‘A Crowded Place’ by Muhaddisa Ali


Bodies are packed against each other tighter than I thought was possible. Every second I have to be careful not to get smacked square in the face by someone’s flying elbow, or jumping knee. My senses are heightened to an extent I did not believe could exist; my brain is on an overdrive.

Music blares. My heart pounds in its symphony. Boom, boom, boom. I am surprised it is still inside my chest I hear chants here, and mindless screaming there. Distinguishing between the two is nearly impossible. People try to speak to each other over the din, but fail miserably. Their mouths can be seen moving, but the words cease to exist.

The loud music makes the very ground its slave too. This and the jumping of hundreds of people around me are making it bounce with such force that it is a miracle it did not just crack and swallow us up whole.

Every direction in which my head turns, all I see are bodies; bodies that are adorned with all sorts of different clothes, illuminated only by the flicker of a different coloured spotlight that snakes by every few seconds in the otherwise dark area; bodies that struggles to protect themselves as they are pushed hither and thither without concern.

It is hard to breathe. The limited oxygen that needs to be shared by so many people seems to be quickly decreasing. In its place, stale, humid air surrounds us like skeletal hands around our necks. The heat is almost unbearable.

The band on stage plays its songs, enjoying the attention, working hard to entertain and do what they love and we love. They are oblivious to our struggles. I can just barely see them over the sea od heads bobbing to the beat in front of me.

Anxiety gnaws at my stomach at the thought of the evn worse chaos that was to come when the time to exit came. The door is so far away. I was yet to endure countless more shoves, and countless more feet trampling over my own.

Red. Purple. Blue. Green. The spotlights flash around me haphazardly, sometimes directly in my eyes, blinding me momentarily. At this point, I wish only to finally make it out of this stuffed concert hall. I wish to be able to move freely again. I wish to get rid of the feeling of being so small. Instead, I remain locked in position for the next few hours, my head now pounding too.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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