In the soul’s cemetery

Mahmudul Hasan Hemal
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
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“I didn’t see him even for a day

Close to my place is the mirror-city

Where lives this neighbour of mine.

Encircling the city is bottomless water

Without any limit, and there is no boat

At this end”


You will always be thrilled at the thought of counting the uncountable number of dynamic images inside your heart, they are millions in number, and are as glinting as ten thousand diamonds in broad sunbeam; no one gets rid of being overwhelmed with the uncertain thought of the enigma of his/her own mind. What is mind, Reader? Can this simple question be satisfied with a simple, perpendicular answer? Every human being is an organization, an individual institution or at least not something or someone to be as easily understood as to swallow a glass of water by far I believe. As far as Human’s inner self is concerned, it has always been considered enigmatic, and over centuries, many writers, philosophers and poets viewed it in a mystified way. Greek philosopher Socrates (469-399BC), who profoundly affected Western philosophy, uttered ‘know thy self” and it is evident that the self is not always easy to be tamed or to be understood wholeheartedly. American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his milestone essay ‘Self Reliance’ asserted: “Trust thyself; every heart vibrates on that iron string…”


To think over the common human psychology can be defined as something like ‘old wine in new bottle’ as the littérateurs around the universe are constantly drawn to the fact of human mystification as one of the most fruitful ingredients of literary works. Although the clinical psychology, in the field of medical science, has got a bewilderingly wide dimension, it is still in a fix of the inner expression of human mind. However, this is indeed wonderful to think how we ourselves remain in a kind of fix even about our own self although we live quite a while on the earth. As Rumi says,


“I am like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,

But who is in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out of my eyes? What is the soul?

I cannot stop asking.”


The difficult task of rendering the mad-horse of our mind is done most exquisitely in literature by means of the mighty pen of writers throughout the passing times but still the deepest core of heart is unknown as heart talks very strange, its implication is always slightly incomprehensible, slightly enigmatic, puzzling enough to set ourselves in riddle. The writers are accustomed to looking for the inner door of human mind and as we know it while the process is not easy and actually a most hypothetical one. Some say it is our eyes or face or speech that can refer to the implied heart:


My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest,

Where can we find two better hemispheres

Without sharp north, without decline west?


May be the writers do have an inborn faculty to hasten their pen with the ringing of heart. Then, what about us- the millions of common and general masses as “not all are poets”?  In these regard my strict personal belief, what I have expressed in one of my previous write-ups (At the Day’s End/Morning tea/Daily sun), is- not always the thought itself that makes a poet different but the ability of delivering the systematic presentation of his thought, in the real sense, makes him somewhat distinctive, unlike the ordinary people. All people thinks; may be their mind formulates the same miniatures of thoughts that a poet thinks, but they are unable to define them; they stumbles and are usually lost at the very initial steps on the twisted alley of mind which will lead him to the wide horizon.


Had we given the power of knowing what actually our heart wants in a clear-cut way, we could obviously have made a more transparent view and judgment about ourselves. Would you mind recalling the followings,


“Mon ke amar joto chai je bojhaite

Mon amar chay shudhu ghora douraite

Pagol mon re, mon keno eto kotha bole

O pagol mon…, mon re, mon keno eto kotha bole…”


Lyric& tune: Ahmed Kaiser and Mannan Mohammed

Artist: Dilruba Khan


Apart from its ecstatic appeal, it reminds us of such an age we used to get ourselves entertained through a Radio which is in full extinction by now. (Reader, can you feel a radio playing inside your heart? Does it still exist in the mysterious graveyard of your heart?) To come in to the point, In usual term, human being is the most confused creature found in the whole solar-system; their demand and supply never met- as the two parallel lines never do, so do their hopes and reality. In more ornamental language, if I harmonize my voice with poets, the fact is most likely of the following types: “Whatever I want, want mistakenly/ whatever receives, receives not with wish…” Now, here is the spectacle to look at the scientific confusion (!) in this highly proclaimed British writer D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930),


Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one,

but there is also a third thing, that makes it water

and nobody knows what that is.


Once in a group gossip, harmonizing my opinion to some of my friends present there I was praising human being, as a creature, too much (I never speak ill of people while in a fairly good mood) saying nothing can reach the stature of goodness and magnanimity of our heart…; “yeah, nothing can reach the stature of wickedness and triviality of our heart as well!”- One of my friends, named Ataur Rahman, concluded my unfinished statement thus. Being astonished for a while, we agreed; well said, indeed!


But it is undoubtedly an agreeable fact that, despite our triviality and stooping-instinct (To err is human, to forgive divine- Alexander Pope), nothing is more beautiful than that of the supreme creation of God-Human being. It is only human among all the rest creature of the almighty who is equipped with a conscience. A man is he who cries in repentance, as well as in extreme happiness. Humayun Ahmed, a towering figure in the realm of Bengali literature, says “you err what testify you as human; you weep for it what testify you as virtuous human.” Heart is like a house where the living of our fellow men is the most perpetual one and, of course, it is no less thrilling to dig through our heart in our solitariness to find out those ever-shining faces whom the absent mind has kept there with utmost care. Heart is the house of all our belongings- living and dead. It is our heart, when breaks, remains most silent though no sound can be as intense as the sound of a decaying heart. This is to mention,



No sounds anywhere start

During the ruination of heart.

No fires anywhere spark

No apparent damages remark.”


When I find somebody telling me of their distress because of their heart-ache in recalling the tearful face of a mother seen from a departing bus, in recalling the last meeting of a deceased friend, last time they enjoyed exactly what a childhood means, last time they met a beloved, last time they saw a colourful kite dangling freely from the electric-wire on the background of blue sky- I really feel what I cant describe in words. It is, then, all about the heart which is in action. Hearts make the distinction between human and animal. The Almighty creates each hearts as a house, because He Himself lives in there, His creation lives in their; just like Lalon Shah says, ‘Manusher vetore manush koritese bosobas/ Manush dhoro manush bhojo/ Mon boli re pagol mon…’


Mahmudul Hasan Hemal, 4th year, BA honours, Department of English, University of Chittagong. E-mail:

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