|| Of Time and Poetry ||
What can five years of complete solitude do to your mind? What can five years of imprisonment in your misery do to yourself? Would you trust your sanity or insanity? These are little questions I kept asking myself after finishing 'The Blue Elephant' by Ahmed Murad. To begin with, the story follows the life of a psychiatrist named Yahya Rashid after his sudden reappearance since the tragic death of his wife and daughter in a car accident five years ago. At work, he is assigned to '8 West', a department in Al-Abbasiya hospital that holds a group of criminal/patients, but whose crimes are inconclusive due their mental state, and so await a psychological evaluation to determine their fate. However, when an old friend ends being one of them, events take a drastic turn.
What I quiet enjoyed was the writing style. It's full of poetic-like expressions and contains an ample use of unique metaphor, which worked so well with the psychological aspect of the novel. I also loved few bits of Murad's dark sense of humor and irony. It had me laughing at times. But let's talk about what I loved the most, and that is psychology. Dr. Yahya has the ability to understand and predict people's actions and emotions through the body language, he is smart and perceptive, still when a friend introduces him to the mysterious pill called the blue elephant, he loses control of his senses and starts seeing and hearing things that aren't there; making reality and fiction indistinguishable. I literally sat numb for minutes contemplating the idea of whether he was a patient as well, and that all I read was a fictional illusion. Adding on top thaf the five year isolation (It made me disturbed really). Moreover, the ending doesn't help at all as it ends abruptly with a tinge of obscurity (just after when you think everything is resolved to the better). I remain unsure of how to describe what I felt because it's unlike anything I've read before.