Author: Saadut
•11:19 PM

On a sultry Friday afternoon a young kid lay in a pool of blood, his head pierced by a projectile that was deliberately aimed to kill from close range. The marching state jack boots were on the look out to trample young saplings. Soon the uniformed ran towards the corpse, kicking it, hitting it, and checking for signs of life which had since taken a flight. Assured that the body was lifeless, the cowards made their run. School books lay scattered fluttering pages in the mourning breeze, the appendix, the epilogue and the conclusion of these school copies having been written in blood red now.  Some mothers who had witnessed the cold blooded murder ran after the murderers with bare feet, racing against their armored engine monsters. The faces of evil had been unmasked even while they fled: the sounds of jack boots running mercilessly over flowers had woken up the city. 

A neighborhood went grey quiet, who would tell a father of the world having broken apart, who would wake the mother from her dreams of 17 years? I suddenly heard the sounds of thunder, of lightning striking but these were no ordinary rains. It poured like hell, from all sides. The echoes of wails pierced the skies; crimson red sunset had been taken over by the colour of innocent blood. On the western side the sun could not muster courage to turn sunset yellow, it went down in the dark black night, blood red. 

At the hospital the corpse was being bargained for by the state. They wanted the cloak of the night to bury their crime, a burial in darkness and let the city sleep over it. The burden of a dead son’s corpse is so heavy for a father; the day light and night darkness assume no meaning for him in such blinded moments. No power on earth can match the strength of this father, who walks, drags with no force left in his limbs: who seems to move aimlessly devoid of any guiding light. His plain eyes haunt you for long, the gaze that seems to be searching endlessly beyond the skies for his star, his only star. 

The funeral was on its way to the final resting, suddenly guns roared form all sides. The corpse was left in the middle of the road, jack boots were marching from everywhere. There was defiance from bare handed people, there was aims by atrocious hands that had triggers clamped, clenched firmly. The shouts of defiance were overrun by sounds of emptying barrels, and the kid lay waiting for his final place.

Tufail Mattoo was buried in two graves. When the police shot him in the head, his brains spilled out. The police did not bother about the brains when they took his body. That stands separately buried. Witnesses have come forward to identify the culprits; autopsy and ballistic report have confirmed that a police teargas shell was fired at his head, but till date justice has been denied.

All the empty graves around Tufail Mattoo’s grave were filled up with more youngsters in the following days of his death. Youngsters who had accompanied Tufail Mattoo’s funeral told the graveyard caretaker “Chacha when we are killed bury us here too”.

I have never met Tufail Mattoo, but I had a tear when I heard him get killed. I have felt sad whenever I wrote about the kids of Kashmir: our kids who were trampled, erased, stomped, violated, run over by an unrepentant monster. 

Rest in peace                                                  (Tufail Mattoo was killed on 11th June 2010)

10th June 2011

Nisar mein teri galyion ke aye watan ke jahan
Chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha kay chalay
Jo koi chahnay wala tawaf ko niklay
Nazar chura kay chalay, jism-o-jaan bacha kay chalay

Hai ahl-e-dil kay liye ab yeh nazm-e-bast-o-kushaad
Ke sang-e-wakhast muqayyad hain aur sag azaad
Bohot hai zulm kay dast-e-bahana joo kay liye
Jo chand ahl-e-junoon tera naam lewa hain

Banein hain ahl-e-hawas, mudda’ii bhi, munsif bhi
Kisay wakeel karein, kisse munsafi chahein
Magar guzaarne walon kay din guzartay hain
Teray firaaq mein yun subh-o-shaam kartay hain

Bujha jo rozan-e-zindaan tu dil yeh samjha hai
Keh teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi
Chamak uthay hain salasil tu hum nay jana hai
Ke ab sahar tere rukh per bikhar gayi hogi

Gharz-e-tasawwar-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeetay hain
Girift-e-saaya-e-deewar-o-dar mein jeetay hain
Yunhi hamesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq
Na in ki rasm nayi, na apni reet nayi

Yunhi hamesha khilaye hain hum nay aag mein phool
Na un ki haar nayi hai na apni jeet nayi
Isi sabab say falak ka gila nahin kartay
Tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahin kartay

Gar aaj tujh se juda hain tu kal bhem hongay
Yeh raat bhar ki judaayi tu koi baat nahin
Gar aaj auj pe hai taali’-e-raqqeb tu kia
Yeh chaar din ki khudaayi tu koi baat nahin
Jo tujh se ehd-e-wafa ustawaar rakhtay hain
Ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nahar rakhtay hain
 (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)