By: Basit Rasool
“The Water Is Red,” I exclaimed. Is this what they call crystal clear? I started thinking and got arrested deep within the thoughts. Hey Hey Hey…??? These sounds got me out from the jail of thoughts where I was arrested. I raised my head, a man with different clothes from others, with something hanging around his neck and a skullcap made of some metal like structure, was standing before me having a smooth wooden piece in his hand with red stains on it.
“What are you doing here?” He questioned. I was not able to understand what to say so I remained silent. Again he said but now with different tone “what are you doing here?”
I said, “I am just enjoying the creation of Almighty”.
“Show me the identity card”, he asked but with the eyes turning red with anger.
I asked myself, “What…?? For enjoying nature we need an identity card.”
“What is identity card?”
But there was no response from any part. He then asked me to get up and begin to beat me like I was drum being beaten on someone’s marriage. I started to resist but few more men with same costume came and also started to beat me.
“What is my crime?” I started crying.
But nobody was listening to me. The few teenager boys started pelting stones on them and I started running for safety. After running some 100 meters I fell down and was unconscious. When I opened my eyes I saw some people of different age groups around me in a room.
Then a man came to me and held my hand and enquired,” How are you feeling now?”
My back was full of pain and the pain was clearly visible on my face. He then gave me some painkillers, followed by salted tea. After an hour or so I was feeling better. Then after some general chit chat, the question session began.
The man said, “Where are you from?”
“I am from the country known as LAND OF PEACE.”
“What is your name?” the question followed.
“My name is HUMANITY.”
Now I asked, “Who were the people that were beating me?”
“Men in uniform,” the man replied.
Again I questioned “Why were they beating me?”
“They were not beating you they were just relaxing their muscles,” a young boy from corner with anger in his eyes nearly shouted.
“Why is the water of rivers red?”
“It is not water, it is the blood of the martyred innocent youths,” the man answered.
Then a young lady began narrating her story: “This is the place where a person leaves his home for earning but never comes back. Women are never safe anywhere in this part of the world. The youth are being taken away by the men in uniform and most of them are never seen again, and a few who come back, are either handicapped or totally paralyzed. You are in the part of world where your name and the name of your country doesn’t exist. If someone wants to stand up against these forces, he is thrown inside the jail.”
The tears started rolling down my eyes and I stopped the lady. My heart was beating very fast. There was a question in my mind but I was not able to ask. But this question was pinching me and after sometime I overcame my emotions and finally asked the question: “What is this place called?”
“It is called, The Paradise on Earth,” the man replied.
“What…??? No it can’t be true.”
I began to ask everyone present in the room and everyone answered, “Yes this is Kashmir.” … .. .
Basit Rasool, a student of Civil Engineering from Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, wrote this blog piece on June 30, 2016.
Eight days later Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in Bemdoora village of Islamabad.
In October, 2016, Basit went missing from his home in Marhama, Bijbehara. Later it was known that Basit had joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
On December 14, 2016, Basit was killed in a brief encounter with army in Beowora village in Bijbehara.