Sunday, 22 July 2012

                                              War child
                                                                     Part 1
Unlike all the boys of his age he was best in all the arenas. Best in academics. Best in sports. He was named as ‘Jaguar paw’ for his speed and flush of enthusiasm & bloom of youth that he possessed. He ran in the football field like a Jaguar and people would be astounded at the sight of the living wonderment they were getting to see. His divine qualities would be ascertained in the academics as there would be no exam for him without being a topper of the class. Born to a middle class family, amidst roaring machine guns, encounters and torture killings. Ahsan was surely a ‘War child’. Born in most lamentable era of the vale. Fostered in the same era. Unforgettable to all, memories of which still haunt many. For the era was Kashmir 90’s.

Ahsan’s father Ahmad Gulfam, who worked as a Govt. Teacher was very much proud of his son. All the desires, wishes and wants of Ahsan were satisfied. He was Ahmad’s only son as he was followed by 3 daughters. Ahsan’s mother was a simple housewife, busy all the time in daily chores. Afshaana wanted her son to become an engineer as this was the only prestigious job she was acquainted with. Ahsan was only 4 when he went to school. The very school where his father taught. So the father-son duo went all along together. Ahsan didn’t even cry or sulked like the other children of his age when they were taken to said place. He went euphorically.  His father taught him mathematics and science. The addition of numbers, their subtraction and their division was all too easy for him. His father taught him every bit, every small thing from length of ‘1’ to the curves of other numbers.   Sports were in his blood and within years he was an amply developed sportsman.  Since the very beginning he showed signs of absolute intellectualism.  He would listen to what his father used to discuss with his acquaintances, keenly. Be them the topics like Struggle for freedom, Militancy, Military suppression, disappearances, custodial killings and day by day ‘Crackdowns’. He grew up listening to these gruesome acts by brutal forces. They only thought’s that would come to him was ‘How and why this is happening'. How and why this heaven was changed to hellhole on earth. The answers were clandestine enough for his tender age to have him in downright quandary.

Ahsan being Ahmad’s only son was brought up with utmost care and affection. He was treated like fragile doll and caressed like a baby all the while from infancy days to his mid teens. He had many friends but only two were best and very close to him. With them he shared every joy that came to him. Every grief he faced. Muhatib and Suhbaib were all in all his soul companions. They would play football in the meadow of evergreen Magam village. They would bath in a nigh river. Schooling was together. So were the tuitions. They would together take cattle for grazing and help each other in bathing them. They would fiddle with the tails of each other’s animals until the poor beasts would start sending their queries in the air in their respective sounds.  They would sun bathe by side of the river on the sparkling sand. On the way back they would pluck apples from their orchids and eat the leisurely thought-out the whole length of their path. Concisely they would be together though all hours of the day.

All seemed perfect but…...
To be continued.
By :- Rizwan Ashraf.

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