January 10, 2010
It’s blistering cold outside everywhere in Kashmir. This period last for a month and the frost can almost bite you especially in the morning, evening and throughout the night. It’s the time when you can catch some awesomer flicks around of icicles dangling on water falls, trees and on the roof of all houses. It’s the time when you barely receive any sunshine in the day, while moon keeps playing hide-and-seek in the silvery broom and clouds of the night.
It’s the time when Ashiq’s mom would lift up her mattress and fill the charcoal in the ‘Kangri,’ for all the four kins. As soon as she opens the door and walks up to on verandah, she sees the small flakes of snow beginning to fall. So, she puts all the shoes of the kins beneath the roof to avoid the water going in to them.
When she finally starts to fill the charcoal in the ‘Kangris,’ she happens to see aloof colourful kangri in dust and trash in the hut. She takes it off, and begins to weep. Her weep slowly changes to a soft whimper.
Her neighbourhood woman, her childhood friend hears her weep. She comes up to her, and asks her, if everything was okay with her. She takes her back into her room and wipes her tears with her own scarf.
“What happened?,” she asks.
“I was filling charcoal into kangris, meanwhile I saw Ashiq’s kangri laying in the trash,” she answers, tears climbing out of her eyelids and dropping down one after the another.
“Now, it’s been 8 years, since he left. But my mind is cracked up with his memories. I can’t think of a day that he hadn’t came on mind,” she continued.
She continued to clean her closet telling the truth she’s to face and how ultimately how she’d live life without her only one beloved son. Pain, misery stricken and memories paused her sayings with howling and screaming for her son’s name.
“All these years, I’d take sleeping pills in the middle of the night to relieve the pain that hit right in my heart. I just want to know now, how he’s alive or, dead? On earth or, in heavens?” She continued, screaming for his sons name.
An hour passed in few moments for her neighborhood friend, her eye-balls surrounded by tears too while feeling the yearning of a heart wretched mother. Till theirs LAN received a call.
It was Ashiq’s sister beforehand who picked up the call.
“Hello!,” she said.
Other person didn’t responded back to her. And she cut the line thinking it might’ve been some wrong number. Immediately she left the phone and tried to left the place. It rang once again. But this time too the other person smelt as silent as grave. So, she cut the phone and left the place.
When for the third time theirs LAN rang, it was Ashiq’s mommy who picked up the phone.
“Hello! Who’re you?,” she asked.
“Cat got your tongue?,” as she got little irritated, knowing the same person has dialed, already a lots of times.
“Will you say something or, should I cut the line?,” she continued to ask, tears’ smears remained on her face.
All she could hear now were heavy breaths. And a kind of a sense originated on her mind,“Aren’t you Ashiq?,” she asked.
“Yesss! I’m Ashiq,” he replied, while tears won’t stop come down through his cheeks.
“Mommy, I’m sorry. So sorry. Really sorry, I know what I’ve done. I know I deceived you in the first place. But I, myself, was deceived by the conditions that laid in. After joining the militant group, I imagined you and Abu crying on my corpse pierced with a zillion bullets, so I decided to leave the militant group. And I sneakily did. Now, you don’t worry about me. I’m doing a job in private company, here in, Pakistan, Karachi.” He said, trying to make her mom happy.
“I do have a wife, kids. A son and a teeny weeny daughter. They love you. I do show them your picture, which I had kept in my wallet while leaving for Pakistan,” He continued, wishing his mommy would probably become proud of him.
While his mother sobbing in any continuance of longings for him.
“I do have cars, money and happiness and all fortunate things. Please, don’t cry be happy. I’ll send you some money which will help in doing Di’s marriage,” he continued, wanting his mom to stop cry.
“What about the thing you stole from me? Huh?,” she asked, bathed in tears.
“You intruder, how’ll you return me that?,” she continued to ask.
“An intruder, but what did I stole from you?,” Ashiq asked, impatiently.
“All the commodity or money I used while crossing the LOC was provided to us by the trained militants itself,” he tried to explain, that he hadn’t really stolen anything while leaving his home.
“The real happiness and comfort,” she replied, her face to her chest bathed in tears.
Phone from his hands fell off, yelling in the air in the carving of his mom’s love ’til he moaned to rivers of tears.