Sunny yet a bit dry morning , old and cold wind was blowing from nearby garden and my vyeth in front of my house at Banamohalla was flowing very quietly that day. Nothing more and Nothing Less , the day started for me as a usual day.
Being in 7th grade and excited about the adolescent age at my doors , it was an exciting time. I was riping over tunes of Qayamat seh Qayamet tak.. and feeling every stroke of heart beat at this raw Adolescent. Watching some good faces around and a good team of football at school was craze. To Share this craze among friends was an honour not bestowed on many.
I had returned from two good trips recently and it was for the first time that I officially stayed away from family for a fortnight. Plundering it may sound but I was spreading hot news across in school premises and attaching every significance of my journey like a seaman returning after discovery of Americas Inc. Fortunes wont have changed if life would have stayed bit like the same and god wouldn't have be displeased further if I would have taken my life further from here. Things were occasionally forecasting the shadows to be played even at zenith but I loved my horizons and sunsets more than them.
In premises of Purshayar temple , stood our two story building called GITA BHAWAN. For last 3 years or so , I was pursuing myself in rehearsing every shalok of Bhagwat Gita and some other religious text. Our Teacher Sanjay ji , Kamlesh ji and few more were so dedicated that at times , I would feel the positive energies from them transcending through me into the body and heart. Between during the ill fated elections of 86 and fresh from violence in Anantnag , I heard the trauma stories of my fellow brethren who coincided to my belief that everything wasn't right.
By Mid 1989 signals were fearsome for this kid. One fine day, I was playing with my friends next to mansabal lake Higher secondary school. Every Muslim boy would couter brand himself as Miandad and would love to hit six on last ball fo match. Natraj Pencils advertisement was branded as " Yeh hai Match ki akhri genddh and yeh lagah chakkah, Pakistan fir champion". With a friendly laugh , I would dismiss this skirmish as another foolish paradize.
Suddenly I realized a cricket club which came from Asham ( A village not far from Safapore ) teasing me as Dyali batta ... I had a HRM HARMAS cricket bat with kapil dev sticker on it and this annoyed one of their ring leaders. He hit me hard and I was on ground... he then started scratching and rubbing my forehead very hard and it started to pain. His satanic comments are still fresh in my mind. " Battah : The place on your forehead,where you put your tilak will be scratched by God in same way and you will be having bigger pain on day of judgement. Better give up putting tilak on your forehead and convert"
I was taken aback as till date , I never thought that someone will put me down on my playground amidst my friends and none will object him. Some stood mum and some stood laughing ,... I came back to my maternal place with a bruise and scar in my soul. A void had been created with this incident.
On Sep 14, this void was further deepened when our Urdu teacher Moti Lal ji enetered the class and asked us to assemble in the ground... as I was moving down .. I saw some Muslim boys crowding in different corner and KPs in different one.. Komesh Teng who was our senior was consoling a boy whom I dont know till date that everything will be fine. At the assemble Pyari Madam and Prana Madam broke the news of Tika Lal ji Assasination. Soon a shout erupted from back SHABIR SHAH ZINDABAD... I could realise my Void is a wound now and it is not just a bruise but a radical cut stabbed in my soul. I moved along with Sandeep bhat to Chinkra Mohalla and saw some JKP guards around the place... Little know academy called Minerva and its Muslim boys were also present. a small skirmish resulted with some string iron willed KP kids from ganpatyar and police gaurds lathicharged all.
I ran back to home at Banamohalla and by evening a mourning was touched on our roofs.. as if tinned roofs were as sonorous as my void ... In evening I went to Sheetal nath along with some seniors and saw a crowd of some 100 odd Kps maing announcement. I remember Sh Vaishnavi ji making desperate appeal to all for unity and challenging pakistan to kill him in open not like cowards in streets and playgrounds.
Next day whole city was reverbrating from Sheetal Nath to karan Nagar. We were stoned during procession at Habbakadal and at tankipora crossing. we chased back and I was happy to send stones back... I bruised my leg in stampede...
In next one year , I saw what was beyond the imagination of human being. I saw dead body in pool floating to be fished but was instead stoned because it was wearing a kadda in right hand , I heard that breastless body of a KP women hanging in my maternal orchard , I heard people getting killed and pissed at , I saw my classmates asking me to recite kalima , I was kicked for carrying a geometry box with Indian Flag , my friends uncle and his family was slaughtered because he had an alteration with milk man , my muslim barber was murdered by his own son and buried in his courtyard for he was talking sensible secular values , temple bells were lowered for Muslims in neighbourhood will get annoyed by its sound , morning prayers on river side temples were no longer mandatory for kids , hearing loud bangs of explosion and curfew sirens was a testimony to the evil apostle that my void had forecasted long back.
In next one year , I saw lakhs leaving their home , thousands getting killed on road , mosques rather than calling faithful to prayers instead asking faithful to kill kafirs , neighbours become enemies within days and above all a big exodus. Twenty years must have been a long time but my void is yet to be filled although scars are gone , I sleep buyt rather than dreams nigthmares still come hauting and chasing me from my civilized world into an unknown barbaric Island. At last I just say ZUV CHUM BRAMAAN GARR GACHAAAV