The Last Sport

It was the warm morning
of mid April when the
Imran awakens his son
Aqib on a prosaic Sunday
morning out of his comfy,
warm, cozy bed. A sudden
outburst of joy was seen
on little Aqib’s impeccant,
ingenuous, fair face; as it
reminded him of the
various sports, he and his
loving father used to play
on these summer
Sundays; cricket, football,
cycling, what not! Aqib
was fond of wrestling and
used to have a go at this
sport only with the
veracious arms of his
father and both of them
were seen relishing their
salubrious appetite. But
this joy of his was soon
short lived by the
reluctant look on his
father’s face, trying to
force a smile, which soon
reminded this 8 year old
kid, the guilt for which he
was punished in this
bygone winter!!!

It was brisk February
morning when Aqib along
with his sister Maryam
(12) used to go out of
their haven to a nearby
tutor. It was snowing
whole night and the first
morning view
hallucinated you for
being in heaven and truly
you are; as long as you
are living in Kashmir, the
heaven on earth. It was
hard for Aqib as usual to
get out of his overnight
amiable warm envelop
but soon he was seen
having his breakfast,
while his father was
reading a local daily,
soon the latter was found
slamming it with disgust
and condemning the
canine outburst! While
little Aqib unaware rather
uninterested in the
fathers remarks was
gulping his glass of milk.
As soon as the clock
struck 9, he was seen
ready with his little bag
behind his back, a
woollen cap that
appeared like a diadem
over his head to his
mother and a woollen
ascot round his neck in
an attempt to escape
from the bone chilling
winter winds. His mother
hugged him and kissed
him on his red cheeks
before bidding Adieu and
the little angel returning
the benign gesture back
to his mother with his
rosy lips. Soon the father
was ready as well to
leave for office and
concomitant his children
to the tuition on his way.
His mother went with
him to the gate and there
again, kissing him and
his sister then praying for
their safe return. She
kept a watch till they
were in her sight and as
soon they turned round
the corner of a house the
mother’s heart was at
chaos but a sigh of relief
was in her heart as well,
for their father was
accompanying them.

The streets pose a
deserted look as it was
early morning and it had
been snowing all night,
everything covered with
the white blanket of
snow, people were in
their homes warming
themselves up for the
days uphill task ahead.
Very few Homo sapiens
were commuting but the
creatures that
outnumbered the best
creation of Almighty were
the Canines! They were
everywhere lying still
under the vehicles,
growling to passerby;
fighting among
themselves, and amid all
this sending fear into the
bosoms of Aqib and
Maryam. As soon Imran
assessed the situation he
advised the duo to be
careful on their return.
Soon they were at the
entrance of their school
of knowledge where
Imran showed them in
along with his blessings.

After completing their
errand, they set out for a
detour, on their return
they found the snow to be
white only along the
pavement while on the
road it had turned into
brown crumbly mass due
to movement of vehicles
and the passerby. Aqib as
usual moved his eyes
anxiously exploring every
bit of detail of his
neighbourhood, while
holding trustworthy hand
of his sister. Soon they
happen to pass near the
same place where Imran
had forewarned them
about these beasts.
Maryam curiously
watching rather wanting
a passerby to accompany
them but none was found
there, except these two
angels, the melancholy
and gloom surrounding
them. Aqib skeptically
watched with askance at
these creatures and in his
heart reciting every
religious chant that was
remembered by him.
Soon a ferocious beast
barked at them and a cry
was heard from both of
them, Maryam threw
both her hands up into
the air and ran for her
life but in the process she
let off the grip around
Aqib’s hand.

Aqib all alone on his
own now, the beast was
soon joined by several
others of his race,
growling and watching
him with those leering
eyes. Aqib’s cries turned
into wailing, his sobs
could be heard from far,
he was bemoaning his
fate of ever leaving his
home. An inglorious dog
caught hold of his leg
another hurled upon him,
taking him along with
itself onto the
ground, what could a
naive, feeble, impotent
creature stand before an
army of barbarians, all
ignoramus monsters,
bloodthirsty savages, they
tore flesh from his
delicate, balmy, fragile
body; the cheeks that
were just kissed by his
mother were frayed by
the scratches from those
diabolical creatures, the
jowl bleeding.

Somehow the fugitive
sister managed to get
some help from the
neighbouring dwellers.
The horrifying and
appalling sight they saw
made them shudder. The
infernal devils were more
than a dozen and he was
all by himself on the red
snow. When the beasts
were disrupted by the
stones and blows of
people, their paws bore
red stamps on snow. But
it was his angelic, devout
chant more than the sight
of bloodbath that made
every onlooker shed
tears, bewail, and lament.
Despite being torn apart;
with every breath of his,
he was chanting in a low

Yes, the same chant that
he was reciting when he
first confronted with
those devils holding his
sisters hand! For his
mother had told him to
remember Allah when in

It was the LAST SPORT he
ever played in his life, the
last wrestling of his life,
for this time it were not
the tender arms of his
benevolent father but the
fangs of a malevolent
beast; who punished him
for a felony that he never
did, the crime of being
born in KASHMIR in