Monday, December 20, 2010

Layla & Qais

This is a story of a princess and a prince
An ending that will surely make you wince
Whose paths crossed but never fully met
A tale full of sorrow and downright regret

Her name was Layla
Of noble lineage was she
Her skin was like porcelain
Her eyes full of glee

Her mother held her near
She said ‘welcome dear’
‘Thank you God for making me a mother’
‘And my husband a proud happy father’

His name was Qais
Ordinary was he
Blind to the fact
That he had no tact
Endowed with a mind
Inquisitive was he

Merely a day old and deathly ill
His mother’s voice shrill
When said the doctor
‘He may not pass the night’
‘Hold on for dear might’

And so it happened
Fate came to pass
God denied him an early return
A livelihood he had yet to earn

When he was ten
She turned six
Youngsters they play
Innocent of the world’s way

Then one day malevolent forces
Touched them both
Childhood had ended
And minds were a-broken
Faiths and wills shaken

Then time passed
Age took over
The prince grew older
The princess grew bolder
The prince he was a-charming
But only to a degree

Her beauty her magic
Her witty happy ways
Had many a man wishing
To win her delicate hand

But as it happened
Prince Qais was permitted
To hold court with Layla
And boy was he smitten

He forgot that he was nerdy
He forgot he was dorky
She made her feel
Like he was her man full of glory

He ran he dove
Through the streets he wove
He sang and he flew
Everything seemed new
He felt invincible
Purely because of her love

Qais forgot his mother’s thrashings
And his father’s whippings
Because Layla had infused
In him a purpose
With love a-dashing

When he arose he said ‘Layla’
When he lay down he said ‘Layla’
When happy - ‘ Layla’
When sad - ‘Layla’

But Layla’s happiness was a mask
Inside she was broken
And he had no clue
So when she left all of a sudden
He blamed her through and through

Little did he know that the princess had been
Through sadness, grief, needles and pins
All her life her heart was heavy
Her mind was confused
She had a hard time opening up
And her soul was bruised

The prince retaliated
And oh what a mess
As he slept in the gutter
And forgot time
His days were nights
And his nights were a clutter
His heart felt like it would leave his chest

But so was the princess in abject sorrow
Layla’s life turned upside down
Kicked out in the rain
Her hair dripping wet
Body a-shivering
There was no tomorrow
She wanted to turn to Qais
But Qais had gone mad
The situation had turned
From heavenly to bad

So she ran away from home
She didn’t want to live
A good Samaritan picked her
And helped her through
As she learnt new skills
And survival true

Qais in the meantime was
Damn near dead
His heart rent asunder
His body utterly bled
He blamed her but ‘twas not her fault
He threatened to see her on D-day
And make claims against her
For the injustices he felt in his heart's vault

Years passed
Eleven to be exact
Qais had somehow survived intact
Going through the motions of life
A woman he had
But robotic was he
With scars deep to his core
Layla was his only love
And his only love forever more

Layla had survived
Through trials galore
She was still broken
Her sweet face smiling, token
Her eyes gave her away
Hiding her angst and choking

Through dreams did Qais keep Layla alive
Hoping without hope to make her his bride
Into eternity will I make you mine Miss!
With happiness and bliss
And grapes and strawberry kiss

In dreams would she appear as a beautiful fairy
Arms outstretched offering words so enchanting
He reconciled with her every time, ne’er weary
Only to wake up and find
Autumn leaves outside the window
The gray dark cold tormenting him so

And so it passed that one fine day
He woke up and found her some way
He wanted to write to her but couldn’t for a year
He was wary and full of fear

But so was Layla when he finally wrote
Terrified was she
But she replied
Then what re-ignited was a tempestuous wind
Blowing them into each other’s boat

Qais was in delight
Watching Layla chew mignon
And kabobs and moochi moochi
Only one thing could assure Qais
Her hands around him holding him
As soon as she would let go
He would drift back to the past
Qais hated feeling thus
Qais hated himself for trying Layla
Beyond what she could bear
He wanted to make her every dream come true
But the past he had yet to undo

Layla tried hard to see their future together
She explained her broken spirit
Qais would listen and hear
But his understanding was not clear

Each new day when he vowed to treat her right
Would he relapse
The past like a hook
Would yank him back
The satan on his left shoulder clapping and chirping
The angel on his right shoulder kept quiet all along

As time passed was Layla breaking
Into more pieces
The satan would remind him
That he gave her his all and was blinded
Betrayed and left for dead
The angel on the right would speak
‘Are you going to hold on to the past?’
‘Don’t you know each word you speak…
…is no less than an arrow piercing her cheek?’
‘Will you pay heed to the demon on the left…
…and ignore everything Layla has done to make amends?’
‘Don’t you know she loves you so?’
‘Then give her her rights and treat her gently, slow’
Said Qais “Yes, yes I will, I will”
“She is the only one I ever loved and ever will”
“My life with light does she fill”
Said the angel ...
...'What's better for the two of you than a horse ride carriage?'
'When two love one another nothing's better than marriage'

‘Treat her unkindly’ goaded the devil
‘Because she cared not for you’
‘She betrayed you once, she’ll do it again too’
“No she won’t” said Qais' inner voice
She promised to never leave me again
She promised to help me and stand by me
She promised that she cannot live without me
She said she would die without me
“I would give my life for you” said she
Spat the devil ‘Trust her do you, fool?’
Said Qais “Of course you tool”
“Then test her, test her until she proves to you she’ll never leave”
And so Qais fell into the trap the devil heaved
He wanted to stop but couldn’t
He saw the love in her eyes but would soon forget
When in front of him she wasn't

Till one day Princess Layla could bear it no more
She left and she was broken
Qais had wanted to repair her as she was always broken
Qais had wanted to love her like before
Qais had wanted to make her his bride
The devil had won in controlling Qais’ stride
Qais wanted to chop his tongue off and send it to Layla
For causing her pain
He pleaded for her return but Layla threatened
Just as he had eons ago
“I will see you on Judgement-day”
“Until then never will I see your face”

Qais was once more torn
Layla was once more broken
Tears of fire did they both shed
Regretting and wondering what they could have had
An eternal bliss in gardens above
With no pain nor sorrow nor anxiety nor fear
No death no hurt no illness near
And until entrance to that garden was granted
The two could have lived like prince and princess
Grand and happy
In each other’s arms content
Kisses in the morning and sweet words in the eve
In both times of distress and times of joy

But Layla would not turn back
To Qais’ entreaties she turned a deaf ear
He begged and pleaded
But she was broken
Qais blamed himself and his devil
And His tongue, his luck, his whole life
Layla bled and cried
Qais cried and bled
And through it all he wished he could return
And bring her happiness back

'Come Layla let's start a-new'
'I miss you as do Ranu and Moo Moo'
"Begone Qais, I've got no place for you"
So Qais knocked on her family's door
'Uncle, I love her and want only her to marry'
"This is not love, it's anger you carry"
'Please weigh my actions going foward won't you?'
'I've defeated my anger and cuffed my demons too'
'I've forgotten the past and have certificates too'
"You don't love our daughter"
'No no I do, please can I have her'
'How can I convince you?'
"Even if we said yes, she doesn't want you"

Qais ran with tears a-streaming
Trekked to a holy man saying the devil deceived me
"What ails you son?"
'My heart my heart, I can't live without her'
"What is it that prevents your union?"
'I love her so but could not forget the past'
'When I did, she was long gone'
'Words I would speak deliberately at times'
'Words I would speak she would misunderstand at times'
'Her temper would rise and words she would utter'
'My temper would flare and I would utter what I uttered'
"Shall I not tell you the secret to being happy with her?"
"Remember you love her even when you're angry with her"
"And she with you"
"Hold your tongue forever true"
"Smile instead because tempers do recede"
"Hurtful words however will not let you succeed"
"Explain to her nicely after her temper subsides"
"You misunderstood me love be my bride"

The princess had loving support
From family and friends who helped her through
She lived a full life and finally found
The happiness she was seeking
Since the day
Her childhood was stolen from her

She found laughter again
And passion within
From helping and treating people
Her beautiful face adorned journals of name
Her hair covered in beautiful veil
Her oil painting sketches hung
On her daughter’s wall
“Mommy, how did you make it?”
Laughed did Layla as her eyes sparkled
And she stood tall

She went hiking to Peru and a helping hand
Of a dear one
Would steady her and smile
On moonlit nights would she swim in the ocean
Hearing the crashing waves
Feeling warm salty water against her skin
Qais had always dreamt
Of one day popping the question to Layla
Underwater while scuba diving

She learnt to speak Latin and Arabic too
And wrote poetry to add to her collection anew
Catharsis for her mended soul
As she lay down listening to a smooth slow tune
Her aging hand touched her face
And she wondered after many years about a distant past
About Qais and how she had loved him
About how Qais lovingly observed her the entire time she watched…
…The Notebook
She glanced to her right and saw the steady breathing
She slowly slipped out of the blanket
Placing her Verragio in the jewelry box
And into the shower so nobody would hear…
…As she cried
Qais had hurt her so
And she recollected how she was shutting down
Yet Qais could not tell as it was happening
Only her sister could
Qais didn’t see her for who she really was
Until it was too late

The angels appeared
Qais was breathing his last
He asked for reprieve
'No, your time is half past'

The two young men laughed
‘Look at this one’ said one
‘He looks withered and devoid of happiness’
‘Do you think he was ever young?’
‘Do you think he ever had vitality?’
‘Do you think he did anything worthwhile?’
‘Do you think he ever loved and was loved?’
‘He is not aged’ said the other
‘Let’s wash him and shroud him’

Up above did Qais hear the footsteps
Of his community leaving him underground
The time of reckoning had arrived
Before long was the trumpet blown

Emerged Qais along with all generations
Rushing towards a place of gathering
All terrified and trembling
He beheld the strange sight of newborns
With hair grayed from fright
Qais beheld the sight of mothers fleeing from their children
Brothers abandoning sisters
And lover abandoning his beloved

His turn came
His deeds were weighed
Along came the claimants
Among them was Layla
She plead her case
‘Lord, Qais hurt me and I begged’
‘Lord, I loved him and he hated me’
‘Lord, I cut and bled and he was stone’
‘Lord, he destroyed me’
‘Lord, give me his good deeds and if he has none…’
‘…take my sins and load it on his account’

‘Lord, I loved her more than anything'
‘Lord, I begged her for forgiveness’
‘Lord, I asked her to return and help me repel my satan’
‘Lord, I broke her but I did not intend to’
‘Lord, I only wanted to make her happy’
‘Lord, my tongue and my satan betrayed me’
‘Lord, I bled just like she bled, she just didn’t know’
‘Lord, I cried like she cried’
‘Lord, I suffered in silence’
'Lord, she broke my heart once and I broke hers once too'
‘Lord, with me and her towards the end’
‘As I exorcised the demons of my past I said lend...'
' a little more patience Layla, please won't you?'
'Lord, she couldn't take it as I had broken her through'
‘Lord, before death, I begged for forgiveness’
‘Lord, I wanted to live with her in eternal bliss’
‘So grant me on this day her hand’
‘And erase from within our hearts rancor’
‘And unite us as we could not unite on Earth’

Before judgment is pronounced
Qais awakens from his dream with the prick of a needle
The nurse arouses him from his stupor
On his death bed feeble

The doctor arrives at half past two
‘Doctor, did you call that number?’
“Yes, she doesn't know you"
‘Her last name must be the same’ smiled Qais weakly
‘I know she would never change it’ Qais opines
‘I haven’t seen her since I was 33 and she 29’
‘If she calls back, give her this’
Qais produces the black diamond necklace
That had caught Layla’s fancy many moons ago
He had wanted to make her every wish come true
He had been saving it for a special day
Her pleasure was his pleasure
He had wanted to make her happy without measure
Except when the demons of the past came in the way

'Nurse won't you read these letters two?'
'From my beloved ago a decade or two'
'Her words meant everything to me'
'Without her, I'm dying empty'
'Nothing compares to thee Layla, cried Qais
'The best feeling on Earth and most grand'
'Is the touch of your beloved on your hand'

Drifts does Qais in an out of consciousness
The Angel of Death appears
‘Your time has come Qais’
“No no! Give me more time”
“I have to wed Layla”
“Even if for a moment”
“So I can join her for eternity”
“Give me more time so I can do more good”
“Give me more time so I can repent”
‘No, your time has come to ascend'

As Qais follows his soul’s exit
His gaze transfixed on the ceiling
Lips open
People rush in and cover him up
Just another day
Just another casualty of life

As he is wheeled out
Only one foot is exposed
A doctor who just joined the hospital passes
She sees the foot and vaguely remembers
How dry it seems
But she shakes her head from her momentary reverie
‘Dr. Layla’ says the nurse next to her
‘Your patient has been waiting since 3'

As for Prince Qais
Dropped his temper and erased his rancor did he
Layla remained in his mind constantly
As for Princess Layla
She with her limitless love
Forgave Qais after a while

Such was the story of Prince Qais and Princess Layla
Destined to cross paths again and again but never converge
Which fool said it was better to have loved and lost
Than to never have loved at all?
Losing love is worse than losing life itself
Isn't it a pity that two that loved
Each other more than anything or anyone
Could not unite no matter how hard they tried
Conclusions to each our own we tend...
...To draw
Yet these two lovers we commend
And pray for life happily together after without end

No comments:

Post a Comment