This written task relates to The Reluctant Fundamentalist, written by Mohsin Hamid to show the difference between the two prominent cultures in the world.This difference is shown through the character of Changez and the journey he undertakes outside Pakistan. In New York, Changez meets an American girl named Erica. Changez is immediately attracted towards her stunning personality and beauty. However, Erica is never able to completely accept Changez and rather falls into a dilemma as the story progresses. She soon falls sick and is stuck between two minds disabling her to move forward in life.
The struggle Erica faces is described through the eyes of Changez. I, however, seek to write in the place of Erica to give a deep insight into her mind and perspective. Since a diary entry is quite reflective of the characters own thoughts and feelings, I through this task wish to bring out the unheard or less dominant side of the story.
Since Hamid leaves the disappearance of Erica as a mystery. The diary entry tries to give a possible answer to what happened to Erica after she ran out of the hospital. Hence, I have written three different entries to show the change in Erica’s feelings over the three consecutive days. The first entry is set when Changez comes to meet Erica and the last entry is set on the day when the world thinks that Erica has committed Suicide.
The story is written in a dramatic monologue and therefore the reader never quite understands Erica’s point of view. Her actions are always described by Changez and she never gets to voice her opinion about the love between them. The task also tries to find causes for the course of action Erica takes.
Word Count: 290
Written Task 1
20th December 2001
The gloomy winter outside the window seems like my only companion now. The nurses don’t talk anymore and the world seems to collapse every second that I remain here. This feels like a nightmare only a little worse and true. He came today to meet me but I could hardly tell him the truth. “It’s not your fault” I wanted to say for I had caused him a lot of pain, but I just couldn’t. I wish things were easier and less obscure. But love tears us apart just as it brings us closer. I remember all the beautiful memories and every time I do it kills me. He writes a mail every day and I haven’t opened even a single one yet. I don’t mean to cause him pain and I hope he forgets me and finds someone else.
This place makes me feel sicker than I am. I feel so fragile at this moment that I could break by just the smallest touch. It often passes me that my mind has sunk into this abyss of darkness and melancholy. Something out there scares me so much that I will never be able to come out of this unstable state. For some reason memories of the past keep haunting me no matter how hard I try. The world thinks I am mad and depressed, and I am sure he thinks the same by now. But he will learn to live without me just as I did without Chris.
I am going mad again, and this time it seems unrecoverable. These terrible times never seem to pass. I hear voices from the past and I just can’t seem to concentrate on the future. My mind feels attacked by these morbid thoughts day and night. I guess all I need is a fresh start, in a different world where my past is forgotten and I can start anew with my life. Maybe this world was never fit for me.
The nurse seems to be knocking on the door, GOD I’ve had enough of this place.
21st December 2001
In these moments of life, I have somehow felt more clarity than ever. I couldn’t sleep last night, not for a second, but it was clear to me that it was time for me to depart.
Yes, I’ve thought it through. The world now seems like an illusion to me, somehow I feel a little lighter. I woke up and wrote a manuscript for him. It was difficult and painful; there were more tears than ink. I tried to make it simple but somewhere deep inside, my heart wanted him back. I gave the manuscript to my mother but I did not, or rather could not, bid her goodbye. Her face wore a bright smile and it reminded me of all the good times I had spent with her.
As I walked back to this dreadful place crossing the Hudson River, the view somehow seemed to captivate me. The scenery was painfully enchanting and in that moment I knew that this is where I would attain my freedom. It felt like a hallucination, the cold breeze swept across my shivering body. The water with its silver glow flowed endlessly into the dark winter sky. There were snow dusted conifers along the bank and a small wooden house which exhaled smoke from its chimney. The view couldn’t be any more perfect.
His face flashed in front of me, and so did all the happy memories. Trust me; I have spent the happiest time of my life with him until this terrible disease wrecked upon our world. I hope I had the strength to fight it a little longer, but I can’t stand this cold empty feeling. I often look at the numerous stars in the night sky and wish that I was one of them, and it is then that I realised that it is better to die once than to die every day. This overwhelming feeling has caught me and just refuses to leave. My soul has already torn apart and it isn’t long before my body catches up. I have set my alarm at the right time and prepared for my escape from this dreadful place. I hope I sleep well for this one last time. Goodnight …
21st December 2001,
I did not think I would write again but here I am for one last time. Its dawn and its heartbreaking. I finally feel ready for freedom; freedom from the past and freedom from this everlasting struggle within. It’s my time now and I can feel it.
I have had the right love at the wrong time and there is nothing more miserable than that. Changez, if you ever happen to read this know that I loved you and you are not the reason for my death. I hope you are able to move on and able to live a happy life. I hate myself for what I have done to you and I cannot bear it any longer. Only if you were in my place would you understand my silence.
There wasn’t a day when I stopped hoping that I would become better but, the harder I tried to hold on the more it hurt. In the end, I had to let it go and I hope it would be for the best. From the day I saw him in Princeton to this very day the journey has had its ups and downs buy now it sadly has to end maybe for the best. So it’s a goodbye forever…
Word Count: 940