This article was published in The Times of India editorial. Iam only presenting this as a work of, and copyright of Dr. Syeda Hameed.
On June 30, last to last year, Asif Rather, aged nine, ran out of his home in Baramulla in search of his older brother. Minutes later, he fell victim to a bullet fired by securitymen. He was just 150m from his front door. An elegy on the death of an innocent by Dr Syeda Hameed , writer and member of the Planning Commission.
He stood at the sunlit door
A nine-year old with tousled hair
Asif Rather, student of class four,
Baramulla, 55 km from Srinagar
'Where is Touqeer?'
He sought his older brother.
'Nowhere! You come back now
Here's tea and last night's bread
My baby, let me comb your hair'
Outside, the sounds Allah o Akbar
Chanting at once, one thousand strong
'Mother, I'll get him back'
'No child, Touqeer is big, he's with friends
My youngest, you're too small
See here is cream skimmed off the milk
Now come, you make me angry'
The little form at the sunlit door
Ran out, unheeding
The face appeared, smiling at the window pane
'Mother, you can't be angry; I'll make you cry today'
And he was gone
Outside the milling crowds of tall and lanky youth
And one lost boy in a forest of long legs
And long sticks cut from poplar trees
Some hands clutch roadside stones
'Touqeer!' he called out
Was that his blue shirt?
But there were hundreds in blue
He felt the tears well up
Quick jammed with grimy fists.
He stood confused, afraid, ashamed
'I should have had the milk and last night's bread
So hungry and so far from Ma..
But Touqeer, where's he?'
And then it burst
The tear gas shell tore his tender flesh
'Allah' he cried his small hand
the evil that drew blood.
The crowd stood still
A dozen hands reached out
To hold the falling body
His bullet broken neck
Gently rested on still hands
Of weeping boys
The tousled head of hair
Blood drenched, hung in strands
On a shining forehead...
And twisted in the sinews
of my mind
Are seven words
(Seven lines of Quran's first Surah)
'Mother I will make you cry today'
How many mothers of my Kashmir
The place where I was born
Will cry today?
Will cry tomorrow?
This beautiful elegy by Syeda mam presents the condition of Kashmir, a beautiful place, the heaven on earth, torn between strife and life...the place battles with numerous struggles, internal, external, political and demo-graphical my heart reaches out to them, to people, the 'hoi polloi' who live in perpetual fear of death, longing for a peaceful life in the lovely valley. the place which once sparkled as "firdaus" now tries to find living, tries to find its life amidst terror attacks, tear gas, bomb shells! this heart wrenching work of prose touches a cord with every mother, every human. i cried when i had read this in paper. i silently cut and pasted it in my scrap book. and today when i stumbled upon it again, i felt i need to share this. so that all my friends who missed the article, can ponder over the struggles, the battles, the life in valley. and probably figure out what they, as youth, can do to improve or at least aid the situation. each of us has it in us to work in our own mild manners to help the mankind, to help our brethren. may be our politics, our system, our cops, everything needs to be revamped. and don't we as countrymen, lay responsible to bring those winds of change?? think.... ponder...introspect...and act.... in whatever, howsoever little ways......