Dark! Her eternal mate… it has to be. That radiance of day makes her eyes squint, weakens her knees, mirrors her helplessness and all the more reflects that dark time of the bright day which was now eloped with the past.
Night, though chill, was soothing to her soul. She would build the mountains of dreams whole night knowing that they would be thwarted by the dawn. No Regrets. These moments are mine.
She was nine when those events came over as flashes and defeated her innocence, transforming her into something completely new she never liked. Whatever I was, I was happy. Unaware of the reality. Those were the days of my life.
As soon as her school would announce the halt, she would gush out the entrance with the spurting stream of kids. She never liked those moron teachers. The savages! But she loved this part of coming home, swinging, jumping, hurling stones at the sleeping dogs through the way. You cowards! , she would chuckle at her mates. Look at you! You are trembling .you will have a heart attack the moment the dog will look at you.
Like an unprecedented victory, she would burst the door open and scream, “Ammmiiii! did you make that Halwa for me I told you the morning?’’
‘’ Yell at your Abba and Ask him to bring enough sugar so that I can feed you your delicacies without leaving a day. He is growing lazier every day.’’
‘’ Why? What would you do with your belly growing like a football, why can’t you go outside and bring it yourself’’, She squalled with higher pitch this time.
‘’Hehe !, you were also like a football inside me before you came to this world. Now you are a little monster. I fear he will be like you pestering me.’’
What a Character My Mother is!
She would hide her widening grin and rush to the mirror and stare at her silhouette for hours. My brother! Like me. Halwa would now seem to disappear behind the mirror and in the thoughts of that tiny Character.
The days were flourishing, fraternity booming, until the day came.
Her father hurried to the door. ‘’They are coming. Hindus! They will kill you both. I am going outside to fight for the Muslims and locking the door from outside. Don’t let any voice go out of this door.’’
‘’Nooo.. Pleaseeee stay with us. Let them come. We will die together..listen…’’
Her mother’s voice vaporised in the polluted air outside filled with shrill cries as she heard the door locked in a flash.
It was an instant later that she realised how frail that door was, when a mob of giant figures appeared in the room smashing it to the pieces. One of the giants dragged to her, grabbed her tiny shoulders as her mother shrieked to the trembling of walls. ‘’leave her, leave my daughter pleasssseee. She is hinduu!! I have adopted her from the Rupram Asharam. I swear to my Allahh. Pleassssee.’’
The giant ‘s sceptical eyes looked into hers, his greed and thirst ,hot blood pouring out of them with the surge of anger. She was no behind. She, like a fortress, gazed back at those fiery eyes. He threw her to the floor and ranged towards her mother. Her mother cried,’’ Run my Noor, tell each of them that you are a Hindu. Tell them without fear. They will save you. Runnn!! ‘’
She protested like she always had. Whyyyy! She kept her legs frozen until her mother’s piercing voice deafened her ears. She ran outside, leaned behind the door to hear those voices. Devils. Those wild Characters! She could hear them all along with her mother. Her mother cried to the hell until a sound came .. familiar to her.. like a sword being stabbed into a football. That sound was not loud at all, but it made her deafened, her eyes blind, her legs numb. She hated the silhouette of her shadow in that light. All of a sudden,She collapsed to the floor in the darkness.
Lying in the dark, she had shaken that bed with the thought. The scenes were as vivid as they have been always in her mind, at the front. Four years now. I am 13 years old . Alive. Being saved by a Hindu. How long shall these moments remain young, alive in my mind, killing me everyday?
As she was groping her thoughts in the blindness, she heard the rumbling of steps coming to the room. She jolted up in the bed upright.
‘’What? What are you doing awake this late dear?’’
‘’I wanted to tell you something for long.’’
‘’Yes?’’, the voice seemed concerned.
‘’ It haunts me every night that you saved me because you thought I was a Hindu. No, I am a Muslim!’’, She confessed.
She gazed back at those eyes like a fortress, looking for hot blood pouring out, a thirst, finding those wild Characters. But the eyes remained calm, staring in hers, studying them until water filled those eyes making them wet. He clasped her into his arms and brought her head to his chest. ‘’ You are not a Muslim or Hindu. You are my daughter, my blood!!’’ A fury shuddered through his body like a storm had been called upon again and he shut his eyes tightly to suppress it down, deep within, never to unveil it further. A daughter whom he had lost four years ago was visible to him now. Those vulnerable eyes, that fear of getting raped and killed.
She released herself into his arms, burst into tears and let herself flow with them. She no longer wanted to wonder how this world was filled with varied Characters. Caring, pure like Moon and Stars, Innocent like unborn babies, and Wild, Brutal like beasts! She wanted to fill her dry eyes, to glow her days again and trust this Character, whoever he was. ‘’ My father!’’, she slid herself into a peaceful sleep.
This Story is inspired by the events happened in Gujarat Riots 2002.