A ‘Mother’s Day’ without her son

SRINAGAR: As Mother’s Day was celebrated across the globe on Sunday, for Rubina it was yet another grim reminder of the void left behind by the killing of her teenage son Tufail Matoo.
She sits in a desolated room of her two storey house located in the old city of Srinagar, narrating the woeful tale of the time that she is spending without her 17-year old son Tufail who was killed in police action in June 2010.
“Those scenes still play before my eyes when Tufail was a little kid and I used to feed him with a spoon in our garden.”
“He always had new ways to protest against eating meals but I kept on narrating him the tales of fairies for hours so that he would not remain hungry,” she said amid tears, asking the question that no could perhaps could answer. “Wouldn’t he be hungry in the grave where he is sleeping now?”
She said that the pain she has to bear every day cannot be explained through the words. “If he would have died a natural death, it would not have been as painful. I keep thinking what if he would not have gone for the tuition that day.”
“Nothing really can soothe my blighted heart now as I am aware that this pain will remain with me even after I die and till the day of judgement, she said, adding that if the involved in Tufail’s killing would have been punished, the pain and grief could have reduced.
Stating that she is not the only one who has lost her son in Kashmir, Tufail’s mother said that the day her husband returns from the court after attending hearing, she hopes that justice has arrived. “Four years have passed and nothing really has happened.”
“We want someone to stand for us so that justice is delivered. We want someone to speak for us and help us in holding the persons accountable who took our sons away. If justice would have been given to me, I could have understood that there is someone who cares for the people who have lost everything,” she said as her husband Mohammad Ashraf Matoo continued to calm her.
Tufail, the lone child of his parents was killed by forces in the Valley on June 11 in 2010. Tufail’s death led to widespread protests and triggered a summer protests in which more than 128 people were killed.