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Imran Abbas - Thank You For Being Part Of My DNA

A river. It spans a great magnitude. The waters are clear, and have been rather still most of the times. For that reason people are not able to ascertain its true depth. Folklore states that it is unfeasible for one to cross over to the other side for the fright of being engulfed by the uncertain. On the other side sits my brother’s cottage. I notice the pale smoke flee the chimney and I imagine the absorbing fragrance of food blooming around them inside, and their warmth making memories with each other.

One day the river roused. It spread its wrath far and wide. Tired of witnessing changed hues on the faces he thought he knew, my brother went away despite the river being rough. He was able to make it safely to the other side.

I have existed peacefully on my side and I would not trade it for anything else in the world, but my heart pines for my brother. I begin to comprehend what John Donne had said when he had said that no man is an island, entire of itself, and that every man is a piece of a continent. I crave for the day I can see him before me. I crave for the day when I can curl my hand around his neck and share a moment with him. Overcome by that feeling of wanting to be around him, I resolve to jump into the river. It has been more than a decade that I have gone swimming, but that does not deter me. My goal is my brother, and my mind is set on my purpose. People, their eyes aghast, exclaim, “You are betraying us!” Those are the last words that resonate in my ears as I leap into the water and begin to count my forward strokes aloud. When I reach the middle I become afraid. My heart sinks. I think of the monsters and the creatures lurking in the deepness of the dark water, of them surfacing and swallowing me in a sweep. My head hurts, and I begin to perspire profusely. I feel this is my end when I hear a voice I have been longing to hear. A voice lost to the space between the two sides. It is misty, but I faintly observe a hand is stretched out. I wonder whether I am dreaming. “You are only inches away,” says the gentle voice, love radiating from every syllable. Surmounted by a renewed swell of strength, I swim in the direction of the hand, counting once again loudly every frontward stroke I take as my hands tightly grab onto the forearms of my brother, “But wasn’t he protecting me?” I murmur as I collapse onto the bank. My face buried in the silt I realise that the mud here smells just the same as the mud there, and even then an inner voice tells me that to breathe the same air that my brother breathes, and to renounce the people who cared any less for me, I have done right by exchanging my uncertainty for certainty.

I awaken with a start at the racket of the alarm. I swipe to slay the stir whilst I click on the profile of my brother Imran Abbas Naqvi who is shooting in Houston, Texas for his series Khuda Aur Muhabbat. In the state of semi-wakefulness I key the words:

Their eyes said, “You are betraying us!”
But wasn’t he protecting them?

I press ‘send’ as my head finds comfort in the warmth of my pillow again.

People consider that staying on the same side of the fence as them is a sign of loyalty. It may be, but I say that you should do as your spirit says. If someone says you cannot owe your allegiance to such and such, and due to such and such reasons, stop and think awhile, and if your conscience says that you should do what your mind is telling you to do, then abide by your conscience.

Each one of us have encountered moments in each of our lives where some people have evoked in us emotions that we had not hitherto felt before. With these people, one does not question why we feel what we feel, and how we feel what we feel, we absorb the feelings they evoke in us and make certain that they become an irreplaceable segment in the string of our DNA. In my case it was remarkable how in REM such feelings happened to take germination in my heart, while at the same time those words began to take shape in my head, and, once awake, I let them flow without any internal opposition for my brother Imran.

I understand that the above will make sense only to some, and some may not want to subscribe to my manner of thought, however, to those who can recognise the nuances, it would be trivialising it if I were to tell you what I exactly meant by what I meant above. Some things, like they say, are to be understood and not explained, although I would like to end with saying that I am glad I live in a time where brotherhood needs no publicity, for it is as common as getting up each morning and thanking the creator for giving us another lungful when someone is breathing their last.

Thank you, Eemu for making me feel so.