Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Silent Tears

Hamid tossed in bed just like every night and tried to fall sleep. He could clearly hear the ticking of the bedside clock as the minutes dragged on. He turned over to see his wife Mahtab sleeping next to him and his one year old son Mohsin in the crib by her side. Mahtab had come to UK just over two years back from Pakistan and Mohsin came in the world 10 months later. He was the apple of their eyes, a sweet and bubbly child, full of laughter.


Mahtab stirred and in a sleepy voice said " Not able to sleep? Should we go to the doctor? Are the dreams still haunting you?"
He said " There is nothing a Doctor can do, you go back to sleep, It is nearly time for Namaz."
Mahtab's brows creased with worry, she checked on Mohsin and slipped back under the covers. 
Hamid got up from the bed silently and started to prepare for the morning prayers. After his prayers he sat near the window with a cup of tea and waited for the sun to rise. 


The sun rose behind the trees behind the Apricot trees and Hamid could hear the hustle and bustle of the market close to his house. He saw people going about their work, women off to the bazaar to haggle with the vendors. He saw his mother serving green tea, Roht and Apricots to his father before he left for work. His mother beckoned him to come and have breakfast, Hamid got up from his chair and moved towards his mother. On the way, he stubbed his leg on the sofa and the image of his father and mother evaporated in front of his eyes. His eyes searched in vain but realised that it was just a dream, he was not in Kabul anymore but far away in a foreign land. 


Hamid went to check on Mahtab and Mohsin who were sleeping peacefully oblivious to the storm raging in his mind. He had not been able to sleep for quite some time, the doctors called it post traumatic stress disorder and said that he was suffering from extreme anxiety.


How could he let go?  How could he forget that fateful night? Every time he closed his eyes he could see the faces of his family floating in front of them. They called out to him and whispered in his ears. His sisters putting Henna on their hands, his younger brother flying a kite on the terrace, mother making his favourite food Lavash and Qorma. His father engrossed in account books and his grandmother chopping vegetables. 


Hamid was a student at the University, he wanted to be an Architect and design beautiful buildings. Life was so carefree and full of promise, and then everything fell apart. The bombs started falling, destroying everything in its wake. The whole city became a battle ground with gun fire and mortar shells, the dust and the smoke. Hamid's uncle lived in Pakistan, his father decided to move the entire family there before the border closed down. They made preparations for the dangerous journey, food was packed, jewellery and cash was hidden in the bundles, clothes were sorted and a vehicle was arranged for the journey to the border into Peshawer. 


They were to leave at dawn the next morning, the entire family tried to rest in the night and get ready for the tiring day ahead. Hamid was restless, he was unable to sleep, he got up and stepped outside the house to take a last look at the city he loved so much. He walked towards the Apricot trees in the back garden and looked up at the Moon. He could hear gun fire in the distance and the 'thump', thump' of bombs exploding on the other side of the city. 


Suddenly he heard a deafening boom, Hamid was thrown to the ground. He got up on shaky legs and saw a big hole in the roof of his home. The trees near the house were on fire, the windows had blown apart. He ran towards the house, his feet crunching on broken glass, Hamid called for his family, he screamed out their names till his voice was hoarse, no one answered. He could see the moon through the roof now, he hastily ran to his parents room and saw that a whole wall had caved in where the bed was, he ran to the room where his sisters slept and found them lying on their bed as if still asleep. He shook them, cried out their names but he knew that they were never going to wake up from this sleep. His brother's room was next to his parents and Hamid could never forget the scene of mayhem. Now, Mansoor will never ask him for money, to buy kites ever again. 


These images kept flashing in front of his eyes, his entire family wiped out in a single night in front of his eyes. Try as he might, Hamid could never forget them, he still mourned their death, he wondered why he was still alive, he had no answers, he just let the silent tears fall from his heart.


P.S: This is a work of fiction. I was inspired to write this story after speaking to an Afghani friend. Her husband lost his brother after a bomb hit their home in Kabul. Such stories make me feel so small and petty for ranting on things which are hardly significant, especially so when you get to meet survivors and listen to their stories.

39 comments:

Prateek said...

A very lovely and touching story.... period!

A question - How many bombs you think this story will stop?

Gyanban said...

You can say that again.

We lead such transactional lives,the we have become numb to the mayhem all around us.until one one day it hits us..or we come across people who are victims. We will forget our rants for some time...but eventually get back to our ignorant transactional lives...justifying..'what can I do about it ?

Chatterbox said...

Wonderful narration LP :)

That was indeed a thought provoking note, that when we come across something of this magnitude all our rants and bickering sound so meaningless and petty.

Keep up the wonderful work :D

Cheers!!

Kavita M said...

I had a lump in my throat by the time I reached the end of the story.

Very well written!

savvy said...

Wars and battles cause huge damages and the common people are the sufferers. . But still i believe sometimes wars are necessary to maintain law and order. .

shweta h m said...

very touchy... It happens all most everyday somewhere in some corner of the world.. Someone loses someone dear to them.. Whose fault, why, for whom,these questions will be unanswered forever...

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Bombs in Afghanistan. We see in TV. Change channel.

Bombs in our own country. We get nervous. We talk for couple of days. Then, Life goes on.

Unfortunately, if it strikes us, it linges for a long time in the memory. (if we survive to live or if it strikes our dear ones)

Inshort, we have become "used to" terrorism. We are becoming "used to" the mayhem. We are slowly insensitive to another's plight still it strikes us.

Pins N Ashes said...

Ahaaaaaa! I just could feel the pain...and remembered the thousand splendid suns..

Darsh said...

A beautiful piece of work. Reminded me of the stories by Khaled Hosseni. Painful to realize how different their worlds are from ours shrouded in constant agony and fear.

Smita said...

Vineeta this is such a well written story and touches a chord! Seriously it is easy to talk abotu terrorism et al but someone who has really faced it really knows what he/ she goes thru!!!

Anjali said...

Such a touching story. Very nicely written.

karan a said...

Hey nice built up...nicely narrated... very touching indeed!

Giri said...

Great story, Lazy Pineapple!
Beautifully narrated.

harshavardhini said...

Truly reminds me of books written by Khaled Hosseni....

Magic Quill said...

Poignant&touching...We don't realize the value of the ordinary lives we live until we come across such incidents.

The knife said...

Wow... you know I often feel the same these days. When I hear about the fire at Stephen Court, the peope who dies at Bangalore...the Polish President ... as my wife write when we went to the Red Cross Museum, 'Leaving to have the life we have'.

Though I still crib about the traffic, bunking maids, stale bread...

FuNk PRieSt said...

touching story.... nice narration...

bollywoodstylediaries said...

very beautifully written..with so much violence in movies/video games, we have become so indifferent o the ones happening in reel life:( stories like this reminds us how lucky we are and how we should say a prayer for those out there who dont make it..

Lazy Pineapple said...

Prateek: Thanks :)
As long as humans remain greedy, these bombs will never stop falling.

Gyanban: Hmmm true, but atleast it gives us a pause to think about where we are and what we are as humans...

Chatterbox : Thanks dear:)

Kavita: Thanks :)

Savvy: Agreed that some battles need to be fought but it is always the innocent who suffer the most in these wars.

Shweta: true...my friend has no answers and when I asked her why is her family still back there, she said where will they go after all it is their own country :(

Lakshmi: yes, our eyes have become so used to such sights we forget that there are humans who are suffering...

Lazy Pineapple said...

PNA: Thanks:)

Darsh: Very true...after my talk with the afghani friend I was disturbed and tried to put myself in her shoes...it was just inconceivable..

Smita : Thanks dear :) It was horrifying to hear my friends story...she narrated to me as a matter of fact whereas my stomach was twisted in knots.

Anju: Thanks sis :)

Karan: Thanks :)

Giri: Thank you so much :)

Harsha: I am thrilled that my story reminded you of khaled hosseini...

Magic Quill: So true and when you meet people with stories, they really shake you to the core.

Funk Priest: Welcome to my blog :) and thanks...

Sonali : Thanks:) I totally agree with you...we forget how blessed we are till the time we meet someone who has seen the worst part of life.

Vyazz said...

Wonderful writing. Yeah in psychiatry, we are taught about post traumatic stress disorder.
Nevertheless, in more ways than one, mental traumas are a lot harder to heal than physical ones.
And in many cases people are usually scarred for life.
With the right support, such scars can heal, but then again, not everyone is that fortunate. And most end up living a life a dreadful insecurity and personal uncertainty.

indianhomemaker said...

Sad and beautifully told. Reminded me of 'Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'. I wonder how long would it be before Afghanistan finds peace...

Mr. Stupid said...

A touching story with beautiful narration. Its sad to loose a family. War never ends in happiness. Its high time people realize that!

Have a good day...:)

Sweta said...

very touching... just like a true story

good work :)

Rohan said...

Really touching story. .
Its true terrorism, bombs and martyrs remain alien to us unless and untill it happens to someone we know. .

Rajlakshmi said...

that is such a touching story... the atrocities done there is unpardonable. well narrated

Swathi Pradeep said...

Nice one!
Pls check my comics blog:
http://swathipradeep-comics.blogspot.com

Lazy Pineapple said...

Vyazz: Thanks :) Physical wounds heal but something imprinted on your mind stays forever..

IHM: Welcome to my blog :) Thanks so much..

Mr. Stupid: Some wars are necessary but most times innocent people get killed in them...

Sweta: Welcome :) and thank you..

Rohan: Welcome :) and thanks...

Rajlaxmi: Thanks dear :)

Swathi: Welcome :) yes I do check your blog...

Shilpa Garg said...

A very poignant story, wonderfully narrated. :)

Nish said...

I also read a real life incident about an afghani boy which quite moved me in the same way your post did...

Ungrateful maniacs we are LP!

AmitL said...

Quite touching, LP..and,reminiscent of the times we live in. :)Let me ask-humorous experience coming up next?

Sharmila Ganguly said...

Very moving. Please convey my sympathies to your Afghani friend.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Shilpa: Thank you so much...

Nish: You said it right....we forget or blessings.

Amit: Thanks...Will try to write something humorous soon..

Sharmila: Thanks...I will do that...

Farila said...

Though you call it fiction it could well be a fact..
Recently a pic in our paper where soldiers were shown firing on civilians from a helicopter really made me very sad....
when will everyone be considered a human being ? Now it seems like only the citizens of developed nations are having precious lives in their bodies

Lazy Pineapple said...

Farila: Yes it must be true...
third world countries are always at the mercy of developed nations...it is a sad fact..

The Solitary Kid said...

That region has a tragic history...but things are finally starting to look up;and I hope it's for the better.

Someone mentioned it earlier,but I'm strongly reminded of Hosseini's-A thousand splendid suns.

Anyway,great piece of writing :D

Shankha said...

Nice story! Nice narration!

Meera said...

Hi This was really touching! Thanks for writing about this country that has been war ravaged.

Rajendra Raikwar said...

I will surely come back for more

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