Heavens have fallen…

Greater Kashmir

…..and the gates of Paradise have shaken.

The ambience was celestial. The appearance was pleasant and wholesome. Tranquility prevailed everywhere. The soothing air would remove all the pains and problems. The gushing clear water would take away the thirst eternally. Under the shadow of lush green trees, one could take a nap as never before. Low hanging delicious fruits from the trees would give abiding satiety. Sustenance was sure and serene. There was nobody to hurt. Nothing looked dark. There was no hatred. There was no fray.
“It is so magnificent, I never imagined of such a kind of place”, Sahil said while entering the huge magnificent gates. The gates of Paradise, wherein he was going to spend his everlasting life. The Life Hereafter.
Sahil was a school-going boy of third standard. On that brutally darkish day, he had left for school without having proper breakfast. Back home, while his mother was waiting to receive him at the gate, he had already transcended the gates of Heaven.
“You seem new to this place”, Sahil heard another tender voice addressing him. “Yes, of course, I am entering this place first time. My blood is still warm, rushing down my books and the tiffin that my mom had prepared for me”, Sahil replied and added hastily, “But who are you? I have not seen you in my class”. “I am Aamir, my story is not much different than yours. However, I was buried alive under the rubble of my home along with my mother and my younger sister. My blood drifted deep down the soil and went unnoticed. My voice was choked and remained unheard because of the deafening blasts of bombs”.
Both Sahil and Aamir were too young to comprehend their death. Neither were they criminals nor were they oppressors. Nonetheless, both of them had fallen prey to the worst kind of cruelty in their worldly life. The cold-bloodedness that has no classification, no justification and no explanation. The ruthlessness that is unthinkable, to the extent that such cowardly and heinous act does not seem to exist in any crime book and its constitutional punishments. It was a sheer transgression of all limits.
“Why are we here? What was my fault? I only remember that we were sitting in our classroom till someone showered bullets on us with his heavy gun”. Sahil inquisitively asked Aamir. “We are in Jannah, your mother must have told you about this place. All good and innocent people eventually rest here”, Aamir said with a charming smile and continued, “I too can only call to mind the last time I slept with my mother and then a thunderous explosion…..”
Walking down the lush green gardens of Paradise, Sahil suddenly stopped and said to Aamir, “Let us go back to the gate”. Without saying anything, Aamir accompanied him and reached the gate of Paradise. It seemed that Sahil’s eyes were looking for someone. He had a lot to ask, but could not articulate.
An old man sitting near the gate came towards them and enquired, “My dear kids, what are you looking for here”? Without allowing Aamir to speak, Sahil said, “I am looking for the person who fired bullets on me and killed me. I remember that when our teacher tried to stop him from firing on us, he told our teacher that he would go to paradise if he killed us. That is why, I am here. I want to see him and ask him something”. On hearing this, the old man got stunned and after a long pause, replied, “My dear son, do you know our ancestor Hazrat Adam (AS). He was told to leave this Paradise because of a small disobedience towards Allah Almighty”. Moving his hand over Sahil’s head, he added, “Your killers have miserably gone against the commandments of Allah. They let loose hell on earth and got dumped in real Hell”.
Many questions were lurking in Sahil’s mind. He wanted to know who sells guns and bombs to such killers. Who funds them and engineers their mind for such sickening and dreadful criminal acts.
Aamir had nothing to ask but to regret the duality and hypocrisy of people of the world who measure similar felonies with different yardsticks. From Peshawar to Palestine, Kandhar to Kashmir, Sahil, Aamir and many of their ilk are too naïve to comprehend the game plan of wicked world politics and know who actually manufactures their killers. 
Heavens have really fallen to mourn the gory death of innocent Sahil and Aamir. The gates of Paradise have shaken. Hailing Sahil and Aamir, the Heavens offer sacredly melodic salutations to the tender martyrs who are too puerile to figure out their real killers. The bloody sport will continue. The murderers will remain disguised. Heavens continue to shudder. Many more will join Sahil and Aamir in Heavens. For who departed and for those who have to go, RIP! And for the rest, lament will remain unchanged–
Grief is my companion,
             It takes me by the hand,
            And walks along beside me
            in a dark and barren land…

(The columnist teaches at the Media Education Research Centre, MERC, University of Kashmir)
(s_afsha@yahoo.com)