The Eyes Of Dusk

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
We are two civil engineers based in kashmir trying to metamorphose in conflict writings.

Submitted: November 21, 2016

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Submitted: November 21, 2016



The Eyes of Dusk

"All the boys of our village are deciding to stage protests at the main Chowk in the evening", said Fatima Aunty beginning a daily routine of discussions about the “tehreek”.

“Why should they not? It is our movement.” Rahim khan spoke with air of pride.

“Khoday karinakh hifazat, watnaayinakh anjaamas.” Fatima Aunty said turning her face towards Qiblah and her hands in a concavity of belief.

“These boys are determined; it is a matter of days for freedom.”

The aura around whole room was such lively as if it was war room of General Rahim Khan and Lt. Fatima.

Fayaz Ahmed, the host to this conversation was listening to every word while reciting some prayers to keep bad spirits away from home. In between he would talk and it would be sober talk about how badly they injured the boys and elderly alike.

“See Rahim Sahib, the point is who doesn’t need azaadi, I think everyone does but that elite class hiding behind walls too protected are the ones who drain our momentum by their false claims every time.”, mutters the host in midst of slogans outside.

Away from this everyday routine conversation is Mashal, Fayaz’s daughter whose college has remained shut since months now overhearing the guests and host.

“Saani mohallik hind ladke tit chi aasaan juloosas”, Fatima began hiding tears. “vuni gaes reat paith wapis yin”

While Mashal was making tea, she could not escape a blush resulting of emotions from this conversation. Her face red like the apples she had broken off from the trees along the rivulet yesterday. He was accompanying her to the rivulet always.

It was always calm around that stream these days. No one sat along its banks. Not even the street urchins who would smoke a joint here. He was her doorway to soul, with whom her dreams would coincide in this world of parallelises.

Around that time everyday their sojourn would begin tracking one another first, then discussing Begum Akhtar, Pablo Neruda, Faiz and Azaadi till it was time for evening raids of police. The only thing that separated the birds was the sound of a police siren amidst this silence.

Sohrab never knew the meaning of silence. To him it was absence of sound, Mashal would differentiate silences. This silence is gloom, she told him the other day, and in past it used to be serene.

Sohrab was a handsome boy in his twenties, studying engineering and presently in his fourth and final year. His interest in art made Mashal interested in him. Their relation was fundamentally based on art. That made it stronger every passing day. Mashal was a year elder to Sohrab and the story of her witty tantrums had reached far beyond this small mohalla.

“Things are going in favour of Kashmir. Our leaders are not bending before state.” Said Fayaz ahmed while passing on the tea to guests from the silver coated hands of Mashal.

“Papa, I need to go out. I feel suffocated.”

“Sure but please be back early, you know how worried we become.”

With words of goodbye she left the main gate towards the fields between which lies the small but gushing stream of her dreams.

She didn't know if he would be there as she didn't ask him to be there. Her instinct however made her believe he would be sitting by the brook with two apples beside him.

Mashal knew and was proud of Sohrab for fighting like that for his nation. She, like him was herself a lover of azaadi. Once, while sitting by the water, when Sohrab asked her about the things she would want to do if she were to die next day, she had said that she wanted to protest and take part with him in stone pelting.

But today as she was moving towards the river, her heart suddenly felt very heavy and she was sad, melancholy filled up her soul and she wanted to be selfish for just once.

With all these things in her mind, she reached the spot and Sohrab was sitting there and like a small child, was throwing pebbles in the water and probably thinking about something. Mashal stopped for a moment and looked at him. There however were no apples by his side. Apples or no apples, his sight made her blush endlessly.

Here there was sitting the love of her life. She wanted to stop him from going anywhere. He was like her grammy. Her only possession in this time of uncertainty, she didn’t want to lose him from her sight.

This was like a painting, but with colours so unreal one would say the artist had been duped by rangrez. But none of this mattered to her as long as he was there, little knowing fake colours had little life on canvas.

But she held back, she held back her words and her tears and approached him. He turned and smiled. She smiled back. “You came? How did you know I wanted to see you?"

 He smiled his beautiful smile and said, “there is this telepathy between hearts." That was Sohrab and his words for Mashal.

 If ever anyone asked her what did she fall in love with, in him the most? She would right away say, “his words, always his words."

"I too am going in the evening protests", he said.

"I know," said mashal. She had hardly finished her sentence that tears started rolling down her cheeks and she said,"I'm afraid Sohrab. Please don't go. What if something will happen to you. I haven't imagined my life without you."

 He held her close and hugged her and said," I will be back till dawn, we will be just protesting. You don't need to worry. I'll come back and I will not only come back but I will marry you and we will have our beautiful children and together we will live in our freed nation happily ever after." Sohrab was always like this, always thinking about the future, his vision for their uncertain future was quite strong and certain.

 These words made her smile a little but she knew there was no 'happily ever after' in Kashmir. She smiled at him and whispered these lines of her favourite poet, Keats, in his ears," I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days -- three such days with you I could fill with more delight that fifty common years could ever contain." It was evening, Mashal's time to go home and Sohrab's time for protests. They had to part their ways. As Sohrab made his way to the main Chowk, Mashal called him from his back,"Sohrab." He turned, smiled and waved.

It was dusk and as Saki tells us everything at dusk is more deception than anything else, so was the smile. His eyes smelled of blood, his ears upsearching for signal of death.

“Don’t go”, cried the eyes on the other side, hidden by the infinite colours of the dusk.

This brook would bear witness to the deception dusk had to offer today.

Boo-boo-boo..., announced the evening raids in this mohalla.

The sight of those brown beautiful eyes was the last thing that stayed in her mind.

Two days later, Sohrab returned as he had promised but this time only he was carried by thousands others. He came back with his bullet ridden body, organs missing and dead. He came back tortured. That day Mashal didn't insist him to promise to come back alive. She somehow deep in her heart knew he was gone. All her neighbours had already sacrificed their sons, husbands and brothers. She knew today it was her turn. That's why she called him back that day, to have one last look at those loving and sparkling eyes.

The dreams of a future were fired upon once and for all, oh sorry perhaps pelleted upon who knows.

Mashaal, the very next moment took the parcham in her hand to fulfil what her doorway to soul couldn’t.

Who knows maybe someday someone would take the parcham from her, till then she might become a name in the hall of martyrs.



By Suhaila Anjum and Naveed Ul Hassan

Students of NIT Srinagar

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