My Red Cheeks

......... the blushing of my face was associated to my nutrition

Mubashir Khadim
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 19 2017 1:20AM | Updated Date: Jun 19 2017 1:20AM
My Red CheeksFile Photo

Something was consuming me within. I could not say it to anybody. Leaving every early morning for my school was not that joyful. I could not afford a vehicle to go to the school. Leaving small early mornings for my coaching center and from there to school was never easy for me. On the way to my coaching center and school, there were more alien people spread over the roads than the ones of my land. They were not from my land. They in no way resembled my own people. I was a child and I never felt safe walking though them. One morning I had to leave for my coaching center earlier. For the first time I wanted to enjoy that early morning breeze in an open air. Walking on the roadside, I saw those venomous eyes gazing at me. They looked too much filled with stamina for I always saw them standing day and night, be it blistering sunshine or snow filled icy roads, they were always with their heavy baggage standing erect. That night I had some hallucinations and nightmares due to which I was feeling suffocated and was badly in need of that open skied breeze. Among those alien forces, I saw one of the hefty personnel uttering some abusive language. Nobody whom I knew was around. I managed to move fast to get out of their reach. As I reached to the gate of my center, I was palpitating. Because of sleepless night, and the hellish encounter that I had, my eyes were blurring and my ankles stuck into the angle iron of the gate beneath and I fell down. After long when I came back to consciousness, I came to know that I was hospitalized. My head was hit by a tipped stone and a lot of blood was lost. Since then I was declared as an anaemic patient for the first time in my life.

After few days I had to join again my studies. I wish I had a brother or father. I was a lone child of my parents and my innocent father who was a farmer was killed in a fake encounter long back.

This time I had to sacrifice my coaching classes. I decided to leave them because their timings stared at dawn. I wanted to become a doctor as I was the only hope of my mother and for that I had to struggle my level best of my own now.

My exams were near and I had rigorously studied to crack them. Only a month before the exams would start, all the valley was seized because someone was killed. It was all turmoil. The condition of my health was also deteriorating. That event of the morning had taken all the energy from me and at times I literally felt dizziness.

One evening I and my mother alone in the kitchen were having dinner and someone started banging our door. We were terrified and within no time I saw some gang of those alien people entering our home. I was shocked to see the same hefty person of that morning with them. He was furious and again in a bad language shouted at me, “run as fast as you can…”

All the notes that I had prepared all these months were lying on the floor and as he approached us, his long muddy boots crushed and ruined them all. One of the personnel among them pulled the main electric wire from the wall and it was all dark. Only a few screams and pleadings and then everything was silent. I and my mother were lying all night unconscious. We did not even want to know whatever happened that night. In the morning when we gathered some courage to stand, we saw many lenses and mikes aiming at us. It was for the first time in our life to be under cameras. I did not understand why all the media was so curious to shoot us. We were yet to cover the ruptured pieces of our garments. We were trembling and wanted to cover ourselves before anything. The show that they were making of our ruined body and chastity reddened our faces. What more embarrassing moment can there ever be for a noble girl than all that was going on. I was not able to face them and answer to those shameless questions. I was blushing. Our drooping eyes were encountering too many flashlights. I again fell down. Next morning we went to file a complaint against the brute forces and we were asked to go for a medical examination before filing any such complaint. It was yet another step for making fun of our modesty. Next day we came to know that all the reports were distorted and proved the guilty innocent.

Late evening I was offering Isha prayers and I heard someone screaming on television set. “…don’t you see how everyone’s cheeks are red and pink there?” he was feeling sorry for no cases of mal-nutrition deaths in here. I recognized his voice and it was the same beast that had ruined our lives. I could not control my tears. His savagery went to the extent that the blushing of my face was associated to my nutrition. I went back to my prayer rug and a gentle wind near my window flew my blood reports of that day to me. I erased my name on them and wrote the name of that beast’s daughter on each leaf of it. I was bursting in tears and fell asleep.