It was a bitterly algid evening of Chillai Kalan.A friend of mine had accompanied me and we were on our way back home. Suddenly, my eyes caught a noteworthy scene.

Shivering with cold, an old lady was sitting beside the bund of River Doodh Ganga.Her body appeared insensate as if the cold had numbed her senses.

I approached her, “Mouji, why are you sitting here?”

She glimpsed at my face, turned her head without even uttering a word.

A member of the Association of Parents of Disappeared People cries during a protest rally to demand information on the whereabouts of missing relatives, during the International Day of the Disappeared in Srinagar on August 30, 2011. Human Rights Watch on August 25 urged India to launch an inquiry into scores of unmarked graves in Kashmir after a government commission said they contained over 2,000 unidentified bodies. An armed insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir has claimed 47,000 lives since 1989 by official count, with separatists putting the toll twice as high. Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)

For a couple of minutes, she was silent, but then she lost her patience and gave an anguishing cry,
“I am waiting for my son”, tears rolling down her sunken cheeks.

She screamed in agony as crushing pain seared through her heart,
“Myuon Nechu Morukh Begunnah”

Her words pierced me to the core.
Failure has shattered the hopes of the people of Kashmir.
At that time, all I could do was to assuage her grief, although I was completely aware that I was just giving her a fake consolation.

It was a little bit harder for me to mitigate the circumstances, but I somehow managed to take her out of the tranquil by engaging her in an immaterial conversation.
Bub had already arrived as it was Mouji’s routine to spend an hour or two, sitting on the bund, spending quiet time, trying to alleviate her pain.

And also a part of Bub’s schedule to retrieve her back home.
Finally, she calmed down, her chest heaving as she panted, her heart still pounding in her chest.

I decided to bid her a farewell, as it was too late and I was still far from my destination.

“Mouji, now give me a beautiful smile”, I asked her curiously.
“Smile?”,
she replied in a voice of self-hatred and despair.

“My son was the reason of my happiness, my smile”
“I Lost my Son, I Lost my Smile”

Even though those words appeared to disappear instantly, but they actually still reverberate in my ears and foster resentment in me.

But being a Kashmiri,

All I could do was just to :

Wonder,
Wonder,
And just Wander!

(The author is a 17-Year-Old student from Srinagar )

————————————————————————————–
(Following is an excerpt added from an older post published on With Kashmir)

I AM SCARED …

Life is unpredictable for people living under the control of someone’s remote. That someone is not God. God has a system wherein self-proclaimed mortal gods rule our lives.

One of them decides my fate.

Reyaz Ahmed’s tearful funeral procession

This God has fixed my liberty and yes, it does not end at the other person’s nose. My liberty does not reach anyone’s nose in fact. It travels backwards, inwards to my mind and conscience and even there liberty ceases to exist.

I am unfree.

My life and death are in the possession of somebody alien to me. He who does not know anything about me. Neither does he need to know. He who does not care about me. Neither does he need to nor I want him to. But he holds my life at his mercy.

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