Rohan would have turned 11 this September and when I posted his pic online someone who obviously didn't know about the events of last year asked me who was he and I kept asking myself the same question after that, who was he? Perhaps the more pertinent question is what was he to me? Rohan, was a culmination of prayers, for three years of trying, as all newly weds struggling with conception know how that feels. As if his arrival opened new doors for me, my job at MTA got permanent(after two years of volunteer work)a month after he was born. I remember vividly the moment he was handed over to me that small cuckoon wrapped in soft blue cloth and small baby clothes which his mother had spent weeks preparing. There is nothing like holding your child for the first time, everything about that moment gets etched in your memory forever, the tiny hands and feet, your afraid that you might drop the baby and then the fragrance of Johnson's baby powder. Those small movements the
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29th May 2013 the last day I saw my son alive. We had traveled all night and my flight was at 9am. We stayed at a place for freshening up in the morning just outside of Islamabad, it was a cool breeze and Rohan & Rohail were running around, it was a hilly place all green, a mosque. It was the last time I saw him smiling, that moment his innocence, the laughter with his brother, thats how things should be. A playstation thats all he wanted, and thats what I promised I would send him, he had started counting the months even before I left. A year later when Rohail got his console I kept thinking how happy Rohan would have been if he had gotten it. As we started again, he became sad, he did not want me to leave, he was on the back seat, how I wish I could have spent more time with him, when we reached the airport we were running a few mins late so I quickly hugged everyone Goodbye, how I wish I could have hugged him a little longer. That was the last time I touched him.
The reality of living in this world, a conflict between the needs and wishes deeply anchored in the class divide. I see mediocrity so permanently imbued in the collective psyche. Sometimes all one can do is to give in to the mundane, stop living & just exist. Finding someone to have an offbeat, real meaningful conversation, an impossibility. I sought refuge in the social media for some time, but that too has become stale, tedious. A habit without any emotional reward. The interaction, all but reduced to regurgitation of bent opinions and trumpeting of political agenda or some religious doctrine, manipulation. No one questions anymore, no one has time to think for himself and arrive on conclusions, perhaps wrong but his own. This place has no respite, no open space to just sit and ponder. One wonders is it by design? The whole system built on repression, on exploitation, the divide, easily seen. Yet the rituals of allegiance continue, conditioning the masses not to question. A