The Ghost

​An eerie silence had dulled the spirit of the evening. Noor was engaged in his efforts trying to figure out the possibilities of the case he had been fighting for almost three years. He was a lawyer and was valued in his society for the dedication he had put towards his profession. Elderly people looked upon him as a polite and virtuous personality for his conduct and work, and young boys in the society took him as their inspiration for the justice he had been doing towards his line of work. After tiring out, he lit a cigarette and made up his mind to leave for home. He packed his black leather bag with all the important papers and went to switch off the record player but hesitated for the want of listening to the unfinished couplet that was still playing out:

“Kaa’ve val gach shaam tschayan naeri maa

Braand-e-kaeni aush waan lekhi afsaan myoun.”

(O crow! Come and dwell into the evening shadow, she might show herself

My beloved will write my story with the blood of her eyes.)

The record player was the gift of his life. He recalled how he had met his lover for the first time after passing his matriculation exams. She had been very shy and had hesitated in presenting the lovely gift. It had been newly wrapped and she had forgotten to remove the label of the famous gift seller of Srinagar ‘Nishat Gifts’ she had bought it from. They had embraced each other for the first time and had also grasped each other’s hands till evening. It was raining and they had been lucky to catch sight of the unique rainbow overlooking the mountains surrounding Dal Lake.

Noor did not remember much of the life that had passed in all its usual deed. He failed to recall something that had been haunting him for several years now.

Hard work and humility- together had made him look much older than he was. He did not get time to trim his beard and mostly forgot to maintain himself. He took less care of the person that had grown in him.

Kashmir had already received the first snowfall of the season and market was already shut. A strange silence had masked the roads and there was no one visible in the dark. As he stepped his right foot outside the gate, his sight straightaway fell on the second storey of the district hospital and by his right side an abandoned cart laid. The vendor had a connection with his memory. He raked his brain to recollect that part of his memory that had made him what he was.                                                      Confusion and fantasy always run together. They are like pain and fear. They never let us rest. They make us imagine and travel across worlds we have never seen. They frustrate us at the same time. The street wore a deserted look. Everything around was white. When a car would pass by the road, the snowflakes looked dazzling in their vivacity.

 He sat down and lit another cigarette. He spread his index finger and thumb over his mouth and began to think of the night that had taken away his mother from him. He had spent that night leaning against the whitewashed window of the hospital. He had waited the whole night, praying for the recovery of his mother. She had lost her emotional responsiveness after the sudden disappearance of her husband. And at the arrival of winter that year, she had developed arthritis. When in a state of waiting, Noor had witnessed so many happenings around the street. He had seen a queue of boys, waiting for their turn to come and grab their share of the French fries the street vendor was famous for. He had also relived the time he used to sit in the queue. Such was the demand for his delicious French fries that one had to wait for fifteen minutes to get his turn.The boys of Srinagar called him ‘Lala’ with love. Not many knew the whereabouts of Lala. Some believed that he was a Nepali. The art in his hands had bowled over the Srinagar boys. When the crowd had diminished, he had seen Lala, sitting alone, across the cart. Then all of a sudden, a group of people had come to him and one of them banged him on his head. Noor had not seen anyone except a notorious man working as a major in the Indian military. 

The major was a familiar face who had been active around the streets of Srinagar for many years. People looked upon him scornfully for his bad conduct with the citizens. After watching the humiliation of Lala at the hands of military, he had tried to go down and rescue him but Dr Jan, his mother’s consultant, had grabbed him from behind, giving a miserable look. Dr Jan had not said anything to him. He had put his index finger between his teeth, chewing it intermittently for a minute or two and muttered helplessly, “Sorry Noor beta, sorry my son.”

A doomsday had befallen Noor and he had rushed in the night only to his brother’s college where he was pursuing engineering.

As he stood up after recollecting whole of his memories, he lit another cigarette. His face wore a tired smile and he began heading towards his home. The solution was at hand now. Lala, a Nepali to some, a French fries maker to some, a Bihari to some and simply Lala to some had not gone astray. He had been killed by Avtar Singh, the notorious major of the Indian military.

The following morning, before leaving for court, Noor began to look for papers and extracted the demise date from his mother’s death certificate. It added to the substance of his proof. The complexity was over. The case Noor had been fighting in the court of law for years now had already gotten an implied decision. People had come from far off places to watch the proceedings.

Each one had listened intently to the words of the judge:                                    “The nightmare for all of us is over today. Lala, the cart vendor did not disappear. He was killed by Major Avtar for gaining cash rewards and promotions. Killing of Lala has opened chapter today to the numerous disappearances that have taken place during the conflict in here. The killings of foreigners and locals and later their dubbing as militants is a slow genocide happening in Kashmir. Human Rights Watch should take a keen interest in this grave concern for humanity. I hereby give the Indian military a time of one week which is a privilege provided to the soldiers working in conflicted areas. I also congratulate Mr Noor Baba for his dedication and hardwork over the years. He’s set an example for all of us today. Wemust draw inspiration from such brave people.”

And the court room reverberated with chants, “Noor Sahab- Zindabad, Long live- Noor Saheb.” Noor returned home early that day. 

The evening back home was lively. A fresh breeze hit the windows occasionally and they were all busy in preparations for the supper.

When everyone finished their meals and went to their beds, a knock on the front door awakened his daughter from sleep. She rushed to her father’s room and informed him. He took her in his arms, patted her on the back and placed her into the bed again. When he opened the main door of his house, his eyes straightaway fell on a brownish yellow vehicle, implying that it was a military jeep. He took his right foot out and two men seemed to be guarding him from the borderings.

Noor’s doubts were cleared just as they were about to reach the army station. The armored car was damaged on the sides after facing several public attacks in the past. It was not fair to travel in a broken vehicle for carrying out an encounter. Major Avtar had pointed out to his driver before they set out this evening. The driver had paid no attention after knocking back few pegs of rum. Major Avtar did not know of anything called patience. He asked his driver to stop on the bridge that connected Raj Bagh with the city centre. The driver had heated argument with the major after he had reminded him of the plan they had made in the camp. “Stick to the plans, sir,” he murmured.

Major did not want to waste any time. He dragged Noor out of the car and started to thrash him with the butt of his rifle. He wanted to kill him. As dawn drew close, Major wanted to finish the job as early as he could. He asked Noor of anything he could do for him. What a pitiless pity!

Noor’s struggle throughout his life had made him a complete man. He stood firm and did not falter.He grumbled in a broken, tired and yet energetic voice, “I do not need your mercy. God gives and takes away life.”

He took a pen and his small diary from the right sided pocket of his kameez and wrote his final words to his wife. He handed it over to Major and requested him to deliver it to his wife. The following morning, Noor’s wife rushed to her brother’s house and informed them about Noor’s abduction. They went to the police station, registered a missing report and went here and there, wandering and wondering.                               The sky looked deep red in the evening when she returned home. When she stepped inside the yard, she saw a number of people gathered there amid shouts and wails. She was unable to understand this rapid change of milieu and nobody could gather courage to disclose the calamity that had swept over her. She opened the entrance to the backyard only to find Noor lying dead in a pool of blood. She collapsed and fell on the floor.

Major was reminded of Noor’s request in the afternoon. When he opened the letter, he could read:.                            “Jaana, Beloved, you should not stoop low in life after my departure. Remember always that hope sustains people. When I was a young boy, my father disappeared in the raids, my mother fell to arthritis. I had to work in a rubber factory in India for several years. I worked so that my brother could study. Hard work gave me a chance in life and I started to study again. With endurance and hope, God endowed me with so many good things. Life is a struggle, remember. To succeed in a process of revolution, we have to give every kind of sacrifice. I am not the only one. Do good things to people. Yours and yours, Noor.”

When Major turned over the page, he found that Noor had also quoted Rumi, “Away…beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”.                             After reading the letter, Major grew restless and began to reason. He thought of Noor, his wife and daughter. He began to think of his own wife, his own daughter. He suddenly found wisdom in the words of his enemy. The restlessness grew more after he thought of delivering the letter to Noor’s wife. He had an inkling that something dangerous would happen and he began to think of the consequences.Whenever he wanted to dump the diary, his body gave strange appearances. He began to realize the fear that had already stormed inside his body. It all started getting terrible and a jinn(ghost) took possession of him.This demanded no delineation to the other members of the camp. They all witnessed it daily with their own eyes: Major crumpling abruptly, his eyes rising and falling, his head moving back and forth in a continuous manner, his body attaining the shape of a snake, his nails stretching, his teeth getting golden, his arms elongating, the blood coming out of his eyes before falling off hisbody on ground. Major badly wanted to leave. He did not want to do this job anymore. He wanted to get away with the ghost and meet his family. He booked tickets for a direct flight to California and started to live away from people.                                          The California house had a nice, large yard, and an established garden with a swimming pool. But that all looked empty. Sometimes, a giant lady would appear before him and slap him for hours on both sides of the face. At times, he would sleep on his bed in the night and find himself lying in the bathroom next morning. Sometimes, a brunette with large nails would throw him down from the flat. His children would swell and attain the shape of Noor’s daughter before him. He could not survive it and killed all of them- one after the other. One night, his wife came to him in the shape of Noor, screaming aloud, humming the quote of Rumi, scribbled on the back page of the Noor’s diary.      He wailed and wailed and was regretful of what he had done in his life. He was left with two bullets in the end and shot one at his wife and the other at his own head.                                         

 Divine justice!

“…take no life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”~Al-Quran(6:151)>”

Note:The story is dedicated to Advocate Jalil Andrabi, who was murdered by Major Avtar Singh,a major working in the Indian military.



Published here : |Kashmir Life

http://www.kashmirlife.net/the-ghost-87230/
(Aarif Muzafar Rather is a non-conformist, man of letters, pursuing bachelors in law from Central University of Kashmir.)

The Pursuit

The sound of the train was driving me forward. I moved aimlessly, leaving behind a past which was eloquent in its own way. The signs of my early arrival were well before me as the sun stood midway in the sky, hiding behind the clouds from time to time, while moving on in its natural motion. I knew at that point how long I had to wait till the departure of the evening train to North of Kashmir. She would travel in that evening train back home after she was finished with her college. 6 p.m. in the evening.
The thought came to me when I decided to take nap in an open field near the railway track. The idea seduced me. I wanted to comprehend, understand the very meaning it could possibly have for me. God bless people who are in their early-twenties! It is an age of madness and no one can perhaps cure madness except the powerful emotion called love. The entire universe should conspire against the madness it pours into the souls of the troubled. But then, I thought,” It happens, every once in a while.”

The thought hit me again, and this time, it hit me with detachment. I felt terrified at the subtleties of the weather. It was always a reminder of feelings of cheerfulness and if one allowed, it would grow as a symbol of anything that was cheerful. Happiness could be seen on the faces of people who were not truly happy.

I lit a cigarette, adorning the colors of nature in all their intensity. The clouds in the sky, hanging in different shapes, looked like a bulk of human emotions, desperate to make downpour like the eyes of a human being, always desperate to shed tears. How did the downpour of sky take place? Was it really like the heaviness carried by a human heart? Did sky really take such a burden? Did sky really weep? The place looked like an abandoned valley where a human eye met the end point of joy and beauty. With the panorama of the lens of my eyes, a cover of willows could be seen with no end. All green. It tempted. It was a poet’s treasure. But alas, I could never find that poet in me.

With the exhaustion in my eyes carried by the strokes of nicotine, I tried to draw the face of my woman. I took my index finger into the air, trying to draw her face, her smile, her eyes, the way she walked, the way her hair danced and reflected the sunshine to light my world. I tried to draw this all with the blood of my eyes. But then,” Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time.”

The hour hand of the watch was close to 6 when the thought of heading towards the railway station came to me. I took my backpack on my shoulders like an old man carrying the load of his day’s hard work. I drew my feet forward, making lazy movements, like a lost traveler. From a distance I could see the woman of my dreams. Through the clouded labyrinth of people, she looked isolated. The scene before my eyes was nothing compared to the confident man I had wished to be. I walked in the motion of an old man, trying to defeat every trace of the density that the air offered. She walked in a miles speed, never to look behind. I walked. She raced.

The train pulled to move forward, giving a last chance to the commuters to take their places inside. I looked upon a window where she had taken her place. She had cupped her face into her hands. A tired day, perhaps, I thought. I kept looking upon the window. “That’s all I could do.”

Link: http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/story/219179.html

http://www.eastlit.com/eastlit-september-2016/eastlit-content-september-2016/southlit-supplement-september-2016/pursuit/
http://www.eastlit.com/eastlit-september-2016/eastlit-content-september-2016/eastlit-writers-september-2016/

© Aarif Muzafar Rather

Kashmir – My Symphony 

Aarif Muzafar Rather

She ached over the summer, her voice lingering with desperation, asking me in a languid note,” When are we going to defeat ‘The Stone Age’?”

I became her militant poet, alchemizing my words into verses, imitating my favourite poets. My voice sprung with hope, retorting back in a militant voice:
When the times are black and the people tire

When the days are morbid and the people tire

When the chains get heavy and the people tire

When the power structure gets over one’s head and the people tire

When the storm is over the head and the people tire

When the people are tired, they rise

When they rise, they croon the songs of freedom

When they rise, the celebration of freedom is nigh

Just another summer, in this inhuman world- as we made our way to the busy autumn- we drew the certain:

The graveyards filled with the nameless, young men and children, those eyes of stones blinding the young men of their vision, the passion of our mothers reverberating the streets with the calls for freedom and what not.
“What else did it take people to bring about revolution?” she asked in a tone of overwhelming contradictions.

It felt to me like I was short of words, having no real face to face the reality before me. I wanted to gather my response, put into words my real state of facts and let her know that I had no hope of making her understand. I responded tenderly, “It takes character to bring about revolution.”

“What if they break our character too, like they broke our will?”

“Beloved Kashmir, character is not broken. It’s not to be crucified. The character is our identity. No matter what they do, they can’t break our identity. It will not be broken by blinding our youth. No matter how heavy the chains are and how long the walls of prisons are, we will write our identity with the blood of our hearts. In the prevalence of enormity, your character radiates. It burns with an undying passion.”

“But why did Shabir, the lecturer, have to die?”

“They were dearest to God and died defenceless. When desperation burns, look up into the sky, the stars there are our defenceless youth. They shine there with the brightest of hopes for us.”

“Was Yasmeen, the young girl, dearest to God too?”

“Indeed, our young women will show us light to the truth. They are the dearest children of God and are conspiring to find a better future for our homeland. They are the pictures of our resilience and epitomes of a truth that the world is blind to see.”

“But I keep thinking of a little boy with blinded eyes who has so much potential to be an Olympic shooter. Tell me, for God’s sake, is he the child of a different god. So many like him, I see every day, dying thousand times a day, were they children of a different god? Why did not God love them and take them to his own kingdom?”

I stayed silent, gentle at my own place, searching for words in the sky. The sky deepened leaving me sighing with a lonely sort of feeling. Again and again I begged for answers but there was none.

Link : http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/kashmir-my-symphony/237967.html

Sombre Memories, Melancholic Thoughts

Aarif Muzafar Rather

http://www.aarifmuzafar.wordpress.com
The idea hit the absent tracts of my mind while I walked along the riverside: 
Public parks are like chronicles of things from which people derive their ancestry. They are a cradle to our melancholic existence.
The more I walked along the Jhelum bund, the more absorbed I felt in the times past. We were alone then. Two young people in love.

I imagined myself as a kindergarten child counting seconds of her recovery over her agony from reading a passage from The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. We followed the articulation of the passages like two young travellers following a boulevard in the night that leads them nowhere. Kemal, the narrator, who is in love with Fusun, a beautiful shop girl, and is going to be married to the aristocratic Sibel, is in conversation with his father when his father narrates to him the story of his unrequited love. Just when we were about to reach the end of the passage, we both sighed, muttering on a hurtful note,“How terrifying life can be, how empty it all is!” until we found the same expression written at the end of the passage. We felt both surprised and hurtful until she muttered in a beautifully low voice that touched the corridors of my heart, “The language of love and sorrow, my dear, is the same to all the humankind.”

On our days in general, we would cross the footbridge near the historic SP Museum, enter our world of melancholy and feel overjoyed while walking under the shades of beautiful Chinars. It’s peculiarly beautiful how the two places look entirely different, separated only by a bridge. If one looks at the two places keenly, the one on the side of the museum is open or common, unbearable in summers and winters both, busied by a nonstop traffic and sorrowfully made ugly by the perils of unpleasant occupation.

The other side of the world is indescribable in the language of a poet. There is peace, wonder, love, enthusiasm, and above all melancholy. The shades of the Chinars make way to Peerzoo, the place Agha Shahid Ali had walked in his youth. I thought at times how he would have walked the road, lost in his own aura, smoking some different kind of a cigarette brand while sitting on a secret bund. Perhaps he had written his lament on Rizwan on the same bund; who knows! But it is certain that his fragrance still holds the place in a promise of hope.

On any dull day in my life, I would lay my hand on Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. While living in my dormitory I would enquire from literary zealots if they had read the book but every time I did the same it turned out to be a wasteful exercise. I so much wanted someone to discuss with me Toru Watanabe’s love for Naoko, the two characters in the novel. In this wasteful exercise, I would imagine myself as Toru and envy him so much that I took pleasure in naming places in Srinagar after those in the novel.

Certain places are unique without knowing why. I would call my woman during any time in the day, take her around the bund road and sit near the Lala Sheikh restaurant till she covered her face and made herself into a boy and enter the small café to drag hard on cigarettes between sips of tea. This always applied to any journey of Naoko and Toru. A few footsteps away, one could get the best coffee in the world and sip the same on ridges made above the bund while songs of Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan kept playing inside small cafes. This always made us feel like sitting on some peak on a large Japanese building as two young people. Alone. Far away from the world.

Every story has an end, but dear reader, my story has no end. This is no memoir, but a fiction. OK. We parted. But this won’t do. Let me finish it my way:

I visit the Jhelum bund sporadically, I visit the Jhelum park too. I sit across the bridge near RajBagh. The bridge too is a river now. Days are dull facts. Night is a countdown timer. Sky above is a blanket of black clouds. My life is taking path of all the beautiful novels. But I see the fragrance of hope while walking along the bund. I see Agha Shahid Ali talking to me, repeating the Persian phrase, “This too shall pass.” I imagine him repeating in his own aura, “This too shall pass.”

Link here:

http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/sombre-memories/239027.html



Waiting- A Fable

By : Aarif Muzafar Rather

I waited there- staring at the moon. It looked brimming blue making the dullest of things in its way bright and lively. It made slow movements that I could never read. I stared. I waited.
I counted stars over my head, making myself believe what was happening by the other side of the park would soon be over. I counted. I waited.
And then she stood up defeating the crowd in her way. Through the clouded labyrinth I spotted the woman with long hair. I gazed at her red leather coat, fascinated at the squares stitched on it. She spotted me at times, throwing her gaze here and there. She cupped her face into her soft hands, making her hair fall down in distress. I could feel her convincing someone. I watched. I waited.
I turned to the riverside, evading the sight of people who were unknown to me. The street beside looked deserted and the walls of the shops were lit by cars passing by intermittently. I fixed my sight on the mundane surroundings as if listening to a fairy tale. I waited.
I was sure enough to persuade myself that I wanted her. The silence around my eyes only grew heavier in the thought of winning her against all the odds. There she was. The girl wearing the red leather coat. I watched her from a distance.
Jhelum Park? Why did she choose evening time to meet people? And why this place? I could not focus on things and my heart grew heavier in the thought of having a conversation with her.
Meanwhile, a car passed by the road playing a Jim Morrison song:

“On our moonlight drive, baby

Moonlight drive.”

The music went on playing:

“Come on, baby, gonna take a little ride

Down, down by the ocean side

Gonna get real close

Get real tight

Baby gonna drown tonight

Goin’ down, down, down.”

A departing metaphor-

“We all wait for people, wanting to make them understand us or make ourselves understand them, love us, cure us of all the ills. But alas…!,” I thought to myself.
I thought again, letting my desperation tumble:
That girl wearing the red leather coat. I want to dissolve myself into the pores of her skin, burn myself in the desire of my passion for her. Bath myself with the sweat of her body. Die in my love for her. Love her down. Deep down. Down to her bones. To the soul. Ashes to ashes.
I wandered. I wondered. I waited.
I could see her walk away behind the large tree situated right to the mosque. I lit a cigarette, dragging hard on it, counting every puff like a child counting stones in her kindergarten to remember numbers. I counted again. I waited.
From a distance, I could see the crowd diminish. She looked at me and I stood there, waiting, wanting to hear from her.
To my fantasy, she was a lifelong companion, a person who had been with me for ages. But alas…!
Now when she was finished with the people, I stood on my chair, wanting to hear from her. I gazed again, at the squares stitched on her red leather coat. She came closer and I got up breaking my silence. I muttered in a soft voice:
“Can I wait for you tomorrow again? Here at this place.”

She smiled, curled her hair with both the hands and walked away. I stood there waiting.

©Aarif Muzafar Rather

Pic and publishing link: Jajeer Talkies website.

Cover pic, Foot Bridge, Srinagar : ©Aarif Muzafar Rather

A letter from Khalid

Did you hear the news of my murder? You must have heard about it or read it somewhere:
Khalid- The immortal is not anymore. Yes, I’m dead. Demised, deceased and laid to rest, somewhere in the Martyr’s Graveyard of Tral. The atmosphere outside is concerning, yet so enchanting. People talk of revolution.
It was even more enchanting a few days before when I went to the grand Tulip Garden of Srinagar with my friends.
I’m not shackled here like I was when among you. Why don’t you hear my stories? Hear the plea of this broken heart for it is finally free. Don’t worry. It’s not the same here. Life there is of no considerations, you are not allowed to take decisions in your life. They are taken by the people who guard you. This is no lie. My life may be of compromises. The story, certainly, is not. I was a balloon there. I was a football. I was pricked upon whenever they wanted. I was kicked by whosoever, whenever wanted.
I met my comrades here, who had left before me. I met Jalil whose death anniversary we commemorated only some weeks before. He talks philosophical wearing a beamish smile. He wishes he could have pleaded more cases in his life. He misses his red tie which he used to wear. Wasn’t that studded with dots of dissimilar colors?
Sigh! Didn’t I leave for Pratap Park in Srinagar to join the mothers in APDP gathering? I met many of the disappeared sons here. I heard their tales. They can see their mothers holding placards. They are too emotional. Find out their version as well:
“I can read the writings over their banners- MISSING- WHERE IS MY SON?- THIRTY YEARS PASSED. She has not given up. I love her spirit. Her dignity lies in her search for me. She has got my only picture that was taken during a crackdown in our village. Way back! She had raised the same with the placard higher this time. Her arms are not tired. They are in a state of enthusiastic waiting, like the country of Kashmir itself, waiting to embrace me. I too long for a meeting. I will tell her about sad things in life. I will tell her of love. Ah! She is mother. I would rest myself in her lap for a thousand years. I will live inside the cover of her love. I will hide my tears, not in embarrassment, not in fear but in delight.”
I have got a story to share with you. When I entered the gates of paradise, I was received by a countless number of Hoors. Then, a pari came and a brume whirled her magnetic shadow. I was hypnotised for a moment and wished I had a pen in my hand. I badly wanted to write that unknown poem that always got me out while I played cricket. I remembered that unknown page of my diary containing random notes that I always wanted to assemble and make a proper collection:
I will set myself into your eyes. And perhaps, I will weep for a while. I will hide my tears, a kind of embarrassment will hide them. I love the movement you make when you bite your lower lip with your teeth. Don’t you hide something? Tell me what you hide. I love the red scarf you wear. I am not silent for any reason. In my language, love and silence are synonymous to each other.
I am sorry to stop myself from writing to you from the other world because I want you to be happy. I do miss my cricket. I do miss the white jersey with that S-Mark tag. I do miss my team. I miss you all.
Ah! This is not the right way to end a letter. I was a literary zealot there. Wasn’t I? So, let me finish it my way. Let me quote the great artist whose lines I used to scribble on the front page of my notebooks:
“So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”

(Published here-
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2015/Apr/21/a-letter-from-khalid-2.asp )

image

… Doomsday That I cannot witness

They welcome me into the Paradise, the Hoors I cannot count. A Hoor gazes at me whom I am very weak to describe. I too look at her like I looked at sky in times of solitude and despair.
But then I see you Ami, crying, rending your grey sweater which Abu had bought you on the eve of Eid. I can see the soldiers lathi-charging the crowd in the thick of which you are being consoled by our neighbours.
I see you didi, finding hard to sleep. I see you writing verses for me that I want to snatch out of your hands, run down the stairs, hide inside the wardrobe, read them in leisure and dance to the beats of an unknown song. I can read the lines:

I have prayed for your longevity
I have prayed for your happiness
My buoy-jigar:
You are my zuv-jaan
You are my dil-jigar.

I see you Abu, I see you asleep. You are so hard a creature! Like Ami, you do not burst. I wonder how you survive. I get a feeling of the burning sensation inside your heart. But I wonder how you survive. I see you consoling Ami. I see her dumb and deaf. I see her dry eyes that shed oceans of tears. I hear the unknown song that touches the depths of her heart:

Yaeli ha loal chon chum yivaan
Vaenij ha fatnas chem yivaan
Myaani yaaro tche maa’re kaerthas
Ha balyaaro dagaa tche kortham
(When I miss you
    My heart is about to burst
    My friend, you have killed me
    My beloved, you have deceived me)

“Spare me Hoor, for God’s sake, spare me for a moment. I want to go back to my Ami, tell her that I am alive and convince her that we will meet again in paradise.”
I see you uncle, I see you leaving the home for bride’s home. I see you holding the mini-turban that you had promised to bring me on your marriage. I see you kissing it again and again.
“Give me a hug uncle. Hold me in your arms for a thousand years. I miss you uncle.”
I can feel shivers running down my spines as someone misses me terribly. She is lost in her thoughts:
I regret. I have always troubled you. I have in the end fallen into the dangerous side of the line of love. It kills me. Every moment.
But I must tell her that I am not angry with her. I never was. What was the fun of loving her then!
I see you brother, reading my books. I see you skimming through the pages of the stories.
“You must read. There is nothing great in this world except reading stories. A world is stored inside them.”

Peace to the martyrs of Kashmir!

( Published here –
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2014/Dec/3/doomsday-i-cannot-witness-3.asp )
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