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Departure Fable

"What if the world was ending tomorrow?"

Published onDec 10, 2023
Departure Fable

Photo by cottonbro studio:

‘twas a coup, rescuing half a notebook from the long forgotten dusty shelves in the attic
you handpicked the oldest pencil and sketched a dream with it
i fell asleep to the sound of graphite on paper
i walked the streets of Sarajevo never having been there
waste years but never waste a dream she said

what if the world was ending tomorrow?

i’d call you by a name in every language
i walked through empty tenement halls
bunch of mails, smell of laundry, freshly washed sheets 
remnants of a drunken choir, and chimes which told time

what if the world was ending tomorrow?

tugging at two ends of a rope 
curtains the shape of a grimace heralding a new life
certain unordinary joys living vicariously through the passing Halley’s comet
the obscenity of hope like
a silent prayer in battle
hands folded sewn together after arrows

what if the world was ending tomorrow?

i found scattered sheets of the notebook
the sights and sounds of the sketch i had fallen asleep to
you had drawn the beginning of life or the end of the world
i was suddenly afraid of forgetting what i left behind
so i picked up a parchment and wrote thus
“this silence is the sound of the world ending 
if the world ends tomorrow, can i call you mine today? 
i want to be with you when the world ends”

i emptied my pockets looking for reasons to not say goodbye 
i forgot your name in every language
my dream, the shape of a specter walked up to me, or was it you
my arms grasped, failed, my hold feeble, failing  
sleep, refuge as long as it lasts

what if the world was ending tomorrow?

what would change?
anything but a dream
everything but a dream.

Junaid Ahmed Ahangar is a doctor, working currently as a resident in a tertiary care institute in Srinagar, Kashmir which has been a conflict zone for the most part of the last century continuing on to this day. Growing up, he has been profoundly influenced by the likes of authors like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Milan Kundera, Julian Barnes, Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, Orhan Pamuk, Naipaul and poets like Edgar Allan Poe, Tennyson, Tagore, Rilke, Wislawa Szumborska, Agha Shahid Ali, Sherko Bekas, Mahmoud Dervish, and Dylan Thomas to name a few. He has delved into philosophy as well, the likes of Neitzsche, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx, etc. Ahangar graduated from Dhaka and completed his masters in medicine in Srinagar. He also has a masters in English literature obtained in India in 2023.





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