THE FACTUAL FANTASY

Published on by Taha Javaid Siddiqui

 

 

A TALE OF THE OLD MAN WITH WINGSwind1.jpg

 

It had been raining in torrents since last night across the town of Jhaddo, a small metropolis some 300-350 miles away from Karachi. Paul, one of the blacksmiths of Jhaddo, went to his shop in the morning when the rain had slowed down its pace. He found it all ruined due to the bursting showers of the last night. His shop was over flooded with water and all the accessories had been submerged with it. Paul started cleaning his shop and was busy in drying up the things when he noticed an old man, faraway, sitting alone on a hillock of sand. Paul kept gazing at him for quite sometime but the old man remained static at his place which persuaded Paul to go towards him.                                                                                           

                   On his way to the old man, Paul distinguished a baffling sight that old man had two wings on his back. The wings were white in colour and were about 3-4 inches in length and quite wider. Paul, at this scene, got totally flabbergasted and rubbed his eyes twice to avoid any fantasy but, as the implausibility stayed reality, the wings were actual. Paul got frightened and decided not to go towards the mysterious old man. Instead, he went home and told his wife about that. His wife stayed utterly unbelievable and told him that he has gotten out of his mind.

             Later that morning, some people passed through that hillock of sand and saw the old man with wings. Half of the people got afraid of the sight and ran away. Rest, who were brave at heart, got stunned and kept pondering at him to remove their disbelief. They started referring the old man as an angel who has come to the town to guide people to the right path. These people rushed to a priest in the neighborhood to discuss the enigma with him. The priest told the people that they, all, were suffering from hallucinations and said that nothing of this kind exists. People got frustrated and took the priest to the place where the old man was sitting. Perceiving the mystery man, the priest did not change his belief and told people that he can not be an angel because when an angel comes to Earth inform of human being then he has no indication of an angel attached with him. The old man, was in form of a human and had wings, could not be a reality and priest said that it was some kind of a magician playing tricks on the villagers.                                                                                                                  

               At night, when Paul and his wife were having a sound sleep, there was a knock at the door. Both woke up and wondered who, on the planet, could be at the door in such a late hour. When they opened the door, Paul saw the same old man he had told his wife about. His wife got dreadful at the sight of the wings and screamed out loud. Paul comforted her and suddenly, his cunning mind, came out with a money-making trick by using that old man with the wings. He welcomed the old man in his house with open arms and kept him in the guest room. He told his wife that they can earn in tonnes by holding an exhibition of the old man with wings in the town. They decided to hold the show in which they figured out to charge Rs.500 per head. 

             Paul took one whole day off from work for the preparation of the exposition. Bought tents, made banners penned ‘The old man with Wings’, decorated the tent and invited people. People readily agreed for this ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’. The old man stayed at Paul’s house till the morning of the exhibition. Specifically, the old man spent one day and a night at the house.   

festival paredes de coura                                                                                                                                                                           

            On the morning of the exhibition when all preparations had been made and the show was about to hit the fire, when 500 people had registered themselves for the event and were sitting in the hall waiting for the old man to show up, the old man flew away from Paul’s house. Paul was, then, busy in starting the show and when he called the mystery man and no one turned up, people became furious and angry that they had gotten fooled by Paul. All of the visitors, stood up at once, attacked and whipped him up and demanded their money back immediately. It turned out to be an awfully memorable day for Paul.

 

Published on Narratives

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