The four wheel trolley owner and an astute businessmen Mam Kak emanated anger.
“Is everything all right”, asked my friend Raza.
“Glory to be God, I am fine.What would you like to have today,” he replied.
Our all time favorite “Hot Pakkodas”.I said. In extreme fury and rage,he shouted at his counterpart.
Hell with you.I told you early in the morning to fry pakodas,but you got it in one ear and got it out of the other.
Relax Mam Kak,put this down to his work,a man learns from his mistakes.
Another customer in a friendly mood said, No…no…no…I am here in this market for almost fifteen years but I have had never any compromise with my work.I have attracted customers only because of my hardwork.When these young people are advised anything, they only have habit of arguing.” Yetti chhi sarray banyaamit khandaar”.Here all have become masters.
Mam Kak drawing a breath.I casted my look at a gathering. Cricket lovers clustered around the radio. A young die hard fan of Shahid Afridi,angrily asked another boy to increase the volume of radio.
The commentator exuding excitement “Look at this, Afridi struck the ball,up in the air and its gone all the way for six”. Just he was about to finish his sentence, young and old all jumped into the air.Everyone does have his own business. The conductors shouting names of different places in same breath.
I and Raza,we had to board different buses.I sat next to an age old man,reading newspaper.I also thumbed through the headline which read” Govt desperate for dialogue. Saying no to violence can pave our way to peace”.It almost looked a distant dream.
Another young boy rattling on with his beloved on his phone and a school kid shoveling popcorns down into his mouth.It almost looked a colorful bus.Variety is the spice of life.Passengers trickled into the bus and the bus filled to gills.The bus driver jumped onto his seat.About to leave,horn blowing and passengers happy.At a very slow speed but accelerated and we drove past other bus.I peeped through the window. Nearby an army camp.A huge board standing read
“Jawan aur Awaam sab saath saath”.
Barricades and the concertina wire fencing off the camp.The driver controlled his speed and the passengers gossiping continued. The one question that was preying on my mind” Yeti chi sari khandaar banyaamit”, Mam Kaks sage advice ringed on.All are running the show. I alighted out of the bus. Moved forward and reached near an old styled Panchyat.This building almost built 20 years ago received all public grievances. From lovers tiff to Old man’s impudent son.It enjoyed the business.I saw an old woman wailing outside.The only sentence she would repeat “Assi kass trawakh”.Whom will you leave us. Another woman consoled her. I had this urge to know about what is wrong. The woman next to her said that she has her only son married few months ago.
Before marriage they lived life of dignity but after they lost all attachment.Having heard such stories often,I was no stranger to this one. The woman also added that yesterday grandfather in law and bride fought with each other. And the girl hurled a steel jug on his face,which almost resulted in his nose bleeding.Oh God!!! I almost taken aback.
Now the village dignitaries have brought this case to panchayat.
We were continuing our talk,a young girl accompanied by another of same age stepped out of the door,shouted “Ye kuss khoji bannyav”.in a fit of apoplexy,the bride looked daggers at her mother in law.I guessed she was talking about her grandfather in law. The woman in front of me whispered “Here she is”.I walked by and the panchayat continued.Almost tired of days work.I threw my clothes willynilly.All mess and my room had turned into a veritable jungle.
After eating food,I nestled myself against the pillow and the buzz that I saw today dominated my mind. The only question that threw me off balance “Leadership crisis”.
Everyone is master of his own world.Mam Kaks wisdom permeated through my mind and the old woman sobbing drove me over the edge.I took a nap.Late in the evening, I switched on TV.A heated debate and a volatile argument had set news studio on fire.Stonewalling continued and the people shouted,always about to hurl abuses. India and Pakistan abused each other.
The one panelist saying”Pakistan Occupied Kashmir “and the other “ Indian Occupied Kashmir “.None would say we shall achieve Peace. The germ that cropped up in my mind altruistic and puritanical. Had this Channel devoted some space to poverty,drug abuse,rape etc.But it doesn’t like that.To increase TRP’s it is fond of drama.
The conflict continued and the people bore brunt of it. No leadership but hawkishness overriding over every concern.The tailored suggestion of a common man and the complex argument of politician both seemed two sides of the same coin.I switched off the TV. Mother called me and I went inside the kitchen.I had never seen excitement like this anywhere. The kitchen politics of forming state govt.The one panelist saying “ They Will form Govt” and the other strongly arguing that they will never.I didn’t say anything because that would overkill.They went on and on.
The concluding part of argument resonated Mam Kak’s voice into my ear.Someone said political patronage has taken away the major part of party lodestar that’s why they broke up.”Akkis chinn akki sund te bekkis chinn bekksund vayaan”.One doesn’t listen to one and the another doesn’t listen to another “.Very sage,I cheered him.The only thing I could say was” It has all started from our home.From lovers tiff to India Pakistan conflict everything is lopsided.Till leadership and human values aren’t understood well,peace at Mam Kaks cart,peace at old woman’s house,Indo-Pak and other conflicts can never be achieved.Control and coordination is must. Let us say good bye to hate and anger.The debate continued and I lost in my dreams to find the naked truth.
The author is persuing BG 3rd Semi (GDC Handwara).