My Name is Defiance

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Syed Suhail Yaqoob

Morning was insanely intoxicating. In Kashmir every morning is like that. Cool breeze flows into windows of houses, leaves dance on trees, water’s flow is romantic. It looks like a fairy tale.Hot nun-chai (salted tea) makes it only better. And if Kashmiri bread (kulchuwad) is there with butter then it is useless to describe the romanticism of morning. Personally we have to be very thankful to Nun-Chai as it fills something into Kashmiri people who are then able to work for a whole day.Outside Kashmir every Kashmiri feels hunger for Nun-Chai. It is something we miss out there.

Stone pelting in a Srinagar area on August 04, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Oh! So sorry. I got myself dislodged from the main theme. Please don’t blame me. Kashmir is so nicely beautified that words pour from minds and hearts for its praise. There is no poet no artist who has not praised the beauty of Kashmir. Tell me who has not? You cannot because there is no one.Today the same Kashmir that was imbedded by Nature with lush green forest, honey like water, blued skies, snow and rain is in shambles. Death and destruction is the order of the day there. Has it turned into some sort of hell? Perhaps.

Junaid, a farmer by profession was walking along a street of Kashmir.Pleasedon’t tell me roads are kept neat and clean. Kashmiri roads are filled with stones and bricks.Surely the stones and bricks are middle-sized which can fill in the palms of boys and girls. Bricks are deformed not stones. A government security deformed jeeps will reveal it all what these bricks and stones were meant for. Yes you got it right, it is stone pelting (Kani-Jung as it is locally called).Junaid continued his walk. He was taking to someone perhaps his friend. His body language reflected it. Still I am not sure. He stumbled on something.

Bricks are deformed not stones. A government security deformed jeeps will reveal it all what these bricks and stones were meant for. Yes you got it right, it is stone pelting (Kani-Jung as it is locally called).Junaid continued his walk.

A small, something, hit his toe.A shriek came out. Junaid be humane and humble. I am here. He fumbled, perhaps he was shocked. A stone was taking to him. What stone? Are you sure, he was two-hundred per cent. So he picked up this stone and went by the side of the road to have a little chat. Within a minute they become friends. Of course today Kashmir and stone are the same sides of a coin. Please don’t smile. It is a serious matter.So is the story of Junaid.

Junaid allowed his new friend to talk. Can I call you “Stone”. Reluctantly, Junaid’s new friend said ‘Yes”. What you have seen all these years, Mr. Stone. ‘Oh! It has been an amazing life”. I was not so little, palm-sized.I was big. Some boys came to me and threw me on the hard road and I broke from my parent body. I thought it is separation. It was not. It was excitement. I had never thought I could fly. But those boys threw me into air and I felt cherishing the aeroplane ride. It was a moment of happiness. For a minute, I lost my self into wilderness and thought my friends will envy me. Until in stuck something. I cried in pain. I lost my senses. After a minute I regained my position and it was something different. My all friends were flying in the air.Most of my friends were bleeding, some lost sense. So what nobody listened? We continued to fly from one corner to another. We did not realised what was going on.

Bricks are deformed not stones. A government security deformed jeeps will reveal it all what these bricks and stones were meant for. Yes you got it right, it is stone pelting (Kani-Jung as it is locally called).Junaid continued his walk.

At night we called a general assembly. It was a moment of great distress. Everybody among us as injured. More over my fellow stone, that big one which you see on that corner of road was badly injured. He was kicked many times on roads and he had hit a car which was covered with steel. The impact took some pieces out of its body. He had to operated and his age doesn’t allow him to be tossed again and again. After taking care of the injured, a discussion followed on between us. We knew nothing and I was not allowed to speak as elder stones were there. It is breach of ethics if small boys or girls talk in presence of elders. We listened to each and every argument. Most of us were confined to a single argument that boys are being inhumane. They are punishing us for no fault of ours. We do have some rights.Junaid listened attentively. “Are you listening Junaid” said his friend “Stone”. “Yes I do” replied Junaid. Please go on’ said Junaid.

Then the “Stone’ went on. Our elders were angry, very angry. We passed a resolution that we will not help in any development of this country. We are everywhere. It is because of us that there are roads,in buildings were incorporated. These buildings stand because of us. We fell into rage. Everybody cried. There was a common slogan “we want our rights”. Do you remember Mather Luther King’s revolution in America? It was like that. Our leaders commanded us to move in a procession like Kashmir has done over the years. We selected the day, it was Saturday. Elders gave the call “Lal-Chowk” Challo. We made arrangements for it. It was the first of kind in stones history. We came from all corners of Kashmir. Lal-Chowk was filled;it was an ocean of stones there. There were juices, ambulances, tents in fact every arrangement was made.

We may not be helping in development of nation, but we are creating a nation who are fighting for justice and are defiant against all sorts of injustice and we stones are a tool for it

There was, however, a sombre mood in all stones. Nobody knew why? Everybody among was sad.We allowed stones to speak. They were speaking in favour of people. What the hell? “Believe me Junaid” it was like this. What they said was shock to everyone. We all fell so badly. Every stone revealed what people of Kashmir had gone through.Killings, bloodshed are all what they have seen. Some stones even revealed that boys even kiss them most of the time out of love. We came to know we are loved, even respected.We passed a resolution in favour of people of Kashmir. Our resolutions read “We may not be helping in development of nation, but we are creating a nation” who are fighting for justice and are defiant against all sorts of injustice and we stones are a tool for it. I named myself ‘Defiance”. Please Junaid call me by this name. Junaid still goes to meet his friend who is still on that roadside.

(The author is a Pursuing Ph.D in Aligarh Muslim University in Dept. of Economics and can be mailed at suhail029@gmail.com. Ideas expressed are author’s own)

 

 

 

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