LAMENT OF A WARRIOR
Welcome to Kashmir…Welcome to the ‘Paradise on Earth’…Welcome to a world where life is a turmoil and death the new life! Welcome to my land where cries and wails break the dawn and corpses lying in graves mark the end of the day, but the beginning of another blood bath! Bruised souls, tormented faces, mutilated bodies embellish its beauty! Longing eyes, waiting paths, praying lips and sullen hearts add to its charm! Souls want to breathe but they are gagged! Caught in the bewilderment of time, life and death, I welcome you to my dreamland… Welcome to my Kashmir!
Let me introduce you to my family of worst sufferers. Meet my aged father, who has been blinded in the longing to see his lone son, whose whereabouts are unknown. Meeting both ends hardly; he is fagged to roam from office to office, from street to street, beseeching authorities to listen to his woe. Whether his beloved son is dead or alive, he does not know, for his is an enforced disappearance case. “What was the fault of my son?” he asks. “He was the noor of my eyes who was studying to make my dream of seeing him as a doctor come true. My slippers have worn out, moving from lower court to higher, my pockets are drained, filling the hungry pockets of authorities. Now I don’t have money to look after my family, my distressed wife, my unmarried daughters and my ill fated young daughter in law, who lives her life in the ambiguity of a widow and a half-widow. I cannot witness this misery, hand over his body if he is dead and end this trail of wait. Else tell me where he is, I want to hug him close to my bosom! O son! Where did you go?”
Meet my feeble mother, whose tears have dried up wailing and crying. Every month she joins the sit in protest with other ill fated natives, the photograph of her son clutched tightly in her hands, narrating her ordeal. “Listen to me, listen to me somebody! I have lost my son! Feel my pain! My son was not an insurgent, he was an innocent soul! Call him a fanatic, if you want to! But for God’s sake tell me, what sin is it to try to uphold the honor and dignity of his sisters, to crave for peace in his trouble torn motherland? He was my child, my baby! I am withering, but before I close my eyes forever, I want to see him! Hold his head in my lap; touch his hair, his blond hair! O people, you see, you feel, yet you forget! I am a mother and I have lost my son… He is listening to my pleas, I hear him calling me… O son, your memories sever my soul… Come back, I need you… Somebody tell him, I love him… I need him!”
Now let me introduce you to my yet another beloved but miserable family member. Meet my sister, my dear sister but I cannot face her. I had promised to safeguard her honor, buy her the best gifts and tie her nuptial … She is waiting for her brother to come, come and fulfill his promise. “O brother, can’t you see me writhing? I am all alone in this world of hungry beasts… They are ever ready to pounce and strip the glory of your sister. O brother, where are you? I am mercilessly maimed, ruthlessly marred, I cry for justice but my voice is silenced… O brother, come and save me. You had promised to defend the dignity of your sister… These diabolical sorcerers have made me dumb; take me away lest I succumb. These cruel people have left me shattered, I am all alone; I am flustered. O brother, take me away from this deepening whorl… O brother…”
Meet the beats of my heart, my children. My poor ‘orphaned’ children! No body to look after them. Ignorant of their gloomy future and living incessantly in the vague present! Yet to understand the meaning of this imbroglio, these innocent souls are put in tribulation!
“I cry in my solitude and those who listen to my sobs can’t come to my aid… This is the pain of separation; Pain of losing a part of your being- your soul, your life, your husband.” O people meet this dejected girl, meet my wife. We got married only some time back and with new dreams in her eyes, I had welcomed her to her new world of love… But ah! See the agony! Battling with the perplexity of two lives, the life of my life, my dear wife is numbed. “I am living endless pathos, suffering the torments of time… I have lost all my fortitude…Incapable I am to behold myself; I am getting lost in the maze of tricky time. O my, I am miserably alone… Come to abet me… In these cruel times, I feel totally forlorn. Circumstances seem to control my fate and I watch helplessly! Ah! How difficult it is to convince a heart full of emotions!”
And finally, meet me, the unfortunate protagonist of this whole story! The noor of my parents, the sentinel of my sister, the hope of my children, the darling of my wife and the warrior of my land, meet me; I am one of the faces of our doomed youth! Living in uncertainty of turmoil, meet me, I am the youth of my trouble torn Nation! They come and kill us, kill us ruthlessly; spatters of blood drench you O Earth, making you shed bloody tears O Sky! I never wanted to see my motherland like this! My heart bleeds for her… My love… She has suffered, she is suffering. My heart cries out of pain! I am losing my vista! From time to time she has witnessed bloody mayhem! Draconian laws and acts have allowed the despots to take full control of her and act on any suspicion! They are committing ghastly violence in the name of counter insurgency! How much more of it… how much more???
“And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment” – Kahlil Gibran.
Together we can and we will make a difference! They can kill a revolutionary but they can’t kill a revolution! My Kashmir, this struggle will continue…
(Feedback at souzeinajourno.blogspot.com)