Monday, April 13, 2009

When a child sees ..a communal riot..

It's the story of some 17 years back, year 1992. I was in school. I remember, it was recess time and all the kids were playing and having snacks. But it was different that day. I saw some kids leaving the school with their parents. "What happened ?" I asked my friend. She shrugged. Later there was an announcement that it would be half day. There were some problems and nobody should leave without their parents. Somebody told me that there had been a riot between the Hindus and the Muslims. I was happy that I could reach home early but at the same time the news of riots was disturbing me. I took my bag and stood waiting for my father. "Will dad come to pick me" "Is he safe ? Is mummy, my little sister safe ?" thoughts flying in my head.

I could see my father entering the gate. Happily, I ran towards him. We left the school. We reached the train station, a train was already at the platform, we sighed and got seated. The area near the station was all occupied by Muslims. So we were a little frightened. The train was sparsely occupied. Suddenly we heard some noises. Some jerks were banging the train and barking at the travelers to get down. Immediately all doors were closed, the glass windows were down. Something cold rushed through my nerves. I was witnessing a communal fight ?. Something I had never heard of, never seen. I was confused, as to why people are fighting, somebody said it was religion they were fighting for. But I couldn't understand.

We heard somebody say, some jerks had thrown cement blocks on the track and some were lying in the tracks so that the train cannot go ahead. I was listening in horror. My dad asked me to relax, not to listen and read something. But how could I ?

The door were still closed everyone sharing their experience and problems when we heard some shouts. The police had reached and were getting the bullies off the train. We watched through the glass windows, in horror, in relief. The train horn blew and momentarily, there was a cheer.
We got down at our station. One level was completed safely. Now the next, to reach home which was around twenty minutes walk. Dad was holding my bag and my hand. We took a detour, a secluded path. The road was deserted and was signed by the fight that might have happened before we came. The roads were dotted by stones and broken glass bottles, liquids spilled, I wondered what could it be, things burning around. "How did you come ?" I asked dad. There was no answer. He shooed me. Gingerly we walked, leaving everything on God. My lips were praying, the road seemed too long...

P.S Thankfully we didnt meet any disaster on the way and reached home safely. I cannot forget that day. The road still flashes before my eyes.

Written for Sunday scribblings Prompt - #158 -- Scary


  1. You had my heart racing with your short sharp, rivetting, writing. The joy of your father guiding and protecting you meshes with the absolute fear! Well done ;)

  2. Oh, that was a terrifying experience - so thankful you all were safe - Well written.

  3. that was one nice piece of writing..

    terrible experience i should say.. people fighting in name of religion..

  4. Better late than never....

    A great piece, I must thank to linkwithin to showing up this piece.

    Yes it is a terrible feeling, to be part of any bloodshed. My dad once narrated me the incidence of 1972 Calcutta. Naxal movement was at its top, with both policemen and Naxals committing gruesome murders. One morning he set out for a walk, he saw a rickshaw with a big attache, the Puller was pulling it, with disinterest, he might be sedated. But dogs have surrounded the vehicle, they were barking and some red stuff was dropping out of it.

    Police stopped it. It was discovered that that attache contained a body which has being butchered in 32 pieces. I can still imagine it in my mind.

  5. @Tarun
    That's so disgusting. How could even think of doing such a horror. I got goosebumps.

  6. @Tarun
    That's the saddest part. The person could not be less than an animal, without conscience. Even animals kill for living, people kill for ego /pleasure. God save earth!!


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