Late that night, her father as usual like the guardian of peace would come out of kitchen to bolt the main gate. His eyes while monitoring the entire edifice, stopped at second floor where Ayisha's bedroom appeared lively. The chandelier was still glowing. He tiptoed to her room. She was fast asleep. Her right hand was overloaded with her chubby cheeks. He was about to switch off the lights, when his eyes caught that little diary. Hesitant to read, his hands wished to grab it, but his mind restricted him. His eyes on one hand were firmly fixed at Ayisha like a jeweler to examine this intricate piece of art, yet on the other his heart longed to read something from her diary.
"Should I take it down and read or run through it hurriedly" , Hassan thought. His fingers reached to a dimmer, anticlockwise motion dimmed the room like his anti clock wish. Ayisha in that dim light appeared like a mushroom with her head out of the quilt and rest of the frame under that silky quilt copious with big red flowers, making her more graceful.
His hands grabbed that diary, hurriedly rolled few pages. A dry Chinar leaf slipped off silently like a feather on the floor. Before he could think of placing it back, his eyes jammed to locate a section: 'We the Subjects'.
Over this once beautiful land, a whirlpool of grief time and again pulls us back to inexplicable depths. Local narrative and media commentary , at least in this part of land never shares a common table. One serves the investor and the other wide open wounds hitherto unaddressed. Entire populace directly or indirectly has been softly targeted. And what makes this part of land a center of learning , it has its tale to share, It is not that the seat of the highest learning has modified its curriculum or that an intellectual wave has influenced one and all, but military terminology has found a permanent shelf in local vernacular. Bullets, pellets, crackdowns, bunkers, encounters, interrogation centers, parades, processions, concertina wire, civil curfew, hartals, protests, barricades, check posts, mine blasts, grenades, stone pelting and the number seems uncountable. The description seems vital, very sublime and, of course a keen observation based on personal experience. The scene of plight no way appears hyperbolic or an experience earned through a pigeon hole situation, but by a normal human eye of a sensitive mind that knows its border. In addition to molestations, rapes, fake encounters, abashing, and a damn sight bruises, this vale has turned to be an ingle where human rights are roasted to serve 'might' that has abduced the very survival.
Hassan would have hardly thought to notice such serious mention by her daughter. He might have thought to read a typical teenager's diary with long wish lists, fanciful pouring, encounter with opposites, favourite actors, players and class room gossips and perhaps her relation with parents and euphoric experiences, utopia dusks with infinite horizon of imaginations,but he was proven wrong. He looked like a cockbrain for the observations were densely loaded with sensitiveness.
He looked at her daughter once again. His eyes had all the love to shower at her.
"Shall I kiss her or read more", he thought.
"No, I would rather explore the sleeping fairy than touch her to disturb her sleep", he resolved.
Rolled few pages, scanned them only to find apt note.
"Yes, here it is", he announced.
Life as they say means submission. Submitting one's will is what they say is Faith... Gowher, a mystery boy again appeared in the class today. Introvert, shy but over sensitive. Who could have thought that such a silent boy would surprise all. Scolded by one and all so often...stupid guy doesn't care for his dignity. On that window side, he would gaze at the Jhelum for hours together as if he was a water deity. He would salute at the flow at times, yet frequently would fix his broad eyes at the bridge. From the class room window he would scan the proceedings at Zainakadal. Perhaps trying to communicate with those who kissed the feet of Jhelum before getting sealed under the soil. His left arm which he occasionally showcase ,had well carved "H" on it. May be of his beloved....we thought.
On that rainy day, he broke in the class when his arm had developed unbearable pain. "H" was apparent.
"Who is this that has chiseled our chest", Shamas sir asked.
He drooped his head, sealed his tongue as if he would never speak again. But then he stood and proudly announced.
"H" is my hero. Hamid Sheikh, a top commander of JKLF,who was martyred for a royal cause.
From next day Gowhar never attended his classes.
Hassan could hardly dare to explore the rest of the pages. Placed the diary at his place but not before spoiling the dry leaf under his stout feet. Switched off the light, he slipped out with heavy heart, decided not to open the monster of Ayisha. But before retiring to his bed, he was able to take a photograph from another section: Fancy flying.
The noisy leaves trying hard to find rhyme, occasionally broken by mournful cries of forlorn mothers watching their kids being carried to graves after exhausting the last drop of blood from their warm bodies. Those sub standard notes of dove proclaiming ' defence' and promoting 'defiance ' vibrating like a newly cracked egg shell out of which a verve of future bird yodelling a song of its origin luring a mother hen for that first grain to be pushed ahead. The watchful eagle from tree top like a soldier on a bamboo tower on that imaginary political line 'border' to stop infiltration under the shadow of ammunition, unlike the eagle wishing to grab a soft morsel down the tree. From the front window of this little room embedded with walnut carvings and latticework, a breeze from orange tree kissing these nostrils, making the cheeks to stretch for that scent of oranges was giggling my over occupied mind, forcing the nerve endings to shoot at the skull. A flirting flick from tress licking the cheek line like a new born babe licking whatever comes on his way, irritating his mother like a sparrow that surpasses iron grid fixed on the base of wooden frame of window to get a grain when you are in the middle of short story looking to touch the pinnacle before 'fall of action'.
Next morning the trash of chinar tree revealed everything. Ayisha was curious to know , but only carried her disturbed mind at breakfast table.
"Baba, I want a key of my bedroom, I need it to be locked", she demanded.