Her son’s hero

September 10, 2019

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SHE hangs clothes on the clothesline made by barbed wire but the clothes being stiff and starchy like her skin don’t rip.

She takes the empty pail and places it in her one-room house, windows made from pellets fired by the Indian army. She sits on the stool made by her late husband and takes a glimpse of her son’s shoes.

She still remembers it like yesterday. She had last seen her son fighting the soldiers, she had last heard him pleading with them to stop, but they dragged him and shot pellets. She had last heard him say these words “I’ll tell Allah all about you and he’ll punish you”.

She could feel his lungs going weak, from shouting. She could do nothing other than scream in pain, hatred and anger as the other women held her from running to her son as she would’ve met the same fate. All that was left of that 12 year old boy was a pair of bloody shoes which still showed signs of agony. Two years ago, her husband had met the same fate, but he was killed more brutally: he was shot several times but he still hurled stones at them until his heart stopped pumping.

She lay on the floor thinking death would be round the corner now. Pain, fear, anger were just words to her with no real meaning. All she wanted was justice. That was all she demanded. Sadly, this world is filled with too many humanitarian groups to hear her voice. They are too busy with speeches and posting their achievements and pictures to listen to her pleas.

She went to her neighbours to hear the latest news, and while changing the channels on TV saw Atif Aslam performing in India and remembered how her son loved him but was killed. Little did she know that his son’s favourite singer was a Pakistani not an Indian

Maryam Ahsan
Rawalpindi

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019