Summary: The story of an unspeakable agony.
Genre: Free verse
(Editor’s Note: The author lives in India- administered Kashmir. This poem is based on an incident in which the Indian army allegedly brutally gang-raped two women who were then murdered. One of the women was pregnant).
Rated: MA (subject matter)
Word Count: 711
“They were not two; I too was with them.” This is a painful story of a child murdered inside the womb of his mom. An unborn child, yet to know what it meant to be ‘being alive’, was killed. This part of life – the pre-natal phase, normally when unborn babies in other parts of the world experience simply physical growth – he had to bear as a trauma.
It was a dreadful night when he, along with his mother and his teenage aunt, was to meet his end. His sobs don’t let me sleep, and he keeps asking me, “Why did it happen to me? Why?” I have no answers. Honestly, I don’t!
He was yet to be born, but he heard his mother’s heartbeats and felt her pain. He knew that his mother had been thinking about her coming life and waiting for the day when he would be born, to call her ‘moujee’. Her day started praying for his health and she went into the lands of slumber, thanking Allah for him. He tells me how his aunt would be scared at night, even inside her house, and how horrendous would that ugly night have been to her. She was a child, he mocks at her killers. A child!
This baby, who is dead now, narrates their story of misery, which sends shivers down my soul. I am told of a death which came so slow, that its pain was so extreme, even the dying wanted a mercy from the Lord that it came sooner. Now his smiles reflect in his tears as this angel went back from where he had come – heaven. He keeps on coming back to me, to us, seeking answers for questions, which our brothers and sisters living there with him want to have. Their sighs patiently wait till their tears ask, “Till when do we die with the sword of cruelty and poison of disgrace? We want it no more.” He keeps on coming back.
He sings his own lullabies and sang one to me:
My angel, my mom, with her ‘wings’, I travelled
Far to the blissful lands of sunshine unraveled
I saw with her eyes and together we smiled
Now her dreams are frozen and all her hopes shattered
My aunt was so young, she played with me
She loved to call herself ‘a birdie so free’
And one day the monsters wiped all off,
My mouj and aunt Asiya, and with them, ‘me’
They ran for their lives, she ( mouj) did more for me
The monsters so cruel; little knew we
They took them to thorns in the black of night
Screeching, the moon hid in pain and in fret
I heard their cries. I heard their woes
Vampires kept drinking blood and roaring like foes
For they knew not the lingo of my homeland!
That of honor and that of pride
Though they stole all the fragrance my angels had,
Their wings they burnt. But to paradise we led.
Now my angels sing to me, the hymns of my land
Those of sufferings and sorrow; but all of pride
I ask my aunt the meaning of life.
Surprised, she replies, “I was too young to know
My age too tender, my heart yet to glow.”
“This girl,” I asked, “Do word my tale of cries”,
Visiting her dreams in her haunted eyes.
She smiles to me in the sleepless nights,
“You were too blessed to fly to paradise.”
Promises me revenge for our hapless story
Ah! She cries, praying for our glory
Only thing that hurts in her elegy
That my mom dreamt of days with dad and me
Of dawn and the moon forever to be
But the cruel hands of my killers snatched life from ‘we’,
We were going home, which ceased so to be
We are going home. We are coming back to thee,
We are coming back to thee!!