(This is a work of fiction dedicated to all martyrs of Indian Armed Forces and Police )
It was Eid-Al-Adha and I was on a tourist visit to Kashmir amidst the naysayers request to abandon this tour because of the terrorist attacks and stone pelting incidents . As I was happily chatting and going with my friends towards the Charar-e-Sharif , I noticed a small boy sitting on the roadside and crying profusely . As a child psychologist, I was interested in knowing the reason for the contrast . One one hand , chirpy children with their parents were making their way to offer their homage at the Dargah , one of the pious places of Muslims but visited by all religions . The gaiety was visible irrespective of the so called tension in Kashmir . It was festive time it seemed . But in these festivities and din , the little boy crying looked a little out of place .
I asked my friends to proceed as I stepped back and moved towards the little boy. I sat beside him on the chabootara where he was sitting . I did not speak till the boy realised my presence . I put my hand on his back as a mark of comfort . He slowly raised his eyes full of tears as they rolled down and shone on his cheeks reflecting the golden sunlight . Even his tears looked divine . The innocent face had a look of hope as he measured me . I asked , ” What happened , why are you crying ?”
The boy was around 5-6 years of age . He licked the tears rolling down from his nose and said , ” All children are enjoying Eid with their parents and I am alone .”
” What happened to your parents , where are they ?” I asked .
” My father was a havaldar and he was shot dead during a terrorist attack .”
“And you mother ?”
“She washes utensils and washes clothes in other people’s homes . Today being Eid there is more work for her , so she is not with me .” The little boy explained .
By now he had become comfortable with my presence .
I asked , ” What would you have done had your father been here ?”
The boy’s eyes lit up in past memories as he said , ” Hold my father’s hand and walk this road .”
I got up and offered my hand to him .
He instantly took it and got up too . The softness of his hands was endearing. With the other hand I wiped his tears . He smiled , and the feeling was heavenly . As we walked towards the Dargah , he was smiling and tears were rolling down my cheeks . I understood what the families of the Indian armed forces and police martyrs go through and how they needed the hand of Muhammad , Ram , Guru Nanak or Christ more than anyone else to make up for the loss of their dear ones . This visit to Kashmir was irrelevant in terms of the green mountains , lakes and the beauty of Kashmir . This visit was a visit of self realisation through the soft and tiny hands of a small boy who was bearing the vagaries of war . This is the concept called India where the uniformed forces play Gods on all corners as they fight infiltrators and terrorists in Kashmir and save innocent lives of the flood effected in Kerala . Jai Hind.