Friday, 25 May 2012

                                                      GIRL OF MOUNTAINS
Amidst the lofty mountains  of the ‘Gamza’  valley there dwelt a girl with her father who was her sole guardian in that  scarcely populated area. Lived with her father!! What does it mean??Does it entail that her mother had died or does it stand for something else. The answer is just the outcome of her mother’s betrayal to her father who was a simple man devoid of worldly sense of what it really takes to be a selfish one and what makes the Homo sapiens altercate with one another. This was the problem with him according to his supposed wife. She cheated on him for not allowing her to live a fashionable life in which she shall meet any ‘gair muharram’(One with whom there is no blood relation) and would donnish in the manner of dressing  up to date  dresses without any cognition of their financial status. Arguments were followed by squabbles and bickering and ultimately to their fate of getting separated and  ‘Waqqed’ taking full custody of their progeny  . ‘Sohanna’  was 3 only at that time and was alien to the facts of what had happened with her parents as she was in her days ‘childhood’.

 Sohanna used to play in the fields that was beleaguered by the cedar that turned the whole mass around into dense forest. Whilst her father’s absence who would go to town with the firewood to be sold and earn a better livelihood for her and for himself too , she had only one companion that was her goat. DUMRI was name gifted by Sohanna to her beloved goat .She would play with her by catching her tail and pressing it hard so as to make her living toy bleat like anything.  Guffaw was evident and that too a full hearted one. She didn’t feel her mothers absence until conscious of what the person(mother) really meant developed as she had DUMRI there .But soon she gained it and it was evident that mother meant a world to a girl. She turned 10 as the years passed on with only 2 animate beings around I.e.  her father and her lovable goat. She would eat on her breakfast along with her father and then see off her father for his work. She would then unlace Dumri and would take her to pasturing near the meadow alongside her thatched house with a chimney atop that send cinders high up when the meals are being prepared or when the fire was lit in winters . The Dumri –Sohanna intimacy was as very special one as far as Sohanna is looked at. She was the only girl left in that nomadic tribe as all other were espoused to the boys of some other clan and there was no one left with whom she would have sheared her sorrows, her grief’s, her wilderness, her loneliness and her ruefulness . She and Dumri shared a very unusual alliance as she would even confide in her the very little secrets of dreams of man who would come on horse and drive her away in the way too far. She  would even milk Dumri as drink half and leave the other half for her father whilst seated herself to comfort of the shade of the willow.
                                                                               Sooner  she had some other friends too not in the form of humans but in the form of winged creatures referred to as birds. The summer season was on the onset as of this reason some migratory birds had come from far east to this place. She loved the chirping of sparrows ,the caws of crows and the sounds of the other birds. She would have her preoccupations preoccupied by the scene of the company of her new friends. She would tell Dumri what it really means to be in the company of such fellows who would sing altruistically. They would fill the ambiance around her with delight and would transform the grieves in her into joyfulness .She would most often than not spend her time with them by keeping an eye on them, singing with them on the concomitance of their chirping, she would trip the light fantastic toe along with them. This continued .Delight is but short lived for every person. Soon the season of singing and dancing was bidden adieu by the next in line 'the winter'. In the vale of Gamza  every winter is all  but very harsh one too. The mountain tribes would be throttled to their home's and the only thing they would be able to do is  ‘khambash’ (type of get together) where they would sing, they would dance, they would prey. Together. This very sight disturbed Sohanna very much as she was already alone and winters would do nothing but add to her wretchedness’s. All she could do during the winter season was just to stay indoors with her one and only yokefellow Dumri.

The chilly winters were followed by joyous summers as the years passed. She  was 16 now .The age  according to the clan norms was the perfect age  to get hitched up. ‘Taham’ the dearest chum of Waqqed had a son who was in his mid twenties. So Taham approached Waqqed  asking for his daughter’s hand for his son ‘Mashfam’. Waqqed without any reluctance agreed on to this proposal. The dates for the wedlock were set. Both the families set forth for the preparations. Waqqed got the best of the tailors from the town to tailor the finest wedding gown for his beloved daughter. He bought finest of the jewelry for her. But the person for whom whole lot of things were being done was out of sight. Sohanna wasn’t there going along with her wedding preparations. Why? Why was she absconding from this? Why would she do this? Why would she remain aloof from the dream of having a perfect life partner coming true. She didn’t want to marry at this point of time as she was just in her teens and was too unconscious about what being a married woman. She had to transform herself from a ‘free moving bird’ who didn’t even care of the orders given to a ‘caged one’. She was not to move out without any prior approval. She would have to stay indoors and get herself mingled with daily chores. This was the case! She was all upset and her father didn’t even bother to ask her about?

The day came when the ‘baraat’ was on the threshold of the footsteps that led to house of Sohanna and she had wet eyes as it was evident. The  traditional ballads were sung and bridegroom was welcomed along with his followers. Bridegroom was a tall man with broad shoulders and had typically cut out moustaches. He   was all in all a ‘total package’ about whom every girl dreamed to be espoused off. But  this was not the case with Sohanna as she was a fun loving creature about to be taken to coop. ‘Nikaah’ (an Islamic way of marrying) was performed in front of all the relatives, in laws and acquaintances. ‘Mahr’(the amount of money a ‘husband’ pays towards wife as non-refundable dowry) was fixed at twenty thousand bucks. The ‘qazi’ then did the rest and both husband and wife (Mashfam and Sohanna) agreed on this lifetime contract. All then exchanged hearty glances ,some hugging, some sharing sweets but one person seemed to be alien and that was Sohanna. She would definitely have abstained from this marriage. But she was doing this to keep her father cheerful as daughter's marriage is an arduous task that makes a person heave a sight of relief after accomplishment. The Bridegroom along with the other guests  were all served with the best that was affordable for Waqqed. Delicacies were followed by delicacies and all savored the traditional desserts in the end. Then the bridegroom, bride along with other guests left for their respective homes.

She whilst leaving for the world next door amidst the tears and sobs met her sole partner ‘Dumri’ and bid her goodbye. The arrival at her In-laws place was a usual affair. Not something outside the common round. Girls were singing good vocals on the accompaniment of drum beats. Her Mother in-law and other acquaintances received her with garlands in their hands and smiling all the way. Little did Sohanna know that these smiles were all imitation for a cause  and they were all showing this because of the good ‘dowry’ she had brought along. Her Father in-law seemed to be somewhat distinguished from the knavish lot. He was a good human being and thought of treating her as his own child. This continued for some days and soon the world seemed to have changed for her alone. The ambiance around was full of grief’s and sorrows as she was having no knowledge of what it takes to a householder. This was just the start of the uncanny that she was about to behold. ‘Gulrab’ Sohanna’s mother in-law was very cruel with this fragile child of 16. The workload that she had given Sohanna was enough for 3 able bodied women. Sohanna had to fetch 30 pots of water from nearby tube well, then go to the forest to get the firewood all alone. The axe was too big for her and she was quite unknown about the tools usage. This led her to inflicting very serious injuries to her for which she was given no proper medication. Erstwhile she even fell unconscious after collecting the heavy logs of firewood as she was now looking scraggy due to malnutrition .  Gulrab didn’t even bother to fed her properly. She was given the leftover of the food that was prepared.  This was just the glimpse of what brutalities she had to bear whilst in her teens. Her husband was no do-gooder , no humanitarian for her. Mashfam used to treat her like a slave. He more often than not used to curse her for not having brought enough wealth along.

The condition in which Sohanna was pushed by her father changed her to hell.  She now used to talk very less as she was dying inside. The desolated condition outside her showed the desolation inside. She was missing the company of  Dumri and the chirping of spring birds. She was missing the ambiance of freedom at the fall of the dusks and the rise of the dawns. In short she was missing her home very much. Sooner the bitter glances of her husband turned into beating and thrashing. Mashfam wanted her go back to father and get him the money so that he would open the shop in the town. Sohanna was very much aware of her father’s condition. As her father had left himself huge debts to payback after her marriage. This would be unbearable for him and would add to his miseries. Sohanna refused. Mashfam’s intensity of harassments grew  day by day. He even forced her head against the wall and that led to profuse bleeding followed by vomiting . Gulrab was there as the mastermind, mentor behind Mashfam’s advance. Her condition deteriorated . Soon the commiseration her Father in-law  fell upon her and he took her to the town hospital. The report confirmed multiple injuries in her head , minor injuries in limbs ,underweight, psychological pressure and hypertension . She was asked for complete rest and full day on check ups by the doctors . She was asked to take proper nutrition as she was expecting also. They went back to home .A home where she would never desire to go. A home that had turned her life to a living hell. A home where her husband’s  and her mother in-law’s brutalities were so brutal that even a foeman would not even think of. But that was, by far, her home as her father had told her then.

The advice of the doctor fell on deaf ears when ennounced by her. She was forced into daily chores and heavy working by Gulrab.  Her condition was worsening day by day and one day she decided to call it quits. She hanged herself from the ceiling as this was the only option left. As it was now unendurable for the little creature. The worst part was that her family came to know only after her Taham went to her room. That was 2 days after her suicide. Sohanna was dead . Taham after seeing this broke into tears and soon started shouting and cursing his wife and son. He blamed them for this suicide. Even the imagination can’t imagine what her in-laws did to her. The following day she was burried and her father took a pledge of getting the murderers punished for the heinous crime  after being narrated the ‘saga of heinousness ’ .He cursing the day when he married her most beloved  off, cursing himself for believing in his friend and crying all along whilst going to police station. The police soon arrived and looked into the matter and took the savage’s in the custody. They were then prosecuted in the court and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The characters used are fictitious .Any resemblance is deeply regretted.


  1. Nice going. The story demands to be continued. :)

  2. Thank you :)
    Will definitely try to do the justice to the plot.