Years from now, when Hiba grows up and begins to question about her partial blindness, her mum will have no answer except for a sigh, sigh that remains an answer for every torment, unanswered yet answered. By that time, she’d have known the reason of her pain, she would question ” what made them do it”. Was it that easy ? What was my fault?. An eerie silence will answer her questions. Where snow falls in the mountains garnering years of wisdom and the fallen who lay beneath it, her brumous eyes will wonder ” what could be more beautiful than to see it with both of my eyes? What riches could I demand than my eyes”. Her inarticulate cry will fall on our conscience as if clouds were bursting with rage. But, nothing could suffice her pain, neither you nor me, not even the mighty peaks of Suleiman. I would be old by that time, with few silver hairs and a stubble out of shape, the beard I love will be groomed, but somewhere I’ll remember that Hiba must be alive, living in pain. Somewhere in my Diary, her story will be there, like an Eulogy after someone has passed.
She will be there as if a chapter an Author had written. By then, she’ll have understood that we all failed her and her blame will pierce us like bows on a timid body.
Her darkness will be partial but ours will be forever, to have failed a daughter who was ours. In Chilai Kalan, When the children outside my father’s house will have finished their first Snowman, somewhere someone will wonder “Can it see? Can it see?”. From Windows and doors, children will run as if birds in a flock, to jump and to ski on an ice that doesn’t break, but a little far , a grown up child will whisper ” my ice is always broken ,my snow is dark”. I must’ve written more books, more articles, read more but I will have been silent more than ever, for I would’ve known I had failed in everything. Where one strolls on Dal, there is a famous spot, where a man sits he knows tens of languages, the old man must be dead by now. He too must’ve been a failure. Hiba will wonder ” what joy is it to love and be love. To have been left alone in darkness”. A queen of someone or a taunt one-eyed.
Who will be your suitor, none but your own pain, agony of the world you never saw. In few moons, we will forget you, for we keep losing the tracks, love. We have to move on. We have to knit our wool to survive our winters. It’s Chilai Kalan, the chilly gusts of Himalayan wind, freeze our tears and yours in pearls. You’re now on your own, I’m nowhere here, for my soul has already departed with those who leave me and left. I’m there where you lay your braves, and I coward seek your abode, for no Inn will take me tonight. In your orchards, where you grow fruits of our future, bring your apple’s, radiated by the blood of our martyrs, and beneath them bury my coward self, for they’ll provide me shelter , among your martyrs, I’ll conceal my cowardliness. Deep there, my body will moulder, as your unsought apples do. For, I lose everyday with you.
A half Koshur, a half Shinai, a Russian, a half Columbian and only a quarter of person but wrap me with the warmth of your love, with your stories. Your land of saints, the abode of my Alam, and sing me if you can, your Shruks and Vakhs. Of your land, where your blood paints the sky red and your shrieks don’t leave the peaks. Over there, I’ll be at peace for to live with having failed you is worse than departing you. For, I have failed you, my love. You’re on your own. You’re on your own. You’re on your own, my love.
18 month old, Hiba Nisar was hit by shot-action gun pellets in her right eye on 25 Nov, 2018 when she was in her mother’s lap at home during the action of Government armed troops to contain the demonstrators in Indian Administered Kashmir. According to few reports , Hiba may lose her eye sight or be partially blind. She will have to undergo various surgeries to gain her eyesight. Among thousands, Hiba becomes one of the youngest victims of pellet gun violence in Cashmere. Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has issued a notification to Deputy commissioner and SSP on 27 Nov to file a report regarding the tragic incident. The petition was filed by human rights activist Muhammad Ahsan Untoo under case no SHRC/404/SPN/2018. As Kashmir enters its 72nd year of struggle for right to self determination and political uncertainty, the conflict continues to consume human lives. We wish Hiba a speedy recovery and a prosperous life.
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