A Half Widow

Shehjar Online
Youth Sections
"The Braves Arise "
When the house was ready for the party and I just dressed my barbie in a golden shimmer dress, a rebel came from behind, fired a bullet at my barbie and then went on to destroy her house, shouting, 'Encounter! Encounter!'. What?, looking at the sight where my hard work was destroyed in seconds, I threw my dressed up barbie at the heap and started crying loudly; that too at heart and ran to Aunty. Listening to my sorrowed tale, aunty in anger shouted, 'Hamza...Hamzaaa..' and there entered the gunman. Aunty questioned him about the destruction that he just had created and confidently he answered, 'the enemies were suspected being in that house and it was my mission to kill them'. This line probably narrates his state of mind. Though he was reprimanded for such actions and all attempts were made to help him understand the evil behind destruction, he never considered the words and had a fixed ideology.

We grew up together, played together, fought beyond limits and lived through the carefree days together and somewhere in between there blossomed love and we already had fallen deep for one another; devoid of knowing! When we became aware of the notion, life turned even more beautiful. Between this love and positivity there however was always a distraction and that was the part of his thinking that consisted of the obsession for the weapons, enemies, winning and the like. The only reason of fighting and tug between us, was his thought process of such a kind. Since we were the children of those parents who happened to be the best of the friends, we knew our love would face no restrictions and all we needed was to establish our self firmly. To me, at that moment, life was going beautifully smooth. It indeed was a bliss to breathe.

During the second year at the university, one day I saw Hamza hanging with some strange fellows. The first look itself was disgusting and at least to me narrated much of the negativity of the company. When, in the evening I enquired about them from him, he reluctantly said that they were his friends and when I expressed my disgust, he sounded offended. This was the moment, I resolved to spy and enquire personally and reach the core. Within a week, I came to know that they were all trained militants. It was like a cloud-burst over my head, knowing Hamza's mentality, the expected results of the synergy already had banged my head to a cold-sweat and goose-bums to my body. At it we had constant fights and I could feel his attraction and growing obsession towards those people. And to end my bliss once for all, after the last tuft I had with him, his mom called me crying, said the police took him away at midnight... maybe to enquire about his friends...

That was the exact moment, my life from being a bliss shifted to a constant struggle. The sole aim of my life became to find him, locate him and find him back. The zeal and enthusiasm of my youth, the wit of my maturity and the hope of my old age all has been invested in the search that I undertook without any break. They say, when nothing remains, hope still exists. I, from the day one staunchly believed that he would be in some camp or jail or any such place. On introspection, I never found any reason, as to Why they would kill him! He was not guilty of anything. Just a casual friendship with a black sheep; this calls for no punishment, not at least the capital punishment. My own self assured my chaotic being of his wellbeing and I never allowed the flame inside of me to dim or extinguish. I slept with the hope of getting up and giving the next try and I rose with the zest of making it 'today'. Every office, every such personal, media, rallies, organizations, protests, articles and what not I did, all by myself; determined and alone.

Two sets of parents grew old and dies in melancholy; of the grief for... may be; they knew that Hamza was never going to return and my determination to find him, even if it cost-ed the whole of my life-time. They never voiced the message of their eyes to me, that shouted 'Stop-It', all they did was to allow me at every step and every attempt. My eyes witnessed the hopelessness in them. Since the day Hamza was taken away, I never saw them smile and even witnessed their death with a whole tale of sorrow in them. Since then, I have been living alone, I don't know why and how, over the years I grew up to the post of president of the "Parents and Relatives of the Disaapeared Youth Association". The visitors to my lamenting house are only the members and associates of this association who have a relative dark story attached to their existence as I have.

The members of the association are the Mothers, Fathers, Wives; who are called the half-widows?!, children and other close relatives. Often in the moments of solitude... I wonder, about myself: The President of the Association,... I wonder, who am I to the disappeared Hamza? I am not even the Half-Widow of Hamza. But then, my heart questions, how come is it important to be married on papers when your soul has been married for decades? I am no Half-Widow and why will I be?. My Hamza is innocent, what guilt can a twenty years old be charged with, who was just in a casual friendship with a group of guys for a period infant than a month. Hamza must be alive; he ought to be. Thinking... how he would be looking like, in this age of 'white', with white hair and beard, pulls a poor pity smile at my lips and at this, I feel the constrains of my muscles, it has been Sixty-Two years since Hamza was taken away and since I had laughed and smiled my heart out.

Eighty-Two is a ripe age, experiences take-over and do the speaking. A feeble part of me says Hamza is not alive but much of me shouts in anger and revolt, "HE IS!". Hamza is alive. I can never let the flame in me vanish, the flame that has the light of hope in the dark from where I might see hamza coming towards me... an old Hamza by now... yet Hamza; My Hamza!
Dhaar Mehak (Is a free lance writer and an undergraduate economics student)
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