A MONTH after her meritorious Class 12 performance spread smiles in her family, the sorrow of her sudden departure has left every one shell shocked and made assembled mourners beat their chests in agony.
Drenching in the pre-spring shower, the grievers arrived in droves at Rafiya Nazir’s humble Chak Sadrabal home in Hazratbal area of Srinagar.
The collective crying made a howling sound in the nippy air and resonated with the masses visiting to sympathise with the bereaved family.
At one corner of a small single-storey house, Rafiya’s daily-wage siblings broke down like small children. Their carpet-weaver father, Nazir Ahmad, sat fraught near his forlorn loom.
The grieving father told the mourners how he was working extra-time these days to fulfill his daughter’s dream of becoming a doctor.
“But now, everything’s lost,” he slapped his face, overcome with grief.
Rafiya was the youngest among Nazir’s four children who secured distinction—467/500—in the recent Class 12 results and was now preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to become a medical doctor.
“What will happen to your dream now, my daughter?” the wailing father cried.
Huddled by women grievers, Hameeda looked numb and pale. The mother voiced the anguish in a loop: “Aase kai gov ye” (What happened to us).
On Sunday afternoon, Hameeda along with her two daughters including Rafiya accompanied a relative to her home at Rakh-E-Arth, Bemina. They stopped at Amira Kadal to buy fruit.
“As soon as the vendor handed over a bag full of fruit to me, a blast took place and we fainted and fell down on the ground,” the mother recalled.
After regaining her normal composure, Hameeda saw daughters bleeding. She herself had suffered splinter injuries.
“We hugged each other before Rafiya said that something had happened to her head,” the mother recalled.
Soon a local boy arrived on the scene and sealed Rafiya’s head wound with his hand before rushing her to the SMHS hospital. Hameeda and her elder daughter followed in another vehicle.
The grenade was lobbed when the marketplace was bustling with shoppers. One elderly civilian from Kalashpora locality of the city died on the spot while at least 24 others were wounded.
“Rafiya was critically injured as she had splinters in her brain,” Dr. Mufti Mehmood, Head of Department, SMHS, told Kashmir Observer.
“We put her on mechanical ventilation. She was looked after by neurosurgeons but she wasn’t responding to treatment.”
At around 8 on Monday morning, said Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh, Medical Superintendent SMHS, Rafiya breathed her last.
Unable to make sense of her loss, Hameeda screamed for her daughter when her little coffin was taken out for the final journey. The entire locality gave Rafiya a tearful farewell.
Amid cries and wails, Hameeda recalled the last conversation with her daughter.
Soon after the blast, Rafiya had enquired about her mother’s wellbeing: “Mummy, tsechekha theek” (Mom, are you fine).
“I hugged her tight and told her I am ok,” said Hameeda.“But I didn’t know that my daughter was talking to me one last time.”
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