A pre-teen boy who lost his life to the ‘90 per cent’ burn injuries at Nawa Kadal gutted gunfight site would follow his own carefree tunes, before this only child of his parents became another short-lived bud of Kashmir Valley.
HE sang songs to his young heart’s delight on the streets of Srinagar where he was lately given a tearful farewell. Among the mourners were his young friends with whom he would do lip-syncing and upload videos on social media sites.
In his last video that went viral on social media after his passage, Basim Aijaz, a class 7th student of Srinagar’s Chota Bazar, talks about death: ‘Kya Karoge Tum Aakhir, Kab’er Par Meri Aakar… Thodi Der Ro Loge, Aur Bhool Jaaoge’ (You’ll visit my grave, cry for a while, and then will forget me).
After this social media joy singer went silent forever, his 40-year-old mother started singing dirges for him: ‘Oh, my son! How did you vanish into thin air? Why I’m living without you! What pushed you to death? Didn’t you think once about your mumma for once?’
Kousar Jan’s voice has turned hoarse with relentless crying for her son, who had gone out for an evening walk, soon after the raging gunfight—killing Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Junaid Sehrai and his associate—had ended.
The massive “collateral damage”, the charred corpus of 15 residential houses, soon drew massive crowd to Kani Mazar locality of Nawa Kadal.
“He called me and said he was going out with his friends,” the wailing mother told Kashmir Observer. “I pleaded him to come back, as the situation was not good. But he assured me that he would be back soon. He never returned.”
Kousar shortly received another call, this time from her relative, saying: ‘Basim got injured at Nawa Kadal’.
Hearing this, the wailing mother rushed to the SMHS hospital, along with her kin.
Her son, along with four others, reportedly got injured when a house collapsed suddenly in the evening of May 19, hours after the last gun fell silent at Nawa Kadal.
Basim had suffered more than 90 per cent burn injuries, Dr. Nazir Choudhary, Medical Superintendent, SMHS, told Kashmir Observer.
Numb with pain, the son was looking for his mother in the hospital bed.
“As I entered into the ward, he told me, ‘Mumma, Mae Che Bouth Theek’ (Mom, is my face alright)? I couldn’t tell him, ‘Son, your angelic face is badly burned,” she cried saying this.
For the entire night, she was with her son, praying and pleading for his life.
Kousar got married with Aijaz Ahmad, a driver by profession, from Chota Bazar, in 2004. For over four years after their marriage, the couple was not blessed with any child due to some health issues.
“Mae Oosue Ye Khuda Sobus Ladai Kareth Hetmut (I had fought with Allah in order to have Basim),” the mother said. “We went to every shrine, mosque to plead for him.”
In the hospital ward, Basim has told his cousin, Kamil Mushtaq, that a wall collapsed on five people, after which he felt a massive heat.
“The eyewitnesses managed to get the four people immediately,” Kamil said, “but they couldn’t locate him. With the result he got maximum burn injuries.”
But whether the boy got burn injuries due to fire or blast, only forensic test can confirm that, Dr. Nazir Choudhary said.
During his son’s last hours, Basim’s father was trying everything to placate his excruciating body pain.
“At midnight, he told him, ‘Basim, say, ‘Ash-Hadu Anna La Ilaha Illa Allah’ (I bear witness that there is no deity besides God),” she recalled.
“While reciting, my son told his father, ‘Papa, why are you telling me to recite prayers? Have doctors told you that I’m going to die’.”
He shortly left, leaving behind his now viral fun songs, and his mother’s searing dirges: “With your departure, my son, I’ve lost my whole world, and a reason of my existence…”
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