‘ Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive’. (convert to Islam, leave the place or perish)
‘Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive’.
Everywhere, these words are echoing. Every ticking of the biggest wooden wall clock is making him to shiver.
“They are coming. Nobody is going to save us. They are coming to kill us”, a woman is crying.
Everything was drowning inside a pool of blood. People are laughing harrowingly. He feels a steel touch on his back side of neck. It is piercing inside. It is going deep.
‘Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.’
In every middle of the night, he woke up after experiencing this nightmare. He didn’t forget a single thing which was happened since 20 years ago. He was only 5 years old and on that cold night in which he lost his everyone except his grandmother.
The scar on his back side of the neck was still there.
His phone started ringing. This was not a call, this was his alarm which used to remind him to take his medicine.
Vasuki Dar was only 5 years old when his family slaughtered by unknown people without any reasons. He would have died if his neighbours didn’t come out for help. Although, their help didn’t help him much.
He had moved to Daroja from Sopor with his grandmother. He never thought of leaving Kashmir but that night was not freeing him.
He was not meek or coward but he knew one thing, Kashmir was his home ever and forever. His Dadi used to tell him always- People are bad but not Kashmir. You are still alive because Kashmir loves you.
He completed his study in Kashmir and still he wanted to spend his life into Kashmir. He didn’t hate anyone but every night he used to cry.
He was running tuition classes in Daroja’s main market. He spent his time with young children and teenagers. His doctor always told him- If you want to forget things, you have to move to another place. You cannot forget your past, if you encounter them daily.
But how he could leave everything behind? Kashmir is his only family and he didn’t to make distance from that.
He would not go.
“Where are you going from middle of the class?”
“Sir, I was thinking to go home. I ain’t feeling good.” Radhika told a plain lie.
“What happened to you?” Abdul sir asked her with a puzzled face.
“You were good in previous class. I think you are taking upcoming debate lightly.”
“Oh, that Kashmir- Liberation from opperssion. I am upto it. Don’t worry.” She looked so confident.
“Ok go but how will you go.?”
Kashmir College of Arts was far away from Daroja. It took 1 hour to come for Radhika. But she did come, everyday.
“I called home for car.”
She went off from the class. Actually, she was not going home. She was going to pick Rafiq, his best friend. After all he was coming with all statics of her video. She was ready to compile a new song with him. However, Rafiq didn’t know much about camera but for his Aka, he had to do it.
She was about to enter into her car, suddenly she heard some argument coming from outside of the college gate.
“Uncle, give me a minute.” She told her car driver and moved forward to see.
She saw a 8 years old girl was arguing with some boys where like 16-18 years. She saw boys pushed her a side after some seconds.
“Hey, stop it guys. What is going on there?”
She saw boys ran out from there. She went to the girl and patted on her shoulder.
“They were telling me to pelt stone over there.” She directed towards her Radhika’s car.
“why?” She was astonished. Why someone would do this.
“I don’t know. They hit me after I told no.”
“Okay go home now. Should I drop you?”
“No, I can go by myself.”
Radhika sat inside her car on driver’s seat and told her driver to sit beside her. She wanted to drive. But still she had the question- why on my car?
Finally, she reached at her destination, the Daroja bus stand.
“Hello, where are you dog?”
“I am about to reach.”
“I am waiting at stand now. Hurry up.”
Now, she took out her notepad and wrote- ‘Liberation from oppression’.
Kashmir is our home. Kashmir is in our soul. Other than Insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat is what we have got. We have seen slavery, we have seen atrocities, we have seen murders. Now we need Salvation. We are on the verge of becoming a body with soul. Without Kashmir, we are nothing. I, myself Radhika Mirza..
“Rafiq, you dog.” She ran towards him to hug him so tight. After a long period of time, she felt presence of a human. She was enjoying the moment. She didn’t want to let him go. She was with him now. Her best friend.
Finally train came with its sad honking as it also realised all the swearing of Rafiq. Rafiq searched his seat and sat down but he didn’t stop his swearing in murmuring sound.
There was a couple sitting in front of him. The lady was glowing like a diamond may be because of her love.
He overheard them.
‘I am eagerly waiting to see our country beautiful state.’
‘Yes, this time we can see the heaven finally.’
Rafiq was overwhelmed by these compliments for his state.
He couldn’t resist himself from speaking.
‘You both will feel so good there.’
The man looked upon him in question.
‘Hey, I am sorry for overhearing and interruption but I am from Kashmir so I can say it for sure.’
‘My name is Rafiq, Rafiq Adzan.’
‘My name is Vikram Thakur and she is my beloved wife Razia Haseen.’
‘Nice to meet both of you.’
‘We were planning this trip from 3 years but for some reason it always postponed.’
‘I am happy that you are going this time.’
Suddenly Rafiq phone started vibrating. It was from Ammi.
“Where are you Rafiq? You didn’t call for once today? Are you alright?” Mother was in so much stressed.
‘Ammi I am good, and I am in some college meeting. I couldn’t call you. Sorry.’
He wanted to cut the phone as soon as possible. He didn’t want to give her a slightest of hint about his coming to home.
‘Ok bye Ammi, I will call you soon.’
He put down the phone with a sigh of relief.
‘Mothers are mothers.’ He said while smiling.
He looked upon them for some reaction but both were giving a sad look.
‘Not every mother is an angel.’ Razia said while looking at other side. May be she was in tears.
Rafiq looked at her left hand from where the ring finger was absent or looking like someone notched it down.
Vikram started kissing her hand and said- ‘you can see it is a inter religion marriage and my own family disowned me and her. Even try demolished my office in my city.’
‘I could never went back.’
Rafiq felt bad for them but he was happy to see both of them in comfort.
Soon, the trio had their dinner together and started watching movie.
Tonight, Rafiq didn’t feel like a different person or foreigner with both of them. He felt like one of them.
Stressed, Sad, isolated and more over bullied.
The train- 1
The train was 5 hours late from its scheduled timing.
Rafiq was imagining how would he surprise ‘ammi’.
Rafiq was going home and he had got a foolproof plan to give a surprise to ammi.
“Why trains don’t come on time?”, he murmured.
Before 5 years, he came to Delhi.
But for him, Kashmir was his home, ever and forever.
So many eyes were scanning him. When he was coming inside the station, the police guard took him as a foreigner. Rafiq told him that he was a Kashmiri.
“Oh, Kashmiri! What? Muslim?”, police asked him.
‘Yes, Rafiq Adzan.’
‘Are you a pathan?’
‘No, I am kashur.’
The officer passed a smile and let him go inside the station.
That officer was very modest otherwise Rafiq always had to passed the security test for twice.
He never liked this doubly checked system. He was not more than 21 years old and always stood up whenever national anthem played, even inside the movie hall. He didn’t know why people react so differently to him.
“Train no-12***7 has been 5 hours late from its scheduled time.”
He was waiting inside the 1st class waiting room.
He was gritting his teeth and swearing the train. He took out a book and started swapping the pages.
“I am telling you I have no hunger.”
A boy was snarling at his mother in the waiting room corner.
“Beta, eat it”, mother insisted him.
The 10 year old ignored his mother and kept looking at his IPad.
Rafiq remembered the day when he was leaving Daroja for the first time (he was only 16 at that time). He never wanted to leave that heaven but he had to. The hilly terrain, the sweet smelling streets and Ammi.
Rafiq smiled as he remembered the same insisting from his mother when he was leaving for Delhi.
He had to leave the place just for the sake of his study. He was the topper of his school and secured 93 percent in 10th in J&K boards. Finding CBSE school in Daroja so tough because there were very few ones opened.
Ammi was so happy by sending him so far from home. He knew why but he still wanted to go back to Daroja.