On this crisp November morning, he walks with determined steps, towards nowhere in particular. Close in his wake, walks his grandson. We call him Baccha, very young one. By now having walked for quite a while, Baccha was panting. Cold and tired to the bone.
“Where are you going, Bab?”
Silence. Deep silence of the long, lonely valleys. Silence of the dead.
“Where are we going, Bab?”
“Nowhere. Just keep walking” answered grandpa after a long silence
“Then why don’t we go home?” asked innocence
“There is no home. Our home is lost. It is only fire and ruins and frozen dead.”
“Who did that to our home?” whispered innocence in a quivering, scared voice.
“Some people came from over the West Mountains and burnt down everything, killed everyone.”
“Because we called them in to drive our own brothers and sisters out of Kashmir. But they killed everyone in Kashmir.”
“Are we the only ones left?” little one was grey with fear
“Yes, Baccha. I have nothing to look forward to but death, and you are too fragile to survive on your own……” sighed Grandpa, his breath freezing in the chill.
He was worried, line of worry etched deep on his brow. Just like the long, lonely valleys of Kashmir.