A father looks at his son’s lifeless body, unsure if he is dreaming or awake. Surely, the boy will soon go about his business as he has for 17 years; tears well up in his eyes. Fathers are not supposed to cry. And, where is his mother? Why is she silent? She looks strangely incapable of speaking. Who are these other people gathered here? They want Azaadi? The father only wants his son to wake up. That would be his Azaadi. A crushing weight sets on his heart. He wants to rip it out. Why won’t the boy’s mother say something? Anything? The boy was just playing with his friends 30 minutes back and now he refuses to get up. Hot lead in his veins has stopped the blood cold in its tracks. Oh this heartache; why won’t it stop? Will it ever stop?
As this father contemplates life without his son, there are countless other fathers and mothers who have fallen silent, their rage so immense that words cannot express the depth of their loss. Contemplating a lifetime without those young ones who they fed and washed and nurtured and…just loved, is just impossible. What will life be for these unfortunate people? Who will console the inconsolable? Who will make things whole? But, things will never be whole again.
Throw a stone and get a bullet. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. But, it is like this in Kashmir. Over a 100 lives later, there is still no stopping the hot lead from freezing the Kashmiri’s hot blood. How many fathers have to bury their children? How many mothers will have to sit stone-faced for the rest of their lives?
Until next time...