Syed Suhail Yaqoob
Crowds will throng markets, buying and selling with all enthusiasm, to celebrate the most important event of Muslim world-Eid, which literary means happiness. Children, I guess, the happiest lot, wait in anticipation of the money(Eidee) they will receive from their relatives and the colourful clothes they will wear. Crackers will burst, no doubt. Rural areas will see the girls doing Rof -Kashmir’s traditional dance. Besides the entire hustle bustle, something is will be seriously missed out: those young boys who have been killed all these years and those young girls and boys blinded. Some parents will not see their beloveds besides them; some friends will miss the chat with their soul-mates. In the year 2016 itself, we had hundreds dead, many more blinded, some for life, thousands arrested and still languishing in jails for no reason.
So sorry! I may seem emotional, but with all honesty I am. It is outrageous to find those who used to walk same lanes yesterday are no more here. Invisible they became, just invisible, as if they were not here. Only traces of memory, pinpoint memory. What they said, how they said this thing or that thing. Human memory becomes sharp when some closest is lost, that especially when he/she is young. The cruel case of memory just refuses to go. Important events in family and society bring their painful memory back. These important events will not make their memory ebb out. Kashmir’s society is inherently family-based where by all relatives are expected to be at important events-Eid’s or marriages. The dead are clearly missed. Even Eidi-the payment parents make to their children-is most difficult and emotional institution-ever devised by society. Some parents will not find their sons/daughters quarrelling for more money; it is itching thought, the dragger that goes through out your heart. They will only have images and photos to be kissed, nothing else. A kind of big stone will be felt at their heart, I can feel, the sun of Eid-ul-Fitr will arise.
I will miss out my friend as well. Last Eid, I could never imagine he had his last, a water game was played, and his was this idea. He somehow brought water into the polythene and burst it on our bodies, we were caught unawares. We ran here and there, only to take revenge. Within seconds, it was all out war, whosoever, we found was make wet by throwing water over their bodies. Some boys including him were pushed into the river and kept their inside water from head to toe. It was all smiles and laughter. At 12 pm we were all chatting, some smoking and some eating snacks. Nobody had an iota of idea what horrible future waited for us. Today he is no more with us. He rests in that grave, under that big mound of soil. We just bit our flesh when we walk by. The lane to graveyard is not treaded by us now. Emotions engulf us. For his friends it is a no-human walking lane.
This Eid we are ready. We know a cry will burst from their home, from her mother and from her sister’s heart. He will be called and invoked to come back. The cries will throw a dragger into sky; it will throw a dragger into hearts of all. This Eid many hundred cries will burst and tear the skies. In 2016,itself, hundred more families lost their beloved ones. One can just imagine their pain and agony. So this Eid will not be celebrated as it used to be.These Eid emotions will burst out. This Eid is the first of Burhan Muzafar Wani and most of his group, that iconic picture which surely carved a space in history. Only few among them are alive today.
I am not surely telling you not to celebrate, but do celebrate in modesty with due respect to all those who were lost, their parents and their relatives. Modesty is all what we need today, prayer for the lost ones, patience for the living ones. Let’s pledge not to forget them, let us pledge to make their parents feel we care for them. Kashmir society has to become more concentrated towards social and political goals rather than individual ones. For this Eid, we have to make sure that this integration becomes more solid like rock, never to break. No doubt Eid will be there, just for some, for others it will be a saga of pain and agony.
—The author teaches at Kashmir University and can be mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org