A real life story of a Kashmiri daughter (Mehnaz Shafi)
Once in my childhood happened to celebrate EID, which adds the most sublime moments of every human being. The days that beautify the decades of life. All its memories like that traditional and cultural customary tone mingled with the religious esteem of Eid. I was repeatedly packing and unpacking the girly stuff which “Abba” My Father had bought me on the eve of Eid. Combing my short hair before the mirror carefully wearing new glittery hairband, sparkle mirror bracelets, taking them off and packing them back. This had been my usual rehearsal before every Eid precisely on the night of (Arfah) The day before Eid.
The excitement of Eid always used to leave me almost insomniac on Arfah. OH! I actually mean all crossing the stag. A girl eight year old, Me! I used to sleep and immerse into my imaginative world about Eid. In the early gallant moments, when my eyes were still muzzled with the slumber and ears buzzing with the dreamy sounds. Nothing audible except the dreams and imaginative screams. Suddenly the silence and the solace was broken with the words my ears were eager to listen. Mubarak! Abba said,! Suddenly with a wrinkled smile, i jumped up and hugged him, while the smile was still shimmering on the face, grasped him so tight as if the meeting was decades after.
Abba was getting ready for Eid prayers and aired me the message get ready to visit Pofi (Paternal aunt’s) home. Relaxed and inhaled the smell of joys and replied. Ok Abba! and added my Eidi demand. Abba with a mute smile pats on my shoulders and with a tonic voice “Surely only after Eid prayers” And this retain was followed on all the eids whether choti or badi (Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha).
Badii Eidi happened to be a 100 rupees note which I at the first go handover voluntarily to Amma (Mother) and Chotti Eidii was destined to be in my new pink purse. I was convinced and was satisfied with the note. Abba left and I jumped back to get ready. Dressed myself with pink frock, with matching pink shoes and purse added with glittery hairband and sparkle bracelets. Amma rubbed cream on my cheeks and lipstick on my Lips. Ready to leave for Pupha’s place. Waiting in anticipation for Abba return at the main gate, people exchanging Eid greetings, Kids laughing, playing, all dressed with new clothes. It was visual treat and usual scene of Eid. I took handkerchief out of my pink purse, for no use and carefully put it back in my pink purse, repeatedly zipping and unzipping it thinking and recounting the amount of my Eidi.
I was more eager to have some extra eidi from my Pufoo. Thus was waiting for Abba, who took more time than usual. Suddenly convoy of army surrounded our area. Amma while listening the undesirable screams and echoing horns of the armored military vehicles rushed and dragged me inside. Baday Abbu (grandfather) went out to search Abba. I was confused and perplexed in my pink monotone.
After sometime, all I remember I saw sea of people approaching to my house. I saw Baday Abu (Grandfather) wailing and crying, which even after 15 years seems still echoing into my ear drums continuously and repeatedly day and night, portraying the same fight. Alas! Abba was caught in the fight between rebels forces. Abba was shot straight in the heart. The bullet had pierced my living Abba to dead. And my pink dress was turned to red. Abba had left home with a smile and returned home with sorrows in pile. The little pink dressed girl died with Abba along with that smile. But 24 year old (me) is still alive, longing for his return with fascinating smile.
Dear Abba! I didn’t receive Baddi Eiddi or Chotti Eidii. I am silently wailing and waiting. My pink colored joys have turned into red. The pink purse zipped down empty folded.
A real story of the author Mehnaz Shafi a Kashmiri Ph.D scholar of Education in the University of Kashmir
Note: The opinion expressed in this publication is of the author, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Fast Kashmir.