He was barely a teen
his oversized Phiran concealed his true age
along many of his age
he stood defiant on the Cement Bridge
in Baramulla Old Town.
It was a Medieval war Zone
With Gladiators from Kashmir Police
and Ragdo- Ragdo paladins
stood facing each other in uneasy silence
often rattled with Hindustan Murdabad War cries.
The stones rained like wrath
and partisan phalanx persisted
over the retracting steps of the police
a smile blossomed on his face
and his eyes twinkled
he has earned his day.
He set from his house in the morning
to stroll at dusty banks of Jhelum
when a Jamite entrepreneur
promised him Rs 100 for the day.
Huriyat budget for the days Armageddon was
Rs twenty five thousand
for fifty stone palters at Rs five hundred each
and Rs Ten thousand for the stones
The pimp hired 30 children for Rs hundred each
And made a staggering profit
stone were locally available.
The crescendo of victory was deafening
the Police was retracting
the bridge was theirs.
Then the charioteers arrived
the armored jeeps with tear gas dispensers
fired a salvo on the champions
as smoke bellowed
some canisters were thrown into Jhelum
some hurled back at police
amidst cheers of defiance.
He was on the front line
Cheering and shouting
When He felt an impact on his chest
And pain shot through his body
And he fell down on the bridge
A smoke canister had hit him on his chest.
He gripped his hand tight
To clinch the hundred rupee note
He tried to get up
And run away
To his home
And shove his earnings
Into the jam tin piggy bank
He looked around the retracting footsteps of his peers
and menacingly advancing charioteers
and made another effort
to crawl to his father
but his limbs failed
his eyes were wet with helplessness
to be carried back
to his mother.
He remained there
on the cement bridge
"If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind"
(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)