Shivya got up late this morning. Her coffee is nowhere to be seen, the regular hustle bustle of the house was settled like sand in water. It’s not usual, in her fourteen years or shall I say, eight or nine years because rest were wrapped up in a blanket of pre-childhood phase which she might not remember. Yes, so in these eight to nine years she has never experienced meditating silence, her family liked the variety and some of their favorites were jazz, folk, rock, after all, life is a well-hummed melody!
Something is really odd today; she looked from the window and there was deadening silence. No shop is opened!
“Ohh… its Sunday”, Shivya thought.
Is it? She very well remembers that yesterday her bag was really heavy. Therefore its Wednesday today, since on every Tuesday her bag is pitilessly heavy. But then why there is mourning silence outside. While rubbing her gray eyes and playing with her brown hair she got up.
“What’s wrong with everything today!!” she sighed.
The floor was dense cold, her slippers have been right there every single day of her life, like there. Why are they not here today?
“Mama knows I hate getting off my bed without slippers!”
She went out; there was no one in the hall. She heard a little whisper coming from her parent’s room.
“Mom…Mom… I’m up Mom”, nobody answered.
She came closer to the room; her father was sitting in his room with a cup of coffee in his hand. There was no steam so it has been long in his hands and he was lost amidst the news going on the news channel. The ongoing terror and war were all over the news even the newspaper boy brings in the same news. “Wait, where is he from two days, I hope he is okay!” she thought. Why is her father watching television all alone, he never does that? He is not at all a loner when it comes to television, plus it feels like their bedroom’s television is been turned on after a year or so! She remembered talking to her mother some days back. It went like:
“What exactly is it?” she asked
“War” her mother replied
“What kind,” she asked again
“Who caused it, mama?”
“Our very own fateful human race” her mother replied
She couldn’t ask more. She has searched for her mother everywhere but she is nowhere in the house. Shivya felt like going to her father and ask him but she decided not to as he was already busily tensed about something. Maybe she should look for her mother herself. “Shall I go out and look for her?” she thought. Her mother asked her not to leave the house for few days because war is spreading fast and her best friend Firdauz’s father is also missing from seven days. She thought if it’s the outcome of these brutal fights and death caused by some people all over the country. Shivya made her mind go and look at Firdauz’s place, maybe her mother went there to enquire about Firdauz’s father. She took her bicycle from the porch and went out of the house. Where is that black and white cute little beast today? He always stands ready in front of Shivya’s door asking for a biscuit and continuously wagging his tail, she wondered. It was really cold outside, no voice and not a single humane soul. Only some ambulance and police sirens to be heard somewhere far. It was like a shady batman movie scene. She came closer to the T-point and suddenly heard some voice which became much clear as she approached the end of her lane. Her cycle stopped, she couldn’t pedal anymore, her heart was beating fast. Some people were screaming loud and abusing and there were other voices of women crying and begging for help. Shivya was so terrified to go a little further and see so she decided to turn back and get inside her home.
“Mother was right, people are going crazy. I shouldn’t have come out.”
The moment she turned back her cycle a familiar scream from that end. That voice was desperately asking for help. Amidst some other crying voices, she heard a gunshot and she stumbled down her cycle and fell on earth. That familiar voice started shouting more loudly and intensely.
“No… it can’t be…” Shivya ran hurriedly towards that direction. Tears were rolling down her eyes. Her face became dirty because of the fell and the dirt was making her bright face dark. The horror spread in her eyes. She was gasping for breath and continuously chanting one word. She kept her little foot cautiously on the road but it did not stop her pace and then she stopped. At some distance, one man was pulling her forcefully and was brutally dragging that woman around. Little blood was coming from her forehead and she was begging for mercy. He was continuously asking the women for her full name but she was just crying and wanted to go home. He again asked her for her full name and threatened her to kill her like other women if she will not specify to which side she belongs to. This went on for 5 minutes; Shivya saw all this hiding behind a pillar. She was crying and sobbing. One of her hand was over her mouth to suppress those sobs. But after 5, 6 minutes Shivya heard the same loud banging voice of a gunshot. A lot of blood came out of the woman’s head, she fell down. Shivya’s mouth got open and she ran towards her mother, she wanted to scream and she did this time.
“Mom… mom… mo… m…”
She couldn’t complete those words. She just wanted to keep her hand on the spot and stop the bleeding. She can right! It’s not a movie, its real life. People live in real life. That’s her mother, not a movie character. She will be fine, yes, fine! She ran and ran and her little hand touched her mother’s hair when suddenly someone grabbed her from behind and threw her aside. He came near to her and slapped her, removed the messy hair from her face and slapped her again.
“That was your mother. Wasn’t she? You wanna touch her, save her. Don’t you?
He was continuously slapping her, Shivya cried “please let me touch her, I can save her, please”
“You can, of course, you can but first tell us your full name and from which part you are coming? Does everyone there is of your race?”
Shivya was just trying to get out of their hold and was crying madly. She was throwing her legs and hand all over the place but they again asked her about her name and slapped her again. They started laughing. No more blood was coming out of her mother’s head. She saw that, all of that. Now she stopped crying. She wasn’t even throwing her legs, wasn’t even crying. Just little sobs were there which were ready to be suppressed, she held both her hand tightly, nearly crushed her fingers by the pressure, for last time she looked at her mother’s lifeless body. Then she raised her head, she knew what was coming, she made an eye contact with the man. Her father needs to be there, inside the house, safe. She stared him into his eyes.
He asked her again, “name? I want you FULL NAME!”
She grabs whatever strength was left in her, cleared her throat and said,
“I’m the daughter of the war” and then she closed her eyes!