Sep 21, 2015

Two Bloody Shrouds

Two different killings and two bloody shrouds. Same fateful story and same destination. 

Two weeks after the three year old Syrian boy, Alan, drowned into the Mediterranean Sea while pursuing his survival, another 3 years old toddler succumbed to the unknown bullets for the sins of his ill-fate in another part of a doomed world called Kashmir. 

Alan who was born as a commoner died as a hero. Syrian crisis could not melt any hearts around but the heart-wrenching picture of little Alan’s cadaver triggered a revolution, awakening the world in slumber. He left for abode but created a space for his compatriots into the hearts of the millions worldwide. Even the kings opened the doors of their rusty mansions for the poor refugees as their hearts melted watching Alan’s dead body snuggled silently on the sea shore. 

In another part of the world, another innocent soul departed but without much uproar. Perhaps the mornings of his poor mother could not cross the borders fettered with a propaganda.  Young Burhan, also 3 years old, was killed while toddling with his father. The father-son duo were fired at and killed by “unknown gunmen” for the fault unknown to young Burhan. 

After the death of Burhan, people in Kashmir started comparing the two deaths, seeking answers for how is Burhan different from Alan. Alan’s death could stir many hearts but poor burhan’s name got buried along with his little cadaver.

Both the deaths are equally unfortunate and to be lamented equally. Both have been murdered for wrong reasons. Both are the children of conflict. Both share a common story. Both share an ill-fate.

I could not feel the cries of Alan while he was struggling with the Mediterranean waves. But my heart wailed at his death. Burhan’s death was more familiar. My ears are already aware of his sobbing. My childhood has already introduced that ill-fate to me. My eyes have detested all the tribulations to shed those tears of sorrow. My ears have ached enough against the deafening roar of the “unknown” guns.   

I had pledged to tear myself apart from whatever keeps happening back in Kashmir Valley that adds to my trauma. Although my heart and soul lives there, I decided to keep my focus entirely on something more meaningful. But the never ending tribulations drags you right back into the mess. There is no escaping to this. There is no abatement to this pain. There is no escaping to this ill fate with which I was born.

The question remains: Where are we heading? What is the fault of young innocent kids into this proxy wars of greed and hatred? How many more Alans and Burhaans are to be sacrificed to make us comprehend and introspect. These children of conflict also deserve to live and breathe in free air like any other child does.  Are they child of a lesser God?

Alan and Burhan are not alone. They have joined the league of their young compatriots – Samir Rah ,Tufail Matoo and many others who have been martyred young for no reasons. They are all together now in heaven, perhaps seeking reasons for their murder.

Alan And Burhaan in Heaven.....

Alan: Samundhar mera qatil nahi..Mera mujrim to koi aur hai..

Burhaan: Mera gunah kya mera qasor kya.. Mere ilm mei ghumnaam hai..

Alan:Meri zindagi kangaal thi..Meri mout to mashroor hai..

Burhaan:Meri Zindagi badh naam thi.. Meri maut bhi badh naam hai..

God: Tum maqtool ho Tum shaheed ho.Tumhara Qasoor to Tumhara naseeb hai!!

Apr 8, 2015

One Deceased Neighbour


It was early morning when the wailing from neighbouring women woke me up before my alarm clock could wail. I rubbed my sleepy eyes to check my neighbourhood for the untimely unrest. People, mostly old, were jostling outside my neighbour's house. "Taaje  boebe hai Moeyi bechaer ( Poor taj-e-boaba has expired) , " heralded my mother to my curious ears. Taj-e-boeba, an amicable old woman in my neighbourhood, was 90.

Setting aside the many layers of warm blankets and the heavy quilt under which I was buried, I got up from my cozy bed and performed wazu, Islamic ablution, to prepare myself for the namaz-e-jinaaza (special congregational prayers for the deceased). I trotted down to the fateful house to find more people swarming the mourning house. Women were wailing in kashmiri tones as if orchestrated by a connecting rhythm. There was some storytelling in their mournings. "Azaad gai bechaer( she got relieved at last) ," opined one cracking voice from the wailing house. "Kaensi theaven ne minath ( she left with no trouble to anyone ) , " joined another wailing voice, this time from an old man hiding his grey head inside his warm pheran against the cold and the grief. Similar statements and opinions kept airing for some more time, mixing the cold air with strange voices of wailing, murmuring and howling. Meanwhile more people kept pouring in as the news spread across the neighbourhood.

I kept standing near the main gate, watching the mourners and their sympathisers. Three hours passed as such but there was no sign of nimaaz-e-jinaaza. It seemed the deceased had to wait for more people to come and see her face one last time before the earthy soil could absorb her body. It was time to go for another round of ablution and come back afresh. 

Sometime later, all the relatives, neighbours, well wishes, office colleagues, formal friends and others; Everyone assembled in the small house that now looked swelling. It never looked that the modest house would accommodate such a humongous crowd. Every possible space, every corner, every staircase was occupied. Interestingly a cavalcade of waza, Kashmiri cook, also arrived at the spot, funnily enough, much prior to the arrival of the local imaam heading the nimaaz-e-jinaza. After all someone has to feed the family of the deceased and the others for sometime.

After all the arrangement were done, the faithful men walked into an open ground to join the nimaz-e-jinaaza. Women on the other hand kept beating their chest while trying their best to get the lasting glimpses of the dear boaba. Meanwhile the army of the waza started arranging their team and respective tools of cauldrons and ladles. While the men prayed for the deceased, the women folk got more busy in gabbing and badmouthing as such subsiding the wailing cries remarkably. 

As the Jinaza finished, the huge rows of people disbanded into parting ways. Some people joined back the mourners while few others, the curious cases, joined the waza team to check the salt and pepper of each delicacy being cooked while sipping down the complimentary noon chai (Kashmiri salt tea).

The whole day, noon chai kept brewing in the lifesized somavar. People kept coming and going, marking their formal attendance. The rush of the visitors and the bam of their vehicles made the street look busy that otherwise wears a deserted look.  Later, as I signed off my day and laid down on my cozy bed, taj-e-boaba came to my dream and whispered, "suin kyah oosukh rounmut?( what was there in the meals?)."


P.S.  This is truly a fictional work of author's imaginations. Any kind of resemblance would merely be a candid coincidence.