And he never looks back…..

strong soul that never let the dark enshrouds his sky!

Kashmir Tragedies

HISHMA NAZIR

I am on my way to my hometown as I watch the fast paced city we leave behind and amidst this a ramshackled structure catches my eye, calm and still for which the world has stopped, as though. I stop and stare at it for quite a while. I can suddenly sense a desire to meet the boy. I am pleasantly surprised to find him grown into a fine, young lad. His loss is irreparable but the little concave curve down his cheeks is irreplaceable too; he has learnt to smile through tears. He welcomes me with a bright young smile which tries to hide every pain, every disappointment with life. He has set a positive attitude towards anything life brings. He is determined to become a doctor, earn money and turn the structure into a home, one day. He considers the tragedy that his family met as his sole purpose of existence. He has immense faith in Allah and in each of His decisions. I can see the unbound patience and immense faith hidden in the depth of his eyes and this rewinds my memory to years back; the day I met the smaller size of the same pair of eyes horrified by cruelty but the reality of life….
…..The little hand wrapped itself around my finger tightly and squeezed it enough to turn it pale. Technically, the force applied was beyond my threshold; it gave the blood vessels of my finger a real tough time! I looked at the excitement of the innocent face, he looks back and smiles. But, behind that smile, I can tell is an untold pain. He holds me as tight because he is surrounded by a fear; I might escape his grip and walk away. As I am told about the disaster which shook his life, I can justify his fear. Life has played mock with him and he has a reason not to trust anything or anyone that comes his way, anymore. Following his tiny footsteps, we reached a placid river that makes its way through the village. The tiny finger suddenly slipped my hand and I saw before myself the little, innocent child running towards the brook. His face turned bright as he dipped his hand into the water and waved it across, then, sitting by a stone, he turned towards me and said, “Me and Papa have come here many times, he used to place me on this stone and fill his cans with water for the fields.” “You don’t visit this place, anymore?” I asked. One look at the water and another at me, his head dropped as he merely whispered- “This water runs eternal, the drops here now will reach eternity in moment’s time and never come back.” I cut him with a light laugh and asked, “So?” He turned to face the river and said in a voice one-tenth his original volume- “My Papa became a part of these waves.” Silence engulfed the following moments, even the euphony of the gushes of water pleasing me moments ago turned infrasonic and all I could feel was my heart sinking to zero, because, if what I had just heard had actually been said, then what my brain interpreted it like - seemed just too bitter to swallow. I acknowledge; I didn’t have the courage to confirm the worst. The boy got down the stone, held my finger with the same force and guided me towards the locality. After walking for what seemed to me a mile, he pointed towards a hut- ramshackled and the enthusiasm in his voice returned. It was a small hut with the walls almost collapsed on the ground. Spaces in the walls hinting that these were meant for the windows and window panes that were however, never fixed. Grass and twigs peeped through the spaces as if guardians of the haunted structure. An excited voice tried to explain what I had seen and impressed was I to learn that broader was the perspective of this seemingly small pair of sparkling eyes; what seemed to me just a four-walled muddy structure was a memoir of love and a token of remembrance for the little one! This house was meant to be a home: a dream never realised. “Father left for the fields and promised me a candy in the evening, but when he left, he never came back.” he paused as he added in a feeble tone “We heard a bullet shot a couple of minutes later and the next thing I encountered was my mother’s drive to imbecility. She pulled her hair, shrieked the ants out of their holes and ate the soil of the floor. A pall of gloom descended over our entire locality as the man who had left merrily for work was carried back home in a shroud of sorrow.” he paused and added in a broken tone “My candies, astride swings down his shoulders and the caves and slides in the snow were gone forever. I promise to have merrily accepted the hut we lived in, welcomed the water that entered our cracks during rains, happily waved a goodbye to the rooftop which left us during the winds provided my Papa came back to me….” I found the maturity concealed in the naïve voice far beyond his age and today I could find the determination dwelling in his soul far ahead of this generation!
My body is earthly, soul belongs elsewhere. I am lost deep in thought; once as a kid, terrified by life’s inevitable truth, he has grown himself into a boy mature enough to understand the reality of this transitory life and live for a ray of light in the dark drape of fate. His tragedy time and again makes me reflect on the transitory nature of life, while I lose my trust in the sun- it has set now, maybe it won’t rise the next morning, he is happy at the life this would bring to the world behind the sun. He has met the worst of winds at his doorstep but hasn’t let it inside his home. He has let nothing break his hope, weaken his faith or bring down his smile; he has indeed never let the dark enshroud his sky! The sun sets, sky turns rust, birds sail towards their nests as we walk through the village. I see an eager mother there waiting at the door as the boy merrily runs towards her. They hug each other as I watch their shadows merging into one. I can feel the chilly air on my face particularly on two lines along my cheeks; I can’t believe I am crying! I slowly turn and walk towards my destination, leaving the mother-son duo under the shade of the setting sun, composed. I melt into the path slowly, walking ahead to meet my destiny- ‘my’ fate…..

Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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