Alive for a Hope


Amir came running from inside towards his father, who was laying on a torn mat spread outside. Amir’s innocently lit face with dry red cheeks made him the cutest of all kids. Amir with his hands round his waist, in full demanding voice and upset look said “Baba, why haven’t you bought a lock? Mother had countless times requested you, but you .. . ”
“Now, somebody has to stay at home guarding ,while rest of us will attend the function”
He deliberately used “us” as he was quite overexcited to enjoy, for Amir’s cousin sister was supposed to get engaged.
Amir’s father, Rafiq who was little busy with his handicraft job, looked compassionately towards Amir, he smiled and said “Don’t worry, I would stay back, you and your Mother merry, and do get me a Rista(meat-ball)”
Amir, just like any other minor loved to dress up and flaunt himself among others. When Amir returned with hand clutched to her mother’s Dupatta(head-scarf), he called out to his father, “Look, how I was looking, everybody praised me , they kissed me all along,”
Rafiq, was a proud father,he loved his son more than anything, he worked hard to give a normal life to his family.
Elusive to mention his efforts.
It was dinner time, all sat to relish a part of Kashmiri cuisine at their home,on their
Dastarkhwan. Amir ate up whatsoever came onto his plate, and now it was time to plead his father for a piece of Kabab out of his own share.
Rafiq, benevolently ,without uttering a word, shared out.
Amir was used to falling asleep before moving to bed. His father mildly, picked him up in his arms and tucked him in bed. Even Amir’s mother detested the way Rafiq pampered Amir, but after all he was a Father whose son was beloved to him.
Amir wakes up to calls of her mother, she is shouting “Amir, wake up , it’s fajr time, wake up”
Amir rubbed his eyes, and right away he realized , yet again, another dream with my father.
“I miss you Baba” he sighed.
He over again, made a Dua “Ya Allah! Send us a message, about my Baba” he prayed amid sobs. “If he is alive or….”
“Alive or dead,let us know”
Amir sat for next half an hour on a prayer rug pleading and praying for a Hope.
Rafiq has disappeared 7 months ago. He was picked up by armed Gunmen from his home with a promise to be freed once interrogation is done. Since then, he hasn’t travelled back to home, to Hug and kiss countlessly his son, to be back on his handicraft job, to be a loving father.
Amir’s mother has turned up to support their living by doing menial jobs. Amir by the grace of Allah is studying in a nearby local school free of cost, counting his brilliance for the matter of fact. Rafiq’s mother lost her eyesight few months later he disappeared and subsequently she lost the battle of life, leaving the duo to linger under immense debt making it hard up for Amir’s mother to meet up the demands.

~Shaila Mir


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