Although any death of a loved one can be emotionally devastating, but sudden or untimely deaths give traumatic experiences. It was the 8th of October, 2020. I was sitting in my study room expecting a knock at the door by my mother who would usually serve me lunch around the time.
While performing her daily chores, she would often recite verses of Kashmiri poetry or Darood Sharif that gave us a hint of her presence at home.
But, on that particular day, I heard no sound, no knock.
That silence raised my anxiety. I stood up, came out of the room to know the reason for her delay.
Suddenly, I heard noises in the nearby kitchen garden, and within a couple of minutes, a could see people gathered in and around the place.
Terrified, I also approached the place, barefooted.
The most unfortunate and horrible scene was just a few yards away from me.
As I entered the premises, I saw my mother’s body collapsed, on the ground, lying in a pool of blood, drenched from head to toe. She had become a victim of the man-wild conflict.
Death is a part of life, but certain accidents can never be forgotten, or erased from the mind. Whenever I pass from that spot, it haunts me.
Her death was preordained. Neither I, nor any earthly power could alter her fate, but what makes me unsettled is that her physical absence will never allow me now to share my achievements or failures with her anymore.
Her presence used to make every place feel like a home. Now I wander around feeling her shadows.
Her cracked hands, dried eyes, and feeble body structure reflected her courage and commitment. She was very diligent, caring, and affectionate. She not only kept her family tied with love but also shared the same intensity of love with others.
Very few people knew about her spiritual stature. She was a God-fearing lady; connected with one of the spiritual lineages of the Sufi Order (Sisila).
She attained the proper allegiance from the spiritual mentor as required by any disciple who wishes to be part of this sacred path. Her simplicity, steadfastness, patience are the outcome of her supererogatory prayers that she used to perform in isolation.
If anyone approached her with any problem mainly the health-related complications of newborn babies like mouth sores, swelling, rashes, anxiety, etc. she always welcomed everyone with a smile and treated them without any communitarian bias or malice. Her modesty, sympathetic and humble attitude, truly suited to her name Haleema meaning mild-hearted.
Throughout her life, she remained a staunch supporter of indigenous culture and followed the ethics of morality strictly. When all the women in the locality replaced their headgear with the modern scarf, she preferred to wear Kashmiri headgear (Daug)- a simple piece of cloth square in shape with light needlework at the edges and a long traditional gown (Pheran).
Your simple living and dress code became your identity. Being your son, I feel proud when I hear people citing the example of your simplicity and kindness in social gatherings even today when you are not physically present with us.
I can’t find words to describe how valuable you were to me. The death of you will always remain to be the greatest loss in my life. May God grant you eternal peace!
Mudasir Ali is a software engineer by profession and lives in New Theed, Harwan. He is the Technology Advisor at Free Press Kashmir.