Anantnag: The family of Ratandeep Kaur, alias Pinky, in Chatrugam village of Tral was in the sixth day of mourning their beloved daughter as grief struck yet another household in main town Tral–the family of Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh.
The 35-year-old Sheikh and 19-year-old Pinky might have been completely unaware of each other’s existence in life but destiny had chosen a similar source and cause of death for them.
On September 21 Pinky had stopped by a grocery shop to buy some fruits in Tral Bus Stand. She approached Sheikh’s shop who stepped out of the shop to pick up oranges for Pinky from a carton lying on the shop-front.
That’s exactly when the grenade landed in front of him and exploded near the two, killing Pinky on spot and leaving Sheikh grievously injured with splinters piercing his head, heart and liver.
Six days and multiple surgeries at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar- Sheikh lost the toughest battle of his life at about 2 pm on Wednesday.
“The doctors did everything to save him but his time was up,” Bilal Ahmad, Sheikh’s brother-in-law told Kashmir Reader.
Married, with two kids, Sheikh lived with his family in the spare part of a cowshed as he worked day in and day out to make ends meet.
“Yes, he lived in abject poverty. But the best part was that he was neither shy nor afraid of working,” his relatives said. “The heart wrenching part is, his wife and two kids have no house and no source of income.”
They said that Sheikh worked as a laborer for quite a while before taking the job of a salesman at the grocery shop.
Ten year old Sheikh Muneeb and 6-year Ehsan-ul-Haq, Sheikh’s two sons, might not fully comprehend what has befallen them at such an early age but they have been inquiring about their father endlessly, at least till yesterday.
“They have been inquiring about him every half an hour from their mother, Fancy who is my sister,” said Bilal, who took the decision to show both the kids the body of their father on Wednesday.
“I did not want them to grow up with the regret of not seeing their father’s face, one last time or to live with the false hope that he might return some day,” said Bilal, adding that he did not know how convinced the kids were that their father was no more.
The shrieks and wails in the modest house of Sheikh’s have no end and the whole household erupt in wailing every now and then.
But Fancy is not crying anymore. She sits, surrounded by wailing women, in a corner of her house staring mindlessly at the future.
He companion of around eleven years is no more and she has two young souls to take care of with no shelter over her head and no source of income to keep her and her kids fed.
“It is she, my sister, who has stares at a dark future. I am sure the kids will do good in their life but the void that has been left in her life at such a young age is irreplaceable,” Bilal laments.
Muneeb and Ehsan play outside with other kids and since yesterday they have stopped asking about their father’s whereabouts.
“They have probably understood that they have been orphaned and it kills me every second now,” says Bilal.
Bilal is unsure if his decision to show the body of sheikh to his kids was the right thing to do.