When my mother left me alone
...and jumped over that fence and hurt her foot
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.’’
‘’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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