy blue canvas feels free and vast. I am well aware of my pretensions. And there is no breaking the walls that separate these two worlds. you shall discover the depth and the narrowness it holds. as if he has already lived through this before. Does this mean that there is no possible way in which I can rule me? My own thoughts are contradicting. Here. a coward—and my rule is undermined. If I rule the outer world. clouds of dirt arise and dust surrounds the road. Imagination fails you. but his mind insisted that this had already happened.” He crosses the hallway and reaches the city road. bizarre with the concrete and the city. but the trees are dead. the work must be an important one. A couple of clouds. making plans for the . if I rule the world. He feels some incident from his past hitting his brain. “If you want me to take you to a place an hour away in 20 minutes. I cannot rule me.’ The road is dusty and misty. There is no condition that will satisfy the outer world and my world. though.” The driver replies. my career is finished. then. A man ventures through the hallway. then. The sky is clear.However. Get in. It is not that the hallway where you walk carries the depth. I cannot rule the world. I have to attend a seminar in less than an hour. If I rule me. this is just rubbish. the surreal becomes the real. The contradictions inhabit the city: the roads seem alive. I know I am a ruler—there is no disputing that. The man stops a taxi and says. “If I rule me. seem to exist only because the people walking beneath them want to find some difference in the indifference of the sky.” “Yes. here and there. I can agree. this place will exceed these sensations. it is. You grow closer to nothingness-absence becomes the only presence.

We are simply but figments of his dream. he thinks to himself. And now. the world agrees. And I know whether people make time move or time makes people move… The man wakes up from sleep and all he sees is darkness. he thinks to himself. All generalizations have stopped and there is no happening here-there is only the happened. but the void is even more void-like this time. out of offices. He knew what he had to do and he know how to do it. The man is suspended in time. This is more than that. This isn’t just hopelessness. a dream within a dream. dreams no more. He contemplates his life. pressing. untilThe man has died with his world. Then. so vivid. as if his dreams were becoming lighter. The beauty lies in the struggle.seminar in his head while the taxi driver drove past horns and dust. He approached the seminar hall with this very enthusiasm. The sky is clear and the roads are almost empty. Near the seminar hall. the man reached his destination. When he got to the seminar. enter. stupid wall between me and the world. an eternal power. An aura of enthusiasm surrounded him.” he says out aloud. this man is God. the driver went his own way and the man his own. unconscious. There is a murderous malignancy here. Things were changing. People are hurrying out of the hall. At the end of less than 25 minutes. his feet give away. wondering if he was dreaming. He lives no more. The sun is glaring and blazing. his career. but the man felt an even greater sense of the mundane that inhabited his mind. He thanked the driver and paid an additional amount of money as he’d promised. His body is pain. This taxi could collide into another any minute now. the man saw a huge mass of people and vehicles. sees no more. feeling vain within himself. And now. the bulls are on their way. The once empty roads are a stampede and the bulls are on their way. He feels the land tremble. . the man felt lighter. out of shops. but then again. his children. brighter than ever. As he walked towards the hall. “All I have ever cared about is erasing that stupid. He knows what this is. The same void in which he saw glimpses of his wife and children. once in a while. out of the homes that surround it. anyways? He becomes numb. His mind travels through a void where. I know what time is now. glimpses of his wife. what is time. The shaking is so vivid.

A hungry small cub who followed his mother. yet unable to see the glamour of world. the world is large and dynamic. 2015-Tigers are beautiful.DROPS ON STRIPES  A young lion learns of the fate of humans 0Shares Share on facebookShare on twitter Aug 9.” Just after crushing the neck of a burly black bear. the tiger with the massive crimson teeth mightily smashed the bear’s head with his calloused front paws. felt the fur of the teddy bear. You will soon be able to visualise its beauty and you will recognise your potential. not a burden. But right now. you are just five days old and you should do as I . “My dear Lynx.

an organisation of spies in Russia. Humans commonly lit fires in the jungle to destroy weeds and grass. your father had seen the man and informed him about it to your grandfather. all of us ran to India. In the moist air of the forest. religious temples and roads filled with bikes and cars. the league reached the realm of the murderer. Immediately after they heard of their King’s fate. but life had left him.grandfather. Lynx opened his golden eyes to the sun. the Russian Archaeopteryxes landed in Chitwan. insects and burrowing animals died due to this. his whiskers standing. They walked pase the bricked houses and the colourful parks. “Mother. Mother Tiger put him on her lap with great affection and began the tale of Lynx’s great. They understood . And is that the head of the King of Russian Tigers I see behind him? Wasn’t he murdered last week?” your grandfather exclaimed. Mongolia and China. a group of tigers left Chitwan National Park. who is he? And where is he?” Lynx asked. this was why Siberian birds had stopped visiting us in Nepal. Finally. On the eleventh day. the league returned to the jungle and called the King Gumshoe Bureau (KGB). Stretching his ocelli. the tiger chiefs sat around a table with steaming hot blood in their cups as they planned to punish the hunter. your great-grandfather was running after a spotted brown deer. In fact. Everyone was amazed to look at the happenings inside the window. In that rainy night. their eyes searching for their lost brother. Your greatgrandfather was standing still. indifferent to the fact that many snakes. To avoid all confusion. That day. Without wasting a single minute. but before he could pounce upon it. He turned his head around the walls of the cave and saw a photo frame with a garland on it. Lynx listened to his mother and filled his unfilled stomach. The next morning. The Red Association of the Wild (RAW) in India very humbly welcomed us to their home and arranged caves for us. From far away. After flying over Siberia. to become the coat of this moron. we explained our predicament to the Indians. our only option was to rush to the Balmiki forest in India. “Oh my God! My father is lying helplessly there. Thankfully. When such fires raged. Seeing the curiosity in the cub’s eye. a man ejected a sharp stone from a pipe-like thing.say. a fierce fire made its way to the meeting place. He could see that his stripes did not match those of his mother. a group of Russian tigers booked a couple of Archaeopteryxes and left for Nepal.” said the mother tiger. They were astonished to see the Russians with us.

They stopped exiting their houses. One day. Green parrots sang for us and peacocks performed feather dances. 2025. Woods were being cut down to construct highways and factories. Tigers in other jungles of other countries liked this idea of trapping hunters and killing. The elephants’ part in the scheme was to bring the hunter near the waterfallwhere we would be hiding. Soon. And hence. We came to know from some porcupines that he was planning to take an elephant ride and shoot tigers. Simultaneously. the forests echoed the roar of the tigers. The celebration was over and we all returned to our motherland. Deer jumped and hyenas laughed. creating fountains with their trunks. tigers all around the world killed many hunters and the jungles became hunter-free zones. So when the elephant dropped the hunter by the waterfall. so they started to sign treaties with elephants. The good news was that the hunter we were searching for had also come to Balmiki. Dr White Rabbit wrote a thank-you speech. The Tigers Association realised that our silence was become scarier than our roar. What a mesmerising view it was. as we lay sleeping in the shadow of a skyscraper. Chemicals and smoke polluted our rivers. life was not easy. as Hunter Free Day. our . This became a historic event and was well known all over the Internet as well. Although the hunters were exterminated. It was necessary to take action. The elephants did not object to our plan when they heard that the hunter had been killing our own. shops. schools. we convinced the elephants to help us trap the hunter. Throughout the world. make note of our demographics. We soon declared July 29. The people got exceedingly fearful of us. This day celebrated the fact that jungles were free of hunters. Before long. Next we would attack the hunter and rip him apart. The green soon died from the forests. we jumped upon him and showed him a killer’s fate.us very well and were very supportive of us. cyber cafes were shut. Cubs were becoming weak and the infant mortality rate had increased rapidly. My aunts and uncles died of hunger. we decided to leave the forest and migrate towards towns in search of food and water. Offices. we marched towards the elephants that were playing with their children near the river.

“I’m so sorry. and China. But because there wasn’t sufficient greenery in the world. many died. The city grew cacophonous with roars. I can take you to the Human Museum. India. which increased oxygen demand in human bodies. sadness in her voice. They must have felt that the world was coming to an end. “Mother. and multiple earthquakes happened in Nepal. Lynx. the oxygen levels plummeted. Lynx. .” Lynx said. inventions. I feel sad for the humans. Birds scattered and all the animals rushed towards open spaces.shrunken bellies more shrunken than ever. Japan was soon hit with a tsunami.” Lynx shed tears upon his mighty young stripes.” Mother Tiger stammered. I want to go to the city. I’ll go there alone if you don’t want to take me. Are they fine now? I want to see how they look like. You can see skeletons. If you really want me to.” Mother Tiger said. Sadly. barks and meows. The humans were crying in pain as houses fell on them. There aren’t any humans left anymore. we felt that an earthquake was coming. “It’s not that. “Mother. Lynx was shocked. They have videos and photos. the humans were compelled to stay inside their houses during the earthquake because the free spaces outside were occupied by the wild. creations. Many humans writhed in pain as life slowly left their eyes and their breaths left their mouths— “My head aches when I think about it. The dead bodies buried under the houses generated a new virus called Terminus. Mother Tiger could do nothing but wipe the drops on stripes. The virus spread throughout the world and none were able to find its cure. “Huh? Mother.” Lynx argued. stubborn as he was. But this was not the end of humans. Lynx.” Mother Tiger replied. you should have protected them for me.

although I was not sure what he saw up there. I don’t know the reason. The scars on my body say so. The sun was shining bright. he seemed to be enjoying himself. Nisha was preparing something for us to eat. with milky white clouds. I forget things that have happened and I remember what never took place. 2015-Lying on my back on the soft green grass. I turned to see Rehaan. Its warmth was complemented by the coolness of the mild breeze. like the waves in the ocean in motion. I must have done something wrong . Rehaan was beside me doing the same. but it wasn’t scorching. though. His eyes .Preety Dhungana 0Shares Share on facebookShare on twitter Aug 2. a magnificent eagle came hovering into view. As an icing on the cake. so clear and so blue. I was looking up at the endless sky—so deep.ENDLESS BARS  Seven months in jail has made me numb. I’ve been beaten.

So my flight was not carefree this time. and recognise and love and feel so responsible for. She had given him the name. taking part in the most carefree flight. I’ve been beaten. I had become the bird up there. How could I? How could a father of such a beautiful child do something so wrong? I would never want Rehaan to see me like this. The unlimited horizon had shrunk into a rectangular frame. There are still bars that I cannot cross. I was so high.. It was Rehaan.. The name that was bookended by our initials—R and N... though. I found my eyes blurring with tears. I must have done something wrong. and in no time. In fact. and I could see again. Between me and my eyes were bars.. But Rehaan? When was the last time I saw him? When we were gazing at the sky. flying. but I could see me still up there. I felt so free…things were perfect. Never did I take that name seriously. I was on the ground again. The scars on my body say so. Who says birth is always concrete? I realised Rehaan was born when she had imagined him. I looked back at the eagle. Inside which was me—trapped…jailed. I forget things that have happened and I remember what never took place. I’ll be charged if I’m even seen close to them. I understood why the Almighty chose a female to be ‘the mother’. I banged against them every time I hurled myself—in every direction I headed.but that was just a moment ago. The door was opened when dawn broke. “Your father has come. I don’t know the reason. I knew it was him.twinkled. which could make me see someone who wasn’t real in this world. I experienced the power of a woman’s imagination. There were bars surrounding me. I walked outside—outside which is actually inside. Seven months in jail has made me numb. My family enclosed themselves in one of the chambers of my heart. They flowed down my cheeks. I looked around. I wasn’t on the ground anymore. The clear blue sky had turned grey. Where was Nisha? Where was Rehaan? I could guess where Nisha could be at this time. So distinct.” . But suddenly.maybe that hadn’t been real? Nisha used to talk about him a lot. which was now encircling the perimeter I could behold. But today I saw him. Not freely though.. He was there beside me. past the ears to my hair.

. this must be the reason why they publish ‘Wanted’ notices for criminals. As I think about this. Thank God this month won’t be as difficult as the past one. It’s because he’s somebody else’s father too. I discard the dream—which Nisha had shown me. leaving me clueless. in the same way my parents are part of some other families. I feel like begging for imprisonment a little longer. Criminals—the rejected isolates. Things have changed. Not because I’m a grown up now. The power of a woman. I’m not now. I feel accepted. layer after layer. but I could never understand why my mother’s absence affected his love for me. Maybe I took them for granted then. I have to think about those strangers too. But every time I opened my bag for something. I did not check to make sure. My fellow criminals. Once.it was my first night stay away from home. There was a time when I could expect much more. Suddenly I . My father had packed my luggage. I cannot expect much from them. my mother was my mother.. Yes. seem like family. when I had my scouts camping in grade eight. I wasn’t curious then as well.. There were some more clothes. I somehow knew that there were just clothes because I had asked for clothes. But now. I suddenly have my doubts about Nisha. when I think of my parents. I took a jacket out from the bag and wore it. even the jailors. Will she wait for me? What if she leaves me like my mother left my father and me? Suddenly my beautiful dream looks so futile.‘Where will I go if they free me?’ Then I get scared of freedom. I always believed that my father loved me more than my mother. My father was my father. The identity of a criminal gives more of a sense of belongingness and safety to me than the identity of a son. this thought crosses my mind. I never had to see them as each other’s spouses. Now I know it’s just clothes. I lost my father too…I am a man myself. My father and mother replaced their spouses with people who are complete strangers to me. I feel wanted here.He must have brought the warm clothes I had asked for last month. more than I can ever now.. I wasn’t that delighted then. It is extremely cold here. When I desperately want to get out of this jail. I found chips or chocolates or cheese or gum. But when she left us. who inhabit the intimate spaces in their lives. I feel at home here. that too for 21 days.

The dream won’t recur. I’ll always be charged with going close to the bars but I’ll never be barred. Isn’t that murder? Erasing someone’s existence. My eyes blur again. Trust that I will never be unwanted here. rectangle and nothing else . no white. I see no sky. I’ll always remain a criminal here. I understand my father. He won’t now. Who says murder is always concrete? When I think about that. I find trust here. When the liquid flows. I see me. I abort the dream. Things will never change. grey. What about Rehaan? He existed. Their behaviour will never change. no blue. bars.find so much meaning inside these bars. I have no complaints—no complaints with anyone on earth. no wings. I find stability.

ages six and two.IN SEARCH OF HAPPINESS  A man realises that satisfaction is all he needs to be happy . again.SANTOSH KOIRALA 0Shares Share on facebookShare on twitter Jul 26. Mina. Nisha and Preety. 2015-It’s a girl!” a woman hollered(give a large shout) from inside the OR. After hearing the woman holler. The world before Ishaan shattered. was giving birth to a child. He was walking back and forth anxiously along the corridor just outside the room where his wife. it was the one thing he did not want to hear at the moment. now he had three. but it seemed like fate was testing him. Ishaan walked towards the front door . He was expecting a son this time. He already had two daughters.

After a while. his daughters would scamper towards him with the hope that their father would scoop them up from the floor and throw them into the air. He showed up later in the evening.hastily. I will do it for you. drunk. your father is tired today. She slowly opened the window as her father said. would say.” The daughters could not comprehend their apathetic father. In the days that followed. she could clearly figure out the silhouette of her father. Every time Mina tried to approach him. he would be inebriated and would beat his wife until his own hands hurt. Baffled by her father’s strange. Nisha used to hold her sister tight until she stopped shivering. only to fall back into his safe arms--like in the old days. stepped outside and shut it close with a loud bang and left the house. Ishan rarefied his house. Mina started earning her own money from a sewing job and was growing to become an independent woman. As Nisha grew older. mother. Ishan began acting as a complete stranger to his own family. “Come here my darlings. “Wait for me at the station. In time. Though she didn’t exactly know what was happening.” Ishaan’s apathy injured his wife and children. The children could always feel the violence in the next room. Her father was screaming vehemently: “All of this is your fault: you don’t . But to their dismay. talking to a woman she had never seen before. She never revealed her sufferings to her children. he would turn a blind eye and walk away towards the door. He didn’t even look at his daughter. her eyes brimming with tears. Early next day. standing beside them. Nisha lay on her bed alongside her sister. “I will make my father prouder than a son ever will. he would put on a sullen face. One evening. Mina. But when he did.” she assured her mother. never once did she foul-mouth Ishan. She knew that it was because her father had wanted a son. hoping for a better tomorrow. she understood the reason behind her mother’s suffering. she saw through the window two people standing outside their gate. To comfort their broken hearts. “What is it in a boy that our father wants one so much?” she used to ask her mother. it wouldn’t let them sleep. At evenings when he came early. “These days will be over. she could hear her mother wailing from inside the kitchen. long past his usual time. as Nisha climbed into her bed after helping her mother with her daily chores. her father entered the house and went to bed without a word. sober rendezvous with a strange woman.” They hugged each other and the woman left. He left home early in the morning and returned later in the evening. I will be there at six tomorrow morning. She hastily walked towards the sound.

she would ask him for more and more money. they had to think about the future: how could they afford to send the baby boy to a good school? He was in desperate need of a job that could provide a fair salary. Surely. “You’d better not call this number again.”One early morning. Ishan married the strange woman from the strange rendezvous. Besides. his wife wouldn’t respond to his calls. but alas. Waves of memories of his three daughters. After receiving the stipend at the end of each month. As days passed by. He began contemplating his life. He wished it was a nightmare. Ishan soon became the happy father of a son: all that he had ever wanted. His . He remembered how indifferent he had been towards those innocent children. After a few weeks. started towards the door. where had he gone wrong? He spent his night in the shower sobbing. The only way he could pay for his wife’s extravagant spending was by flying into some Arab country and putting strenuous effort into a couple of extra bucks. yelling: “Where are you going? When will you return?” Her father shoved her away and walked out of the house. It was only when he had already started losing hope that someone picked up. her father. He managed to do overtime during the weekend. After a few months. She ran after her father.” Her mother lay crying in one corner. He fumbled towards the bathroom to take a shower and to return to reality. with a suitcase in his hand.” yelled a coarse voice.His new wife never sympathised with him: each month. And so he did. for the new family--Ishan’s menial job at a shoe store could hardly pay for his spendthrift wife. It was as if time stood still for a moment.want to see me happy. he began to feel more and more distanced from his wife. she called him and said “It’s time we send our son to a boarding school. you have to send in all your savings for his admission.” Ishan did as demanded. one telephone conversation led to her saying “I will leave you if this is all you can offer us. Ishan’s senses left him. they deserved love from their father. His son had just turned 2 when Ishan left for Iraq. Not long after that day. though. He never spared free time for himself. Late one night. everything was real. There he found a job at a gas station. Ishan was scared. cursing himself for his naiveté. he gladly sent all his savings through remittance. I am leaving you now. everything turned dark. he would call home to speak to his son. you never wanted to give me a son. he tried to call her. The voice of a man came through the receiver. his faithful first wife swarmed in. Life was not easy.

He realised that it was satisfaction all one needs to become happy. There he saw his three daughters playing in the yard. he kissed her forehead. He held her in his hands and lifted her up. Nothing had changed since he had left. .obsession for a son had led him here today. Gathering some courage. Nisha saw her father and scampered towards him. yet he abused her and left her to suffer alone. in his arms. he wanted to apologise to those innocent kids. Few days after that tortured night. he got on a bus and headed home. His wife was busy with her sewing. he managed to put himself on a plane back home. The writer is a student of agriculture in Chitwan. When he landed at the airport. He lay crying his laments in the shower all night. he couldn’t figure where he ought to head…the first person he could think of was his old wife but he couldn’t dare to call her--maybe she had already settled with another man. In the air. He thought about his wife who had always been there when he needed her. But he wanted to see his daughters one more time.

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