Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Cry

What was my crime? Why did the man in the black boots target me…was he from enemy country?

why? Why kill my friends…

Why did he do this? Is he coming towards me? Let me hide under the desk…are those black boots approaching me? Why is he is wearing a mask , but those eyes, bloodshot, red, red…eyes, looking at me with those red eyes; the barrel of the gun, and the next moment…shots fired; many of them…red everywhere…

Maa, why I am sweating so much, why can’t I see clearly, why do I cry so much…

All goes black , I see those black clothes he wears; no he wore them when he fired;

Why is it happening…am I with you, Maa…am I in school…where am I? Why do I keep hearing those shots…

In the morning, pleasant , sunny, but a chill in the air…how I enjoyed cricket with my friends. Sunny…but suddenly it went dark. Teacher teaching…don’t remember what she…shots fired outside. Someone shouting…everyone shouting, screaming…

Maa, it reverberates in my ears. Those shots…they echo in my ears Maa…but…I hear the screams…the cries…of my friends…my teacher…my friends scream, my teacher cries, me…I just freeze…

Remember going below the desks, me, my friends, everyone. Teacher lying flat on the ground. I see the black boots, just the boots, approaching slowly. Can hear my heartbeats…hammering, my hair standing on end…he pours liquid on her, my teacher…the flames, her screams, piercing…my ears…

Sam’s eyes…so frightened, sweat falling down his forehead. Those eyes, eyes of my friends follow me, Maa.

Broken benches everywhere …benches torn apart….bullet holes on the walls…thwack…thwack…thwack…

I feel like screaming; Maa, why can’t I scream…dry throat…parched throat…

my friends lying everywhere…Sam, speak to me…Rob…Chris…why is everything red…red, blood red, pools of blood…everywhere I see, crumpled uniforms, white uniforms…why are they red…Sam, wake up. Why don’t you speak to me? Forget the morning fight, I was just…I am your friend, can I not fight with you…why do you punish me so…

Maa…why I am not with my friends…they are still in the school…some shot through the mouth, some between the eyes; most on the back of the head…and all of them crumpled below the benches.

When you slap me, I hardly feel it Maa. Your eyes are enough to scare. Pa…he just raises his hand when angry, never hits. But this man, just firing, killing, firing, killing…doing all this, I see him smiling cruelly. Why Maa…where did he learn so much hatred…why did he kill? He was not fighting, just killing, hunting us, hunting my friends. ohh, my head throbs again, hold it, Maa, hold it…I can’t bear it…

Why did I survive? Oh yes, my friend was on top of me …I was under him, Park…no, he was not my friend, I never spoke to him, never played with him; he was always silent, I hated him. But…but…he was lying on top of me…and he was dead. Maa, did he save me…but why…when I hated him, never talked to him…

His blood getting mixed with mine; he took the bullets meant for me…my legs pain so much Maa… bullets in my legs. His weight on top of me…I don’t push him away, hide under him…my legs, not moving, Maa.

I feel like screaming, but the man in the black boots …he come for me, Maa, save me…no, I will push my school tie into my mouth…waiting…waiting for the firing to stop. Will it ever stop?

But why did I survive, Maa? Was it just my luck…or was I saved by Park, falling on top? I will never know… I don’t want to know. Just give me back my friends.

How will I go back to my school? My school was, my friends, my teachers; will it still be my school?

How will I face the school walls sprayed with bullets…the screams of my friends reverberate in my ears…the screaming walls close in on me…the ashes of my teachers. Yes, they just set fire to my teachers!

How could these people do this? Did they not go to schools?

How will they face their own mothers…will their mothers be proud of what was perpetrated in the name of …??

I am faced with lots of questions, Maa…

Do these people really go to heaven? Is it possible?

I am sure my friends, they will go to heaven. My teachers…they were such gentle souls; they will go to heaven.

My friends, full of friendship and laughter…what if these murderers come face to face with my friends in heaven…but…but…that’s impossible…

I am confused, Maa. Please put your hand on my head. I need peace…

But what will my friends mothers do? They can’t embrace their sons…or daughters. They can’t wipe their tears.

Who will wipe their tears? How will they survive? Their children… their smiling faces now, only in photos on the walls. And the warm clothes in the cupboards…nothing else…

But I will be their son. Yes, I will go now. Where is my wheelchair? Yes, I will go now. Sam’s mother…

How will I face her? But go I must…

She sees me…oh, tears flow from her eyes. Her hand on my head feels so good, just like you, Maa…but what can I say? How can I comfort her? I just need to wipe her tears…tell her, I will be her son. But…but…can I take his place?

I see him on the wall, smiling…do I see tears coming down his face…is he missing me…is he missing his mother? He laughs in the photo, oh, stop it, stop it, why is everyone joining him…stop. Stop. Let me go home. Let me…

How do I face life? What is my…? I survived…why, Maa? I will never know…

Those killers…will they be punished? Revenge… yes, revenge…violence…but what is revenge…and what good is it after losing everything…is it the answer? No,…it won’t bring back those who died…but then what is it…how will it be stopped…

Can you tell me, Maa…who will tell, does anyone know? Does anyone know at all…

***

 

Yatindra Tawde
Yatindra Tawde
In my daily office grind, I make it a point to find time for writing. It is my good fortune to have found discerning readers like you who appreciate my amateur attempts.
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