Ah! those were the days
Zia Darakshan It is an irony that conflict zones never find place in the imagination of a poets poetry, but it can duly accommodate in his obituaries boldly inscribed on the graves, (along with the date of birth and reason of death), surrounded with rows of purple and golden daffodils carelessly sprout beneath the graveyards. Everything here is shadowed by the pessimistic side of life that tells a tale of sorrow and grief, be it air, water, seasons, music, chirping of birds, wavering of paddy fields. Every move giving out the fear of unknown, every eye bleeds, every chest beaten to knock the locked doors but it does not open the frozen doors. The atmosphere of such places is engulfed with a strange kind of silence as if announcement of tsunami anytime. The seasons come and pass without letting anyone know about their arrival and departure. When winter clothes come out of the closet and when they get dumped back in closed trunks for next season, similarly when rain coats and cotton wear cover our naked bodies and when they again land in closets, one hardly gets to know. Its only when the skin dries up and moisturizes back, perhaps it gives a clue about the change of the season. Locked behind the concertina wires, these people watch similar dreams. Roaring of guns, bombs and bullets and encounters. Children here don’t play rugby or cricket, but they play war games where they make artificial battle ground and fire with wooden sticks disguised for guns. Mornings and evenings here are different. First ray of morning doesn’t announce the arrival of a new day but it makes its way through the old and frail wrinkles of those hopeless eyes that cry for yet another disappointment. Likewise, as the sun hides leaving behind the gloomy orange color, it tells the tale of a caged bird caught by the cruel hunter. While as flowers and fruits do bloom here, but they lack fragrance, the essential quality, neither do they freshen up our five senses nor do they excite our appetite. They smell of some burnt gasket or chemical that only brings tears down our eyes. This world is devoid of any color, since this world is not familiar with colors, the only color known to this miser world is the color of red rose. Although red is characteristic of flowers, but here it represents as identification of each door and window,just like the ink spilled/drenched from the pen of an obituary writer. The water here also has a different effect (taseer)on the throat. The more you are thirsty, the more you desire to quench it. Nevertheless, to say a drop of water is enough to moist the throat. However, even if you drink water in gallons or whole ocean the water will stuck on throat like a thorn of cactus wildly grown in a desert. My early years of childhood never saw conflict around. I was lucky enough to have a happy childhood. I always had small dreams like any other child of my age. But then, I grew up so did my dreams, I opened my eyes when I was conscious enough to recognize conflict around me. Whenever, I recollect my early childhood memories I get rejuvenated like a second life after death. My best memories still haunt me, not like a witch or a demon, but like Ah! Those were the days. Author Bio: Zia Darakshan is journalist from Srinagar Kashmir with over a decade of experience in newspaper, electronic and cyber journalism. She is Engaged in giving concept and writing script for television and radio ad for corporate sectors, also into documentary making.