I know you’re not keeping well.
Father hasn’t recovered, Fufijaan hasn’t recovered and the baby Poshnools fell from their nest during the storm last night and two of them died. I know. But you have to stay strong Ammijaan. For me.
The coaching camp at the Gymkhana is holding memorials. The boys must be allowed to grieve, yes, but they must get up and get going, soon. Tell them they must fight it out, like Parvez bhai did. Tell them that they are almost there. The league auctions next year will probably get some of them in. Tell them I love them and know that they can.
Keep my trophies safe Ammijaan. Keep them polished. They are bookmarks in time. Time I spent, growing up, playing, winning.
You know I really had to leave for Dehradun. For the BSc course in forestry. I firmly believe that a sportsperson should be educated too. And of course, Dehradun is a bigger city, a quieter city. It’s easier to get noticed.
Tell her that I love her. I put up a facebook post “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is a life after that, I’ll love you there.” Tell her it is true.
So what if the police shot me from the back. The same police who gave me some of those trophies for excellence in cricket. They were wrong. But do not bay for their blood Ammijaan. Do not ask for their deaths. We have had enough deaths in our valley. The golden Dal lake has turned crimson with blood. I see it now. There are no heroes in this. There will never be heroes in this.
Chetan Sir and Barkha ma’am are writing about us Ammijaan. So are so many others. All is not lost. There is dialogue now. There will be more. What was shrouded behind the veils of misreporting and media blackouts will emerge for all of our country to see. It is time the motherland and her children spoke with each other. It is time.
I will never see the branches of that Chinar tree sway in the storms ammijaan, never ask for one more khamiri, never scare you leaping out of the dark balcony, never argue with abbujaan, never use the PF money he withdrew for my course in Dehradun. I left all of you, alone.
Yes I didn’t win this one Ammijaan. Death did. Like it often does in the valley.
But I will come back to you, in the next life and the next, and the next, as your son,
An Inaccurate and fictionalised account speaking of Nayeem Qadri Bhat Inspired by: