A vignette from the merciless occupation of Kashmir by Haseeb Abdullah:

“A day before the mobile phones could ring in Kashmir, a researcher from AMU landed in the valley to see if his kiths and kins are alive. He had not talked to his siblings for long.

As he reached the home, he came to know about the tragedy that had fallen.

At his home, they had a labourer working in their apple orchards for decades. He had fallen sick and was shifted to a Srinagar hospital.

As the the patient was not recovering, a person was sent to his home to inform his five daughters at Shopian.

The patient meanwhile was shifted elsewhere.

The daughters came to see their father next day in the morning but could not find him. They searched the hospital and tried to locate him in other hospitals for the whole day. They did not find him.

The Kashmir was under commumication blockade and no contacts could be established.

Late in the evening, the grief stricken daughters returned home in despair and pain.

They were stopped at many places by the heavily armed men of the Indian state. Every checkpoint was delaying their return. Freighted, but they travelled.

As they reached home, they found a sea of mourners there. It was sobs and cries everywhere. Women were yelling. Sadness has taken over and everyone was in shock.

They saw the simmering scenes around and cried aloud. What has happened? Please let us know, they screamed.

‘Your father had died’, a woman told with a loud cry. He was taken home in the morning but you had left by then.

Five daughter had lost their father.

Where is my father? said the younger one. He is in the grave, responded a painful voice.

We waited for the full day, but you did not return,. It was too late and we laid him in the grave.

The daughters could not have the last glimpse of their father.

It was the sea of pain and my friend was crying.

God, End this miserable occupation, he prayed!”

–Haseeb Abdullah