A festival inside four walls

On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Ahmed Bin Qasim pens a poem for his incarcerated father and mother. Ahmed is the youngest son of Asiya Andrabi the chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat who is serving a latest sentence under the draconian Public Safety Act, and Dr. Qasim Faktoo who is in jail since 1992.

I could hear the noise saying the moon was sighted.

Asiya Andrabi being taken to Amphala jail in Jammu [image Greater Kashmir]
I could hear the noise saying the moon was sighted.
Joy all around, the festival was tomorrow and I wasn’t excited.

I stared at the moon, they all found it jubilant and bright.
It was so quiet and too dark for me, felt like any other night!

Was it something I did or was it something I said?
That I don’t know of happiness with you now, it all feels so gloomy and dead.

I imagine celebrating with you, I just wonder how would it be!
And tell me someday we meet, did you do the same mother or is it just me?

Should I learn living these times alone perhaps and completely on my own,
Or celebrating imagining my hand in yours father while going to pray, knowing that I’m just not alone?

I’m right when I say that these festivals are to me, meaningless and unearned.
Because I never had these with you two and isn’t from you every action learned?

They say time heals everything son, I may nod but it has never been true.
And don’t ask me why! I know everything about my life that time did not do.

Dr. Qasim Faktoo
[image The Milli Gazzette]
Eid, the morning will be so bright and breezy with a sky so blue.
And I’ll just wake up and wonder what did I do, to wake up on such a great day without you two!

I’ll wait, wait a little more in hopes that someday you’d yourself see.
That left behind in your shadows was a broken and crippled me!

Mother, all I’ve is an image of me wearing a new dress on one such day in your lap.
But isn’t reality too harsh because I don’t even know of memories to maybe for once recap?

Father, you’re so away and so distant though you’re on no foreign land.
I won’t ask for too much, just a fatherly scolding and my shoulder under your hand!

Should I scream and squeal or should I say what I feel but my voice may crack!
I’ve nothing festive on this festival and without you, I just tend to lose my track.

But do remember there’s no love like yours mother and father no protector like you.
And I’m blessed and filled with pride to be your child, there are no words to tell you!

Though I know you love us so much mother and this you don’t have to prove.
You’re the best woman in my life and for Muhammad, too!

Someday we might be together, we might look back and laugh.
And on a day of festival, embrace each other and pose for the first family photograph!


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