Wrote this story today…Hope you like it,and yes,you might think the story’s ended before it actually has,so read the entire thing!
The sound of guns had receded.The hills were now silent. The sky had no birds.The war had ended. So had
the village. Only the punctured houses reminded of something wrong. Twelve miles away on the other side of the hill was a different world. People, mostly women,
children and some old men.They had been in the camp for a week now,the village still considered unsafe to return,after heavy bombing by militants and army retaliation. A few children played
hide and seek.Rukhsana,around 18, sat there,unmoved. Her eyes were deep, as if they hid a whole
world in them. She was fair,as were ofcourse most other Kashmiri
girls.Yet,something set her apart from the rest.Perhaps that was why her father used to boast about her beauty,”Hoor hai meri Rukhsana.. ek hoor hai..”.Angel,my rukhsana is an angel.
She wore an old robe which covered her almost completely.
Both her parents had died the previous Sunday when she had gone to fetch water and her house was hit by a shell. She almost died herself that night.Crying.The
tears had almost dried out.She knew most of the people there. But she hardly talked
now.No one did.A week back, the whole village was her own.Now..
The day passed on.That morning, a young man had come to
the camp. He was in his mid twenties. A lean tall
man,he wore a pagdi,
traditional among the shepherds. He did not smile.Hardly gave an expression.
He had a flock of 40 sheep and had been roaming in these forests with them for three days. Yesterday, he had been in the village.No one lived in the village anymore to tell the story but the houses did.In these three
days he had met just 7 people. He saw her in a minute.Both of them had seen each other before,when he had come at the village bazaar,but never had the courage to talk.All through the day they hardly made eye contact. Deep within,her heart was fluttering.It had been love at first sight for her.
They did not talk with each other during the day, yet,she sensed why he was there.
The wait for the night was way too long. The sun did not seem to move all
day. Finally, the moon was in it’s full glow. The wolves cried deep inside the forest.
The crickets made clicking noises. The camp was absolutely still.
Even the children were asleep. The sky was dark with no stars.It was all open
and clear.The moon did not want to hide that night. It
wanted to see them.
Rukhsana knew exactly where he was. Her eyes might not have spoken a
word, but they could see it all.He huddled his sheep, moved
across the camp passing by her. She stepped out behind the sheep. She was,as if,one of them; following the
master wherever he led without questioning why.Three hours later, they were
4 miles from the camp. She stepped out from behind the sheep.Came close to him. She smiled for the first time in the last seven days. He was here.Gulmarg was here. Summer was here. The flowers in the
valley looked at them, the moon did, the stars shone.
They sat in the full view of the moon in each other’s arms.
Then,out of nowhere,gunfire broke out…She screamed,turning around saw him hit by a bullet.Two.And then suddenly the gunfire stopped…The camp’s beat officer came up to them.
“Atankvadi se pyar karti hai?”
Love a terrorist,don’t you?
They dragged him away.The hills were no longer silent.
She did not stop screaming.