Midnight Hour

Midnight Hour

No tears well in my eyes, though. I don’t know how to mourn.

 For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us.

—Oscar Wilde; in a letter, De profundis. 

 

What the dead leave behind is a personal archaeology. There is some history in that, a memory of an absence that lasts longer than a day and night, that lasts longer than many days and nights. We are all carrying the same history of absence we all dwell upon, yet die upon.

There are types, gentleman. Some tragedies are not explained. You even don’t know how to mourn them. You seek for places in the heart to bury them there. But as you begin the search, the heart already seems to crumble.

News is disturbing. Discolored, collecting this broken world inside its bloody circlet. The nights are long, marching to eternities. Such nights are only possible when your lot is the most hexed on the planet. Kashmir is burning. Each family has woven a dense fabric of stories. They wait on the crossroads to put open this textile. But, nobody stops. Strangers look, grunt & walk away. Which is another cut on an already scathing scar.

The gazettes carry the wounded eyes & broken hearts, our news. Reaching the margin of this dark news, we only gather the tuft of stories & skeletons in our arms. Broken skeletons. Some limbless. Some toothless. They seem less of humans than of broken up logs. Only their ID-cards say they are former, our own. War is a killing machine, gentleman. A girdling wheel that grinds men, leaves only their unrecognizable remnants behind. You can’t collect these leavings, give any finish to them. You just have to mourn & mourn, survive upon them…. for life is a ‘residual phenomenon’. Life is something we have to live in the presence of things that are no longer there. Like wax from a burnt candle or ash from a fire. Things that environ us & trap us in the past. A past of places & people.  Our life is this residue this wheel leaves. It is a memory. Yet, also an eternal cloth of grief we have to wear.

War turns time into the house of the dead. It is a night wherein you solace others, when your own grief is becoming inconsolable unnoticed. It creates a noise that sometimes flits over a realm of common human understanding. Yet, fortunate are those who don’t understand it. Clarity, in the circumstances like that of in Kashmir, is the hardest thing of all. As said by Kant contextually, “ He who increasth knowledge, increasth pain”. So, let the obscurity project itself in the middle of Kashmir. So that, at least, some lives breathe. Those who know, will perish today or tomorrow.

You see gentleman, Kashmir is not looking beautiful, if it’s not burning. Embers are the elements & signs of paradise. The scattered souls are its estate. The ashes are our meadows, & death intimate. We are out of run with life. Romanian essayist, Emil ciaron, echoes our tragedy “ We are dying since the beginning of the time, yet death still has not lost its newness”. Everything has shrunken into a midnight hour, dark & silent— the most mortal combination in the nature.

After all, how many graves we have to dig? How many nerves we have to cut? Would that you stare deep into this land, you will see less stones, more memories already inside it. Let me mourn these insides of this land. Let me give a yowl for them that will bang for eternities on end. But, i don’t how to let out this cry & break the frozen sea of silence about me. Within me.

Grief surges like a flood from house to house. It weeds everything sublime upon its surface. Kashmir sinks. The racket of the waves drown the moan of the people sinking. The mothers are weeping the tears. Each drop has a deep river inside it. River of longing & suffering.

I look at a starless sky. The space is dark like a dungeon, telling a sad story. I have no idea why am i looking skyward. Yes, i don’t exist in my consciousness, but in the shroud these growing callants round me have worn. The pain is cut in silvers across my soul. No tears well in my eyes, though. I don’t know how to mourn.

 

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