They are nameless and know no caste but fate writes Abdul Wajid Parray.
It was the heyday of Eid and I got the opportunity to visit my aunt, Khalaji, whom I am very fond for her maestro in cooking and poetic Kashmiri credos full of wisdom. Enjoying the mouth-watering food was pleasantly going fine alas an awful conversation changed the atmosphere at once. I don’t know exactly what ignited the discussion that turned my aunt Nostalgic who revealed a dreadful story that sent shivers down my spine.
It was the bloody year 1985, the time when tribulations in Kashmir at the hands of Indian forces were at peak. Massacres, rapes and Human right violations followed by freedom slogans, processions and rallies; these were the only buzzwords. On one fateful day my aunt, Khalaji, visited her sister-in-law, Baji, living in the most notorious area of Srinagar, Maisuma. At the same time, 20 years old Dilshada, who was on a visit to her aunt in the neighborhood of Baji, also arrived at Baji’s house to gab with Baji’s daughter who happened to be a good friend of her. As Khalaji entered the house, she found a delighted atmosphere therein with all the women busy in their untimely chit-chats. The arrival of Khalaji added a tang of delight to the squad since everyone was fond of her jolly nature. Sounds of chuckling by the young lads, shouting of kids from the street plus the chirping of birds; this entire filled the atmosphere with a feel of a lovely family full of drama, hospitality, arguments et al. But then all of a sudden BANG!!! An earth shacking gunshot thunder stuck them all. Some CRPF men outside were fuming over some issue turning the delightful air repulsive and dreadful as if strangulating all the souls there.
Khalaji was terrorized and a trembling shock jolted her down. The horrific span made her to scramble away and yelling “Mei hai aayi gooel” (I am shot). The yowling dumbfounded everyone and they started chasing her as she kept running away in fear. Period!! Everything halted in a short as if someone had strangulated the time clock to keep mum. Blood started spattering all over the room like a hasty splash of a rainstorm. Gaped at the horrifying moment, everyone with their mouth wide open in shock looked into one another’s face so as to find answers to their bewilderments.
Scene changed yet again. Now no one was looking for Khalaji as she was still breathing but stuck at something more horrible. The irony was that someone else was lying on the floor in a pool of blood with her blond hair spattered all around wetted in red. Truth was that it was not Khalaji who was shot but the bullet had someone else’s name written on it. It was the ill-fated damsel, Dilshada, whose guilt was nothing but to cheer with her neighbors. The same lad who only a few moments ago was jesting and kicking like a doll was now lying on the floor; cold blooded.
Everyone with their heavy hearts and wet eyes was dazzled at the moment failing to understand anything. After a long pause the whole doomed story got revealed. It was a 303 shot by CRPF and there was no chance to escape death. The bullet had passed Khalaji’s face by some infinitesimal distance scratching her neck badly and pierced her earring only thus giving her a close shave and sparing her life. But the hapless Dilshada was not that fortunate. She could not evade her doom as the bullet pierced into her skull and blood started boozing out like a bloody fountain with her brain scattered all around the petite room.
With all that being reckoned, Khalaji broke down and thus the flash back ended. Following this I felt uneasy and couldn’t swallow a bit of food anymore. To end-up my frustration I winded-up this article to give words to the dead damsel who once existed like us. No doubt my writing for her is worth nothing but what she taught me is striking; the fate. The upshot is that bullets don’t have a tag to usher them along the correct track. They are nameless and know no caste but fate. And it was the fate of Khalaji that she survived else there would have been no one to narrate us this fretful piece. That’s fate!!
Author:Abdul Wajid Parray