A brilliant piece of writing puts author in the dock
AJAZ UL HAQUE
Hyo Shabira is a heart-rending tale of a boy whose father and two uncles fell to bullets. (July 2, Greater Kashmir). The lone breadwinner, brother to three sisters and son to a widowed mother, Shabir headed a family when he was barely nine. With three young widows in the family alongwith other fatherless cousins Shabir had nothing but his solitude to share his grief with. A fate-stung boy later nourishes a desire to join CRPF. Don't say why? What else does a pain-racked soul need save a crumb of bread to feed his belly with.
For its flow and flourish, the story touched me deep. Being intensely intimate, this painful portrayal of human agony brought alive many long-dead Shabirs. Forgotten images resurfaced from the dark recesses of my mind. Each Shabir with a story of his own. Sajad's Shabir came to symbolize those hundreds, perhaps thousands of Shabirs, who suffered like this one – or may be more.
Having said this, a question permeates through the whole narrative. Who creates these desperate souls? All. Sajad Lone included. I count myself one of his fans when he is seen on Indian television channels vociferously defending the cause of Kashmiris. So far so good. But what when you fan the flames? In 2010 agitation, his eloquence as a panelist could only add to the fire that had already engulfed Kashmir and was consuming lives unstoppably. `We are being led by these young boys in their teens and twenties now'. Declaring Kashmiri nation `leaderless' after `rejecting all leaders including himself', Sajad's statement had nothing but ignition to offer. Things had already fallen apart (courtesy a ruthless police action and a never ending sloganeering from an ideology-obsessed camp which stirred young boys to suicide). All blew with the wind encouraging these teenagers to fight in the streets. Some did it openly, some tacitly. A clique of our writers went on extracting legends out of these ordinary boys who were too innocent to fathom the enormity of the tragedy befalling them. Sajad's heart as a human being could beat with these `teens and twenties', but he couldn't keep the politician within him from getting swept with the excitement outside. I prefer a dull maturity that saves lives to a dangerous exuberance which leads to disaster. Since Sajad doesn't want Shabirs to be fed to cannons, I hope he resists the itch to glamourise public anger when he knows the cost it entails.
Back to the story Hyo Shabira. Having keenly read his earlier pieces too, I wish Sajad be a writer only. And I hope he takes the point – this time joyfully.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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