The works included in the cycle “The History of Eternity” are united primarily by the author’s interest, they are distinguished by their own characteristics, a certain cyclicity, the frequency of events in time, isolation…
One of the stories included in the “History of Eternity” is “Approaching Almutasim.”
The story is a kind of review of the novel that appeared in Bombay in 1932, written by the lawyer Mir Bahadur. The hero of the novel, whose name is never named, is a law student in Bombay. He departed from the religion of his parents – Islam, but at the end of the tenth night of the month, Muharram is in the thick of the brawl between Muslims and Hindus. Three thousand people are fighting, and a freelance student, shocked by this, interferes in the fight. In a desperate fight, he kills an Indian. There is a mounted police and it is accepted to whip everyone. The student manages to escape almost from under the horse’s
hooves. He gets to the outskirts of the city and, climbing over the fence, finds himself in a neglected garden, in the depths of which a tower rises. A roll of dogs with a “moon-colored” coat rushes at him from behind black bushes. The persecuted student is looking for salvation in the tower. He runs up the iron ladder, which is missing a few steps, and is on a flat roof with a gaping well in the center. There he meets an emaciated person who admits that his occupation is to steal the golden teeth of corpses that are left in the tower for the night. He tells other vile things, with anger speaks about some people from Gujarat. At dawn the exhausted student falls asleep, and waking up, discovers that the thief has disappeared, and with him – several cigarettes and silver rupees of the student. Recalling the last night, the student decides to get lost in the vastness of India. He reflects on the fact that he was able to kill the idolater, but at the same time he does not know who is more right – a Muslim or an idolater. He does not have the name “Gujarat” from his head, but also
the name of a certain “malkasansi”, women from the caste of robbers, which robbed the robber of corpses with particular anger. The student comes to the conclusion that the malice of such a vile person can be equated to praise, and decides – without much hope – to find this woman. Praying, the student slowly starts on the road.
Further, many actors appear in the narrative, and the adventures of the student continue in the lowlands of Palanpur, for one night and one night the hero lingers at the stone gate of Bikaner, he sees the death of a blind astrologer in the suburb of Benares, becomes part of a conspiracy in Kathmandu, prays and wanders among the plague stench Calcutta, observes the birth of the day at sea from the office in Madras, watches the day’s dying at sea from the balcony in Travancore and closes the orbit of distances and years in the same Bombay a few steps from the garden with dogs of the lunar suit. The student who has not escaped and escaped from his native land falls into the society of the people of the lowest kind and adapts to such a life. Suddenly he notices a softening in one of the people around him: tenderness, admiration, silence. The student guesses, that his interlocutor himself is not capable of such a sudden rise, hence, it reflects the spirit of some friend or friend of his friend. Reflecting on this, the student comes to a mystical conviction: “Somewhere on earth there is a person from whom this light comes, somewhere on earth there is a person who is identical with this light.” And the student decides to devote his life to finding this man.
He catches the weak gleams that this soul has left in the souls of others: in the beginning – an easy trace of a smile or a word; at the end – a bright burning of reason, imagination and kindness. As the students discovered by the student are more and more closely acquainted with Almutasim, the proportion of his divinity is increasing, but it is clear that these are only reflections. Before Almutasim, the student meets a cheerful and cheerful bookseller, and before him – a saint. After years of wandering, the student appears in the gallery, “in the depths of which there is a door and a cheap mat with a lot of beads, and behind it a radiance”. The student asks Almutasim. The male voice, the incredible voice of Almutasim, invites him to enter. The student pushes the mat aside and passes.
This concludes the presentation of the text itself and some critical comments follow: World Bahadur Ali wrote the novel as an allegory: Almutasim is the symbol of God, and the stages of the hero’s way are to some extent the steps that the soul has gone through in mystical ascent. According to some descriptions, one can judge that Almutasim should inspire the idea of a single God. In the first scene of the novel one can find analogies with Kipling’s story “In the City Wall”. It should also be noted that there are certain points of contact of the novel with Faridaddin Attar’s Talk of Birds. The content of this poem of the Persian mystic is as follows: the king of birds that has flown from far away Simurgh drops a magnificent feather in the center of China, and birds, tired of anarchy, go in search of him. They overcome seven valleys or seas. Many of the pilgrims refuse to search, many perish. After cleansing, only thirty birds enter Mount Simurg. So they see it, and it becomes clear to them that they are Simurg and that Simurg is each of them and all of them together. The points of contact with the novel of the World of Bahadur Ali can be considered several words attributed to Almutasim, who develop what was said before by the hero, this can serve as a designation of the identity of the sought and the seeker, signify the identity of the sought and seeker, can mean that the latter affects the first. One of the chapters contains a hint that Almutasim is the “Hindu” whom the student, he thinks, was killed. attributed to Almutasim, who develop what was said before by the hero, this can serve as a designation of the identity of the sought and seeker, signify the identity of the sought and seeker, can mean that the latter affects the first. One of the chapters contains a hint that Almutasim is the “Hindu” whom the student, he thinks, was killed. attributed to Almutasim, who develop what was said before by the hero, this can serve as a designation of the identity of the sought and seeker, signify the identity of the sought and seeker, can mean that the latter affects the first. One of the chapters contains a hint that Almutasim is the “Hindu” whom the student, he thinks, was killed.