Sometimes they were praying, and the memory remainsWalking along the bund I could see the remains of an old bunker. It had always been there but today I seemed to notice it after a long time. I still remember that when I was nine, it was a fully functional one. Then it was abandoned and demolished and we started playing inside it. And guess what… we completely ruined it. We used to play with the clay and sand in those cement bags which had been left there. However there were still some marks pointing to its glory days. As I walked past it, I turned my head back as if I was trying to retrieve the lost childhood from there. But aaahhh!! There was an acute pain in my right foot. To my utter dismay, my foot had landed on a piece of barbed wire and it had pierced right through my sandal. I limped and hopped a few steps and sat down. As blood was oozing out I applied some pressure over my wound.
Sometimes they were crying, and the memory remains
Sometimes they were silent, and the memory remains
Sometimes they were violent, and the memory remains
I then stared at the small piece of barbed wire which had caused me injury. Some part of it was red with my blood and some part was brown with age. I laughed, because ironically I have had a lot of such experiences. When I was born maybe the first injection the doctor gave me was by piercing me with a barbed wire! But that was just the beginning. I found barbed wires everywhere and anytime, in tight, dark alleys and bright wide streets, and covering the houses and sometimes the playgrounds, before dusk and after dawn, in chilly winters and sweaty summers. Deep inside, I always felt as if barbed wires were holding me back from something and stopping me. From what, that I have to figure out.
As I was wondering Jhelum spoke, “It is not just you who always saw the barbed wires and it is not you alone who was hurt by them. Many see them, many have been hurt and many will be hurt by them, but they mostly seem to ignore them as if these don’t even exist or as if they are the permanent unshakable structures defining the boundaries of life. These barbed wires tame not only people but ideas too. They symbolize something; they symbolize who calls the shots and who runs the show. They symbolize a nation bound by slavery.”
Well that seemed to be some added info on barbed wires. They sure seemed to be more than metal wires now! Thankfully, by now the bleeding had stopped due to the pressure applied on the wound. Now it was time for a tetanus injection and they really stick it at the wrong place!
As I was going to the medical shop to get “my medicine” it occurred to me that the barbed wires (and what they symbolize) need to go. It is we who have to remove them, melt them make some toys from them so that we can play happily again. Otherwise our butt will have to bear the brunt! We need to look beyond these barbed wires and reach out beyond them. We need to rid our minds too from the barbed wires. Let ideas and visions crossover. Then certainly, there would be no need of a tetanus injection!
Some are undone by life’s fears(Sigh!)
Some by a loved one’s tears
A bloody past and a dark future
That’s how life through a barbed wire appears!