Summer was at its peak and influx of fresh refugees had still not halted. It was fortnight of ascending Moon in month of ZYETH and moon was shining as bright as it could on this silent town..Never ever had it witnessed so much hustle and bustle ever since war ended in 1971. Most of the people were sleeping on roof tops & trying to catch as much cool breeze as possible when an One ton shrieked in this small hamlet next to Dhar Road. It made enough noise to wake up the neighborhood from their half sleep.
Suddenly someone screamed aloud "KAKNI Waatch " [Kakni has arrived ] & silence of the village was broken with loud grinding halt of this truck. Some men rushed down the street to welcome the new refugees & lights were switched more as a mark of respect than necessity.
One USHA table fan at the corner was suddenly the most sought item for guests arriving into the compound . In this chaos a newly purchased pot was broken but not withstanding the whole pressure , Rani ( the housewife ) ran with its cold water towards the gate.
An Elderly gentleman Sh Dina Nath ( DEENTOTH ) came down from truck with a Faren wrapped like a priced possession in his hand. Rani couldn't recognize her uncle Dina Nath as he wasn't putting his TURBAN on his head but still she hugged this lean structure who was carrying fragrance of scented Thokur kuth. His sacred thread was leaning and yet clinched to his fair skin like his arteries.
He was turning his head back & forth trying to evade his attention as if ignorant about the happenings . His Sister in law KAKNI was still in truck.
KAKNI was still out of bounds, as few men were trying to get her down from trunk ; she was in fainted state on a big Iron trunk which had wet bed sheets on it.
RANI realised that her mother KAKNI isnt in right health. She was not in her Faren or beautiful Tarang. All her clothes were in a small plastic bag of Deentoth which he silently passed to RANI. Kakni was in semi nude , unconscious state wrapped like corn ( makaye watt ) in wet bed sheets & Deentoths Poch ( inner cotton wear of Faren )
Soon Buluji ( Ranis Husband ) announced that Kakni has suffered heat stroke while on way from kashmir to Jammu. It was like the last bad news that folks around wanted to hear. Deentoth was saddened to arrive at the in laws of his Niece in such pitiable condition. But there wasnt any alternative for the,.
Worse than ever , Kakni ( who was like sister since she became widow at young age ) was to enter her daughters home in POCH. He was in a state of shock which was worse than his brothers death in 1960s when he took control of the situation.
His small wine shop in Srinagar was burnt long back and terrorists were looking out for him & he was praying to almighty that rather than entering the Ranis place in such condition it was better to have died at hands of terrorists.
In between night passed , Deentoth received his son Bittu Ji next morning who was working in J&K bank at Vijay Nagar branch of Jammu. He was young with lot of energy to survive & move on. He wanted to take Kakni & Deentoth immediately but by then Kakni was admitted in Govt Hospital Udhampur.
Deentoth was in state of shock and his son was forcing him to move with him as early as possible and being in inlaws places during such conditions wasn't a morally right decision. Rani too had a big extended family to take care & with in laws relatives arriving day after day , it was too difficult to justify the presence of cousin , uncle and others in her house.
On one side Deentoth was spending most time in govt Hospital Udhampur but wouldn't see her sister in law face to face after he was asked to remove her clothes in that one ton truck and place Ice around her private body parts.
He felt the pain as if being dishonored in front of whole world but was happy that it saved his dear KAKNI. Now the compulsion to be with his son at Vijay Nagar was like sword hanging on his neck.
During winter he used to be there for few weeks but then it wasnt a comfortable place for him & considering KAKNI ( whom he used to call Sita & himself Laxman ) was in hospital . Leaving her under the care of Rani & her family would have been a big sin for him.
Kakni too was tense as she was gaining conscious and was worried that she will live with her daughters inlaws or she would have to mingle with Bittu ji family. Her problem was that Biitu ji had married non kashmiri girl from punjab who might not like her their lifestyle.
As days passed , pressure was mounting on both Deentoth & Kakni to chose the course of events. Bittu ji revisited in between but without his wife which was giving right signal to Kakni . Silence of Rani was reminder that all wasn't well on her side.
Finally Deentoth decided to go with Son for few days after Rani was restored to some health and rested in small alley with Usha Fan ( a privilege given to old & sick ).
Few days passed and then one fine day Deentoth fell ill as well at Vijay Nagar. With time relationship weakened and both oldies were at mercy of young to make them meet. They could only plan to meet and never actually could meet.
One night Deentoth was thinking to visit Srinagar again & then on way halt at Udhamput to see Kakni. He wanted to make sure that he completes the property papers which he would keep with Kakni on his return.
A Letter was received by Buluji from Deentoth that he would be staying with them for few weeks. Rani & Kakni were excited about the visit of Deentoth although Kakni wasnt well now and her memory was fast failing her. It was onset of late autumn of 1990 & she was still talking about Kangris to be checked for winter.
Much Before Rani could draft a reply , an obituary in Daily Excelsior announcing the sad demise of a KP at Vijay Nagar due to silent Heart attack was read aloud at Dhar Road residence of Rani. Kakni couldn't understand much as she had started to lose memory at fast rate.
By Shivratri of 1991 , Kakni also breathed her last but the trunk on which she sustained those tumultuous 8 months still was at rooftop till recently.
In May 2012, it has finally been sold as KABAAD and with it the story will be buried for ever. But none would know the that Kakni & Deentoth couldn't meet ever again in exile & this Laxman had to undress his Sita mata to save her. The shock that he never came out of till Kakni met him in Heaven somewhere.......
Pain of Suffering doesn't last for too long but the remembrance of Pain is more painful than pain of suffering itself. !
Today I found a pitcure of both of them at Yes I am Kashmiri Pandit User group on Facebook.