(As seen and observed by a 7 year old boy who was locked in his maternal house with his maternal family. The sentiments might not be as intense as the elders must have felt at that time of uncertainty. The family narrowly escaped death and plunder and miraculously migrated to Pakistan.)
“This isolation has reminded me of an isolation long time back. For 42 days we had to be locked in our nana’s house in Jammu. There was no food shortage but nobody could go out. All my Khalas and Nani, as I remember them, used to recite Quran most of the time, which has left me pondering, ever since, over the power of Allah’s Kalaam. There was only one gun in the house but the outsiders had the impression of many. It was as if we were surrounded by some special protection through the constant recitation of Quran. The raiders were around but didn’t dare approach us.
Then when Sheikh Abdullah became the chief minister of Jammu, he informed the Maharaja about our family being under threat. The Maharaja immediately ordered a provision of transport for the entire family of around 45 to 47 people sheltered in our house, to be sent to Pakistan in protection. That was the end of an isolation and the beginning of a new life.
My father at that time was working in Srinagar, and was left back. The Maharaja sent him to Jammu in his personal Cessna plane, from where he travelled to Pakistan. He had his trunk of hats left in Srinagar, which was also sent to him later on. When he was stopped before entering Pakistan, he told the people in charge that he was leaving only to get his family back from Pakistan. One among those in charge asked him to bring umbrellas for him from Sialkot; a promise which was not meant to be kept.
The possessions that were left back were numerous, however none of the lives were lost; and that mattered the most. I feel that just like in the past, this time shall pass too, InshaAllah.” (Ijaz)
(The way it is with memories, this memory also led this boy into realms of forgotten past, to the same feelings and age they belonged to.)
Edit: This is a child’s memory and I have only ‘quoted’ it in exact possible words. This memory is important because it reminded him of a strong bond of love that he shared with his Khalas and naani, and also because it made him laugh at the mention of hats and umbrellas, which holds jokes and happiness that he must have shared with his siblings, all of whom were capable of communicating in eyes; and laughing over simple matters that needed hardly any words.
And thus his memory has become a memory for me, of him laughing with us, with Chacha Jan, with Yasmeen Phopo! Tears of laughter, incomprehensible words and talks! A happy memory!!!