Notes on the Absurdity of the Highway Ban

Sobia Khatoon

Baba had promised that he would take us on a picnic today but it was just hours before it was announced that Sunday are Wednesday are synonyms. I hope and more than that I pray that it has only Wednesday as a synonym and not the other five as well. So, thankfully I don’t feel caged and I don’t feel on the verge of death and I don’t suddenly want freedom and I don’t suddenly feel as if peace has vanished and I don’t even feel that hysteria of a war of things like that. Well I don’t feel because I don’t get repeated feelings and I’ve already felt it long before. You see that’s something we are used to and we are used to all of this more than we are to nun chai and plate full of rice and anything else.
Anyways, now that those barricades on the roads have nothing to do with me because I am a student. I am thereby allowed to remove any barricade that comes in my way and walk ahead but the place where from I take tuitions is some eleven kilometers from my home and it would be so absurd if I walk for these eleven miles and I am already not so, what people call “healthy”, that I would approve of walking for eleven kilometres and unfortunately the bus drivers of my village have left their studies long ago and nobody would believe even if they present themselves as students.
So, now I can’t rather take a bus as well. The only option left with me is to enjoy this ” extra Sunday vala Sunday “. And gratefully I am a huge fan of Indian cricket, so I’ll watch today’s IPL match. Since we don’t have a TV set at our home, I have to visit a neighbor and I believe that we don’t have any barricades between our gates. But then I wonder what I’ll do after 1 PM because I live in Kashmir and in solidarity with the electricity of this place, my neighbors don’t possess an inverter. They believe that everything will be fine some day( Inshallah). Well let’s not talk about this electricity thing and this debate too all too often obfuscates the issue and if we started blabbering more, we shall soon be made bereft of candles (not everybody is having inverter) and then Indian film industry will be made legendary as the following lines will echo all the way we go; ” Ek moombati ki keemat tum kya jano ramesh babu(you can use rahul too if he wins the LS elections) ; ek kashmiri ke sir ka taaj hoti hai moombati”.
Well, I am a fan of the Indian film industry as well and the movie “Uri- the surgical strike” added to the love I have for that industry( and as I read this sentence aloud, my brother sitting next to me says that “aapi, industry chenai pollution paede karaan”).
Well, this Uri thing makes me remember one incident that I experienced just yesterday. I was traveling to home after my tuitions were over in an SRTC bus(khat khat bus), a man sitting just behind me was talking to someone and saying that, ” Kori gayi akal godan manz”. I turned back and asked if he could help me with the window. He helped and smiled (as I always look beautiful). Then I was like, “How’s the Josh? ” and I am sure that he absolutely would have said, “high mam!”.
Oh well, I just missed SRTC bus today, as I always prefer to travel in that. And now I shall get a break from traveling for two days a week and I hope that it remains as two only and doesn’t increase as two in itself is a very large number. So, for now, I hear no horns and no barking as well and just the other sounds that are gratefully allowed. So, for two days a week, I’ll feel privileged to ease my ears with Yawar Abdal’s and Mohammed Muneem’s mellifluous voices.

— The author can be reached at: sobiakhatoon65@gmail.com