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‘To all those heroes who evolved out of the fault lines within’
‘Only the earth can tolerate being broken at too many fault lines; a human being just can’t.’
It’s something I learned and then gradually unlearned as time passed. I realised that we who materialised out of mother earth are equally resilient, equally patient, and though the fault lines that go through us create havoc, they cannot rip us apart.
And while you are reading this, maybe you are probing the cracks within.
I tell you they are right there, probably just well hidden, for we learn the art of concealing very early in life, maybe for fear that people might not understand, and even if they do, they might not appreciate.
We forget the same people have their fault lines too.
A crack runs deep, and even though it might not be visible on the top, it has the potential of immense destruction within.
I deal with a different fault line in each of my stories, those that look familiar and those that might not be palpable, but then earthquakes have different intensities, and so is it with human traumas.
In the story titled ‘the Godless’, Zeyad tries hard to seek what he believes holds true. His fault line isn’t visible at all. It runs through the soul, while in ‘two ageing prostitutes’, the tremors never die down until the very end.
‘The Angels must have cried’ is based in war-torn Aleppo, where Manal faces trauma on two fronts while Zain, her husband, is unaware. His fault line is more profound, only he doesn’t realise it earlier.
‘The broken umbrella’ deals with extramarital relationships. Now that is one fault line that runs through so many families, and perhaps the jerks felt become a bothersome routine. No one wants to talk about them anymore.
Then some, like ‘Wabi-Sabi’ and ‘When love wasn’t enough,’ make you realise that cracks are also the places where healing happens.
‘The Y chromosome’ and ‘Little Sheela’ speak about women in bondage and how they deal with their cracks. ‘Alien friends’ delves into the human bonds between enemies.
‘The key’ is about self-created loss, about a gap that isn’t there, and so is ‘A jingle of coins’.
We are complex creatures, and the same fault line can destroy one and just slightly shake another.
So, I leave it to you to choose how it affects you.