26th May, 1987
The blood reports came today. The doctor was hesitant, he asked the nurse to undertake the tough task. She was kind; she didn't let me feel bad. She related to me about how she had enjoyed reading my first book which her husband had gifted her on their first anniversary. The moment she was gone, the sinking feeling haunted me from within.
Two months left to live. It's actually two months left to die. Out of billions of people out there, the epitome of benevolence chose me. How lucky do I feel? Ha!
God's an asshole. He likes to see me bleed. After getting me close to life, he chooses to take that away from me. But, I won't let that happen. I won't let this bloody leukemia crush my dreams. I'm going to finish the four plots that I've in my mind within the next two months - I'm going to have the most satisfying death ever.
10th June, 1987
Tonight will be a good night. It has turned out to be better than what I could imagine. I named it 'The Last Messiah'.
Last 14 days were spent in an entirely different world. I am baffled that I never felt tired, even without sleep and without rest, with continuously degrading health. I've never felt so passionate before. With the next dawn, I'll begin writing the next book, the title already encircling my mind, 'The Dawn of Death'. Good night, for now.
18th June, 1987
I am barfing blood. Fuck! It's blood. Gosh, I'm scared.
I couldn't write since the last three hours, I'm feeling terrible, nausea is making me feel sick. I should see my Doc, now.
26th June, 1987
'When death comes, life becomes.' This is how I ended my second book. I feel blessed. I think I have done justice to the plot. I will sleep for a day now. My sagging body can't carry my weight anymore. Death, you've one month of wait, after that I'm all yours!
28th June, 1987
I'm going to begin my third book now. I am frail but thrilled. It's about Zana, our two years of togetherness and how it transformed into three years of my loneliness.
30th June, 1987
Fuck you God! Fuck you. I can't sit anymore, I feel nauseous all the time. How would I complete my book! It's not even a third. I'm tired of this sickness. I can't tolerate it. My nurse came to meet me, she said that there is no hope left - as if, there was, one month back.
8th July, 1987
Slowly and steadily, I've tamed my body. I realized that if I smoke before writing, I don't feel nauseous.
I'm half-way through my novel and this is the first time it's happening that I'm crying while writing. Every memory that gets translated through my pen, arouses immense grief within me. I sometimes hate this desolation and try to find a companion in the protagonist of my book. But most of the time, I find myself struggling to get over my past. Zana, I can't believe that I still am mad about you, after what you've done to me.
14th July, 1987
Doctor visited here today. He came not to inquire about my health, but to convince me to agree to his proposal. He said that since it's a hopeless case, he wants to try some experimental therapy on me. I instantly complied. How satisfying does it feel to be of somebody's help? At least, the doctor would remain grateful to me for life, and my death.
15th July, 1987
I went to the hospital. It was a big machine; they had wrapped it around my skull. I felt light, as if my head was floating in the air. The doctor injected a serum-like liquid into me, which hurt but at the same time, made me feel glad that I was still alive. Life gives you pain, death liberates you. I've to wait for 3 days to hear from my doctor about the effect of the experimental treatment.
I could not write today, since the doctor advised absolute bed-rest for the entire day. I read Zaqeer Alam's new book, all the while, which was a metaphorical note about a bird which has no wings. I found it interesting. I wanted to call Zaqeer to congratulate him, for two reasons, but I couldn't speak at all. The treatment paralyzed my upper body.
18th July, 1987
Finished. I finished my third book. Zana, you're going to read this someday and cry in my memory! Ah, I am hoping for too much. She is happy, with Zaqeer. Last week, Shaila told me that Zana is pregnant. Pregnant, she is! What a life she must be having? I'm so ... so happy for her. Who am I kidding? I feel like killing her.
19th July, 1987
I've begun my last book, titled 'The Last Book'. It's about a book that a writer writes and how his life gets affected by it. It's going to be the best book that I've ever written. Here's the first line: 'Life, a question with many answers, becomes an answer the moment it ends.'
19th July, 1987
I had three blood tests today. The doctor said that after the last treatment, there has been a significant rise in my platelets count. He sounded dumbstruck. It seemed that the experimental methodology worked. I don't know why but I'm feeling really nervous. Now that I'm prepared to embrace death, I am again shown the light of life.
23rd July, 1987
Blood tests after blood tests after blood tests. I'm in the hospital. There is not a single moment when my arms don't have a syringe puncturing them, sucking blood. However, I'm feeling better. Doctor says that my chances are improving, from null to 20%. I've been asked to adhere to a very strict diet, which comprises of juices of all the inedible vegetables found on earth. I don't know how bad my situation is, but I could observe some hope in the faces of the doctor and nurses.
I've not been able to write much in the last few days, other than the first few pages of 'The Last Book'. There is so much activity in the hospital ward all the time, of doctors and nurses, trying to carry out the experiment. I am waiting to go back and complete my ultimate piece.
26th July, 1987
I was to die today. Seems like God forgot to fulfill his sadistic wish. I'm eager to see how long is this extension going to stay?
27th July, 1987
Life is so strange. Doctor said that now my chances of becoming completely fit is 50% and my life has been extended by at least 6 months. The experiment carried out on me became a breakthrough in the medical history. In just 10 days of treatment, my platelets have drastically increased and my pale face has gained back its original color. I'm feeling really bizarre. I can do so many things now and I've no idea what do I want to do. The last book isn't actually my last book.
7th August, 1987
I've resumed writing. Doctors advised me not to, but I couldn't resist. I couldn't do justice to my ambitions to complete it before any mishap happens. However, I'm facing a block. The flow isn't coming. I miss my passion.
12th August, 1987
I'm the luckiest man alive. From 0 days left, to 3 years left, in less than 2 weeks. I've become a case study for the medical science fraternity. I can't explain how grateful am I to the entire fleet of doctors and nurses who brought me back to life. I cried in the arms of my doctor today. Those were the tears of joy, of getting a new life or of avoiding death, I don't know what.
14th August, 1987
It's independence day. I hoisted the Crescent on my roof, before going to the Masjid for thanking the Almighty. I have taken a break from writing my last book. It's time to jest, in life.
25th August, 1987
I'm worried. I've not been able to write a word since the last 11 days. Thoughts come to a standstill when I sit to write, and I stare blankly at the screen. It's for the first time, that I'm facing such a block, especially after being in such a good touch.
3rd September, 1987
I'm annoyed with myself. I can't write. I've tried everything, from reading, to hand-writing, to sketching, to music but I can't write. I can't write at all.
5th September, 1987
My health is on the rise. Doctor says, if it continues similarly, I'll be back to normal within 2 months.
11th September, 1987
I saw Zana today, at the grocery store. She was with Zaqeer. I don't know why I turn speechless every time I see her with him. My eyes couldn't move away from her belly, where I had once imagined that my child would reside. Her eyes seemed to be crying out to me that she loved him madly, he was the guy she had always dreamt of being with, he was her guy, her husband, the father of her child, the protector of her soul and the lover of her dreams. I felt alienated. I ran back to my car, despite the fact that our eyes crossed and Zana came forward to greet me with Zaqeer. I could not face her. I can never face her.
19th September, 1987
I've not left my house since the last eight days. I've a fear. I don't know what is that fear, but I fear it. I don't want to meet anyone. Neither am I able to do anything. In the last eight days, I've written just one paragraph besides a thousand crushed pages. I bloody can't write!
Every time I sit to write, Zana doesn't leave my mind. She stays there, mocking at my helplessness, screaming out loud that Zaqeer deserves all the applause, all the happiness and all the love, for he is a better writer, a better lover and a better husband.
28th September, 1987
I'm hungry. Refrigerator stinks with the stale food. The floor, full of crumpled sheets, has no space to place my feet on. The bed smells of my tears and sweat mixed together, my eyes can't see anything other than a dark spot. 'The Last Book' is stuck at a point, moving ahead from where, was a child's play for me, once upon a time. Not anymore, it seems...Even this pen is nnn...ot... work..g! F........
30th September, 1987
I've never craved for death more. Why didn't I die earlier? Why did I allow them to experiment with my body? How contented I was with myself...with no expectations and just passion! Why? Why did I've to call it 'the last book'? Why did Zana have to come across me? Why couldn't she just have stayed at home with her ugly baby inside? Why did she marry that scoundrel? Wasn't my love good enough? If I get a chance to see her again, I'm going to kill her. I feel like taking this knife, and slitting her throat brutally like this ...........Zana........Za........
2nd October, 1987
Rizwan Ahmed, a noted Pakistani novelist and celebrated leukemia-survivor, was found dead in his house on 1st November morning. His throat had been slit and he died of severe bleeding. His dead body was found lying amongst the crumpled papers by his maid, Shaila, who immediately reported it to Ahmed's neighbours and thereby the police. From the post-mortem report, it has been established that Ahmed committed a suicide. It's ironical that a person who could defeat a deadly disease like leukemia and was an inspiration for many cancer-patients committed such a terrible act. In Ahmed's room, three completed manuscripts of books titled, 'The Last Messiah', 'The Dawn of Death' and 'Love, Served with Hatred' were found. Publishers have started bidding on them. Police official, Karim Qadir during an exclusive press conference disclosed that Ahmed seemed to have been plotting his suicide since a long time, since he even started writing a book called 'The Last Book', with the dedication, 'this book is dedicated to my dead body, so that it sleeps in peace.' However, Ahmed couldn't complete the book and committed suicide in between the process of writing. Police officials have refrained from giving any other information to the press.
P.S. It's a pure work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person 'dead' is purely co-incidental.
P.S. Thanks to Abhilasha Kumar for unknowingly inspiring me to experiment with diary form of story-telling.