On a highway to hell

Anees Zargar

I woke up late in the morning and I was feeling very hungry. I was on a fast. I could sense yet another boring day ahead. I had nothing to do; this was the 75th day of curfew. Earlier, I had planned to spend most of my day sleeping but it wasn’t even noon. I was a prisoner in my own house; in my own land. Man is a social animal, but perhaps we have lost the social aspect and exist to be as the other half only. I felt like crying but I did not. Now, I am a grown man and so I went on…

I decided to sit in the lawn for sometime but when I came out I saw all the window panes shattered to pieces. I was astounded to see that my home was no exception to this glass ‘class’ act. The panes of almost every house in my locality were broken. Some of the houses were covered with curtains and bed sheets; they looked terribly ugly. At the time of festivals these houses are always decorated but perhaps this year it wasn’t a celebration, instead a mourning. I felt like crying but I did not as now I am a grown man, so I moved on…

I started a walk towards the main road, “National Highway 1 A”. Deep within I was scared, after all I was defying curfew. But then this could not stop me of a chance to risk. When I finally reached, it stood as I had never it before; deserted except of the loads of military vehicles passing by, which of course is not something new. I moved ahead and started counting them. It is a nostalgic practice. I remember how mother used to ask me and my brother to count them. It was childhood and honestly we enjoyed it then, now it seems a burden, a curse. Sometimes I wonder how experiences change the perception.  As I strolled almost covering 2 kilometres, I had stopped counting them perhaps I had lost the interest by then. I had a strange feeling; I could feel a grip of uneasiness, a burden on my heart. I felt as if the troops were leaving and partly because of the truth of their huge presence. But, I did not cry as I am a grown man now so I moved on…

I took a turn and after walking a brief distance I saw a lady coming out of her car which had a doctor sign. As she hurried through an alley few policemen made some remarks and then they started laughing including the troopers.  She passed on silently and so did I. Silences they say are golden but may be sometimes criminal. A young boy also witnessed it, but unlike me he could not hold on to his nerves and he in turn started abusing the policemen. I don’t know whether it was his ‘mistake’ or his ‘courage’, he was caught and beaten to pulp. Fortunately, they did not shot him as they’d have known that hospitals are out of ventilators to cease more deaths. They checked my Identity card and let me go perhaps, because of my chocolaty looks. It was a terrible feeling: I was shivering, I wanted to cry but I did not as I am a grown man now so I moved on…

I saw two old men squabbling over some issue. They were abusing each other. I enquired about the reason from another onlooker and he said that they were having a ‘leadership debate’. I heard them saying what would happen if Kashmir wins freedom. “We are economically weak, we can’t survive a day after Independence” remarked one of them. The other said “you are a coward money doesn’t count before freedom”.  This was something strange; I remember that during past two month’s only teenagers and young men who fought against the oppression lost their lives. I felt like crying but I did not as I am a grown man now so I moved on…

Damn! This time I saw a huge deployment of police and troops I was scared but I braved after all I am a grown man now so I went ahead. As I moved near, they did not talk but started abusing right away, one of them manhandled me and they all started beating me. This time I did not felt like crying but I was actually crying with loud shrieks and screams. This time I couldn’t even move…

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About theparallelpost
The language of words is more heavenly than the language of tongues and lips. The Parallel Post is a forum to offer a space for people who dare to speak through their words. The intention is to create an environment to share in words what we perceive in our minds...

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