Gaw Kadal Massacre: A Deafening Silence!

By: Abdul Wajid

Snowy Streets bruised white and grey

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Archaic houses smelling too aged

As the walkers beat the beaten path
A rusty board speaks the pain
The board is illegible for the blind by heart
Only few can see what the cipher means
Pause a while, It asks for a pondering as it speaks
#GawKadalMassacre is what it reads
21st January One Nine Nine Zero
A bloody holocaust casts its shadow
The vale was in peace and the people smiling
Alas! A boss came in, to rule the inmates
An army was built overnight
Reddening the snow that once was white
Men, Young and old bruised blue and women shrouded alive.
Streets were full with anger and cries.
Angry men took to streets and spoke for the right
Dared the bullets that filled the skies
Machine guns showered the deafening rain
Silencing all the voices not to reverberate
A young man came like a Godsend brave
Jumped over the gun that roared the most
Digesting all the bullets, the unsung hero
Saved his brethren from the killing ammo
Bang! All ran for survival and 52 dead
Trucks loaded martyrs, Jhelum engulfing the rest
The aftermath was ugly as it changed the maps
People were dead but the rebellion born
The parable is no cock and bull story
It is an episode that needs a hear
Lo! Time changes and so do we
As nothing in the sphere is stationary
People come and go and least remembered
Inscribing and exploiting, to earn a name
I dream and write but to no avail
A lame duck in the land of stool pigeons, that’s what I am

It has been very long since I contributed anything to this blog. A weird halt invaded my blogging practice since I joined the Local Press in Kashmir to write for them. It turned me ill at ease because blogging is something what a free bird expects on being out of his cage, freedom. In my case it’s the freedom to write and inscribe your own world, your feelings, opinions, experiences and your observations.
A vague halt to your feelings is always suffocating. I needed to write and write for a cause in order to free myself from these haunting fetters. After scrutinizing, I pondered a while and a very unfortunate episode stuck my mind. Every late January, there is this episode that captivates all the newsy space in Kashmir media, #GawKadalMassacre. #GawKadalMassacre is believed to be the first massacre following the rebellious uprisings in Indian Administered Kashmir that consumed more than 50 innocent lives. Most of the Kashmiris and little of the outsiders have already read about the massacre and heard even more but to get a grab I munched down some 8-10 popular pieces previously written on the same subject.
Believe me it is not an easy task to read something again and again that makes you sad and your soul to screech out the deafening utterances. Reading the disheartening compilations about the massacre, I couldn’t stop myself to pen-down my sadness or should I say my anger, that was boiling to vent out since I started to read the first piece. It seemed as if an ugly gulp of bloody imaginations was stuck at my throat, hard to swallow and harder to digest. I couldn’t, so I vomited out my feelings on paper.
As I have visited the spot zillion times before, I imagined the fateful day. As I walked through the intricate busy streets of Basant bagh, across Gaw Kadal Bridge towards Habba Kadal, an old rusty board hung at one of the wooden poles in memory of GawKadal Martyrs attracted my attention. It read some urdu text that was hardly legible. The text was old as were the memories of the gruesome day.
I cannot narrate in anyway the real pain of my brethren about how they were massacred on the fateful day. My poor perspective can never have that mountainous courage to carry the sufferings of #GawKadalMassacre and what followed. I could only lament over my past and my present helplessness. In the least terms, I could only weave the gloomy imaginations into the form of this poem.

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