When my mother left me alone

...and jumped over that fence and hurt her foot

MEMORIES

IRFAN AHMAD MIR

I was probably a nine-year-old kid in 2001. It was Saturday. My  father, who  is  a  government  school  teacher, was  posted  in  Ganderbal (then  a  part  of  Srinagar). He was putting up with a family there. Like any other Saturday, he was expected to return home that day.
 After returning home from school, I had tea (nun chai) and went to play cricket with some neighborhood friends. After  sometime  a  neighborhood kid told  me that  my  father  had  come  home  and  was looking for  me. I returned  home, greeted  my  father  who embraced me  in  his  arms  and  gave  me  some  fruits  to  eat. I sat there, watching my father, who was having tea.
 Dad looked tired. He  asked  me  how  I  was  doing  in  my  studies.  I  was least  interested  in  answering  his  questions  and  wanted  to  go  back  and  play  cricket. Seeing me  on  tenterhooks, he  told  me to  accompany  mom  on the way to  our  shrubberies. After  some  time, mom picked  up  a  wicker  basket, placed  it  under  her  arm  and  we left.
 I followed her, solemnly. We reached near our shrubberies in a few minutes. It was surrounded  by  paddy fields  from  three sides  and  from  the  front  by  a  glade. A few  parallel  barbed wires  fencing  our  shrubberies  separated  it  from  the  fields. My  mother  started  picking  up  some  green  and  leafy  vegetables and  put  them  in  the  wicker  basket. Few men, who were working in their respective fields, could be seen from a distance.
 ‘’Am  I  really  needed  here’’,  I  asked  mom  in  an  angry  tone. ‘’I want to play cricket.”
 ‘’Tomorrow is Sunday. You’ve the whole day to fool around’’, she answered.
 ‘’But do you need my help? Can’t you come and go by yourself?’’ I asked.
 ‘’You won’t understand dear…’’, she replied.
 ‘’ Why won’t I?’’
 ‘’It’s army, actually.’’
 ‘’Army?’’
 ‘’I said you won’t understand.’’
 ‘’ Even  if  it’s  army,  what  do  you  think  I  can  do? You think, I can fight  those  big  men with guns,’’ I  asked  and looked at  the  entrance of  the  shrubberies.
 They were there, a few  army  men,  staring  at  me  and  my  mom.
 They were eavesdropping. I blushed. A sense of impending doom. It escaped my mind that they can’t understand our language.
 ‘’Army… Army, mom’’, I blurted out, still looking at them.
 I  turned  around to  look  at  my  mom  but  she  wasn’t  there. She  was running  towards  the  fence  and  as  I  watched  in  bewilderment, she  jumped  over  it. She ran towards the men working in their farms.
 I was taken aback. I  couldn’t  understand  why  my  mom  left  me, her  only  son, to  fend  for  myself. She left me to die alone? I started crying  but  the  army men  ignored  me  and went  up  to  the  fence  and  ordered a  farmer  to  come  near them.
 One  of  the trooper asked  the  farmer  a  few  questions, and  then they  left after  some  time.
 They didn’t kill me, I thought. I guess I was lucky.
 Mom  had  hurt  her  foot  while  jumping  over  the  fence  but  I’d no  sympathy  for  her. I  thought  she  was  selfish  and  had tried  to  save  only  her  own  life.
 My grudge for her  stayed  for  a  few  years  until  I  grew  up and  read  about  Kunan-poshpora  gang rape  case, the  gang  rape  of  a  bride  from  Kulgam, the  gang rape  of  mother-daughter  duo from  North  Kashmir  and  many  such  incidents. Then I understood  why my  mom  left  me  there, jumped  over  that  fence  and  hurt  her foot.
 P.S: I Love You Mom.


(Irfan Ahmad Mir, 20, is an Izhar Wani internee in Greater Kashmir)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 Jun 2013 00:00:00 IST




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