Some time ago in Kashmir, there was a young lady lovely, extremely astute, truly reasonable, exceptionally obedient, calm, energetic, and religious and having all the specific great propensities. She was extremely eager and enthusiastic towards her studies. Her name was Maliha. She was seeking after B.A Hon’s in English Literature. She wished to devote her maximum time to her studies and wanted to burn the oil of her eyes in order to study in the night .
she used to encourage her mom and father in their work amid day so she couldn’t get enough time for her examinations in the day time however wished to remunerate it with the night studies. Kashmir, the south-east Asian territory which wrangles between two rival power; India and Pakistan , later claiming it as its inseparable “Jugular vein” and former “Integral part” , the natives being indigenous don’t come in picture. But for her, it was more than politics, the violence that plagued the valley was brutal and shameless, the South-Kashmir girl had her pride. The rebellious and studious.
Once in harsh winters she was studying with a lot of interest. Her mother came and said: “Maliha I think you should go to bed. It is 10: 45 and outside situation is not quite good. You should put off lights as everyone in the neighbourhood had gone to sleep”. But Maliha was fed up by all this. She had gotten used to listening this thing every other night.
So what, everyone had gone to sleep? What can I do now? Why I will imitate those people in order to destroy my career? And see there is light in that house also as their daughter is also studying.
No, there is complete dark outside in all the houses except that house. You should follow my advice. , her mother shouted.
Reluctant Maliha replied
No, I cannot follow your advice to ruin my future. Tell me something else that I will follow.
Mother : Are not you listening dogs are barking so loudly outside. This surely means there is some danger in the village and military forces have entered the village.
Maliha: But there is no danger in our house … please go to sleep I want to study.
What’s more, abruptly father came furiously and said: “You will be completely and exclusively in charge of any setback. I am not prepared to get myself beaten as I am old enough to take a beating.”
Angrily the parents left. Her concern with her studies disappeared as soon as the couple left the room, her face radiated by an eerie sorrow as if she had experienced a harsh reality, the reality that was not uncommon in many households of South-Kashmir, the veracity and existence of occupation. Before she could gather and pull her thoughts back , a knock on the door reverberated through the wooden house. As soon as the father led the trio in a bid to open the door, the high beam torch lights fell on his face, the crackle and the anticipation of an Urban warfare surrounded the thick walls. They got hold of her father
Who’s inside? Why did you not open it quick? and the house was imprinted with the sound of Jackboots. Every nook and corner was looked, searched, thoroughly investigated. The horrific scene made Maliha guilty. Had she slept early, this probably would’ve never happened. They found nothing. Nothing except the fear.
His father swore that there was nothing, no Guerilla’s , no things. He swore that her daughter was studying late night. Adamant grim looking soldiers believed what they wanted. Speak or we will take you to the torture center. You will vomit everything you are hiding. There was nothing to hide, he had no secrets, no information. He was telling the truth.
Piercing through the winds that blow sheer ice, the military jeep took her father. The mother looked as if she had buried him, unknown of his whereabouts or disappeared, Maliha hugged her mother and the tears radiated her skin as if the dew drops slither on a flower. Suddenly Maliha was slipping from the tight grasp of her mother, she lacked the strength to hold her and she slewed against her as her father and fell on the ground. Her head thwacked against the wall with a strange sound.
“Ting , ting, ting” and it went again “Ting Ting Ting”
The Alarm clock rang. The study routine of the night. She used to put to remind her that it’s time to sleep. This night she had fallen sleep before the hour hand hit 12. The last house had put out their lights an hour ago.
“Alhamudillah” She exclaimed
The books scrambled, a red apple , a Kangiri and a book besides her read “Baal-i-Jibrail”. She got up, washed her face, switched off the light, went to sleep hoping that she experiences no dream. That night she just wanted to be blank , with no imaginations.