Let Me Watch The Baraat

Abdul- a boy of 10, watched the deserted street on the other side of a river through the cracks of a window pane. A wooden bridge connected the two sides beneath which Abdul used to cherish his summer holidays along with his best mates.

He feared to open the window as it might trigger some diabolical response from the armed men standing at the facade of his house.

It had been such all day long as govt had imposed curfew to curb any protest for the yesterday’s arrest and molestation.

Soon as the dusk approached, some people marched over the bridge demanding justice. Some hundreds of men and children, staging peaceful protest far away from any media coverage.

As soon as some of them crossed the bridge, Abdul heard the sound of a cracker. Surprised! He thought to join the celebration, only to be slammed onto the ground with both his farther and mother shielding him.

Annoyed by the treatment received Abdul indignantly said “Just leave me,I want to see the baraat”. Not knowing that the grooms were being colored by the henna of their own blood.

Some of them jumped into the river beneath but the bullets chased their beloved. Some armed men shouted for more ammunition and viola wish was granted!

After the carnage ended Abdul returned towards the window, looking and rubbing his eyes- for he thought; he was hallucinating as he saw clear river flowing beneath the bridge with the reflection of blood-red river flowing over the surface of bridge.

More than 100 bodies of men and children busy performing ablution with their blood.

Next day Abdul saw some intriguing, glittering blanket over the entire road on his side of bridge, upon examining which he found the emptied cartridge shells.

That summer and onwards Abdul never went under the bridge again! He never dared to go near the water that smelled of hot blood and made him nostalgic. He was never able to erase any memory of his childhood that had blood stains, gun shots, wailing mothers and sisters, sudden run for life, barbed wires and other such horrific sights. What can a mortal do? How is he supposed to forget all of his childhood?

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