The kid was in flames, the parents did not know what was going to happen next, there was distress and desolation all around and in desperation a despair ridden call was made! This happened in Tral!
The final destination was to BB Cantonment! The rest is history as the child is smiling now!
‘And yet the people say that the men in olive greens stab in the back! Bad idea! Just call them if you are in a situation where there is no hope. Trust me they would be there in no time. Just count on them they will never be found on the back foot when most of the others would be. The jumping Jack out of the box would not know as to what had struck him when he was engulfed by flames. He was screaming and yelping and the parents were panic struck. The mother was numb and the father trying his best to douse the flames to save his child. The sequence was heart wrenching till the time the saviors arrived. After a few days the smile was back with the small human species knowing nothing about the situation he was in. It was not to be a forgotten episode for the people (Awaam) if they understood the humane aspect of it’. By the way such sequences have happened many times but unfortunately the Kashmiris tend to forget it all too soon! Bad idea’!
I will tell you something, if you permit me to say. Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile yet so deadly, left alone, they lit and warmed but then let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees. That is what happened in Kashmir when it all started three decades back. I have seen it all and written also and am still doing so. But That day in 1996, it was the last time I saw that kid. It was all fine in the morning till the time we left for the task. Far across I could see the people on their daily routine which was similar to our people in Tarkundi but across every house seemed to have many people but here just a few. They had abandoned them but a few had refused to move out. This small kid always sat in the mornings to bid our patrol goodbye and with a dainty smile and a good luck gesture with a wave of the hand, In exchange pencils, notebooks and toffees/biscuits she always got but she always asked for two shares. We did not know why but were more than eager to give that. The reason was that she had a kid brother who had yet to learn how to walk. That day also the same happened in the morning but the evening had to be a melancholic ode. That morning she was up there where she used to be… staring up at the sky and dreaming of reaching there. That evening, she had looked down and plotted flames gobbled her up and we could do nothing. We could not have since we were not just there. A bit late perhaps’!
She had died of burns. The smile was gone and never we took that track again because there would be none for asking for two shares of small gifts we used to give that smiling little Lucy Gray in the slopes of Tarkundi. Anyway that is past but this toddler was lucky as the men in uniform reacted in no time and saved him. The parents could have turned to no one as the situation was as such till the time the men from BB Cantonment arrived. Sitting in Mendhar I can well imagine the scenario as the army quick reaction medical team must have rushed to the rescue act like the flying birds flying to save a fledgling from their own family (Awaam is nothing but a family if one understands the essence). And finally when they would have arrived at the wretched scene the father must have placed his hands on the shoulder of one of the soldiers with eyes wet. Probably the soldier at that time would have said, I was all too aware of his hands resting on my lower back, their imprints like sweet flames that seemed to go through the thin fabric of my dress and onto my skin. I knew I had to save the child and that was the purpose we are here. I will not describe the situation any further because the child was taken away and was in the burn zone ward of the hospital just to make sure that he would live and he did that!
I. That was a bit of imagination used to describe the scene in the thick of it but this is real:
Responding to a distress call, Indian Army Hospital at BB Cantonment, Srinagar, treated a young 4 yr old boy Musa, S/o Md Ashraf of Tral, for burn injuries.
Now Tral is quite a distance away from BB Cantonment, no way can reach that fast, well imagine as to how fast the action would have been? This was a burn injury and that is not an ordinary thing. Obviously up there where it happened the initial work would have been done up to put the child at ease.
The immediate response brought relief and cheer to the toddler and his parents. What better news it could have been for the stunned mother? I do not think there could have been anything more to just feel her child’s small little limbs once again flailing all over with joy and nonchalance.
After getting treated the small species was shifted to the OPD care unit where he stayed for sometime and finally left as a newborn hulk ready to hop, skip and jump. Probably he would be doing so now much to the relief of his mother.
These guys from Armed Forces Medical Corp are no magicians but they are miracle workers and the word such as impossibilities they ushered out of the vocab right from their training days. This was just another incident in their illustrious journey to make sure that mankind keeps smiling always and every time in Kashmir!
Men of God would always save humans since they believe in humanity and brotherhood of man regardless of anything. The men of Indian army will go all out to save an enemy’s child too and it has been done many times. A true man of God would see every human being or human species as divine because they too were born to someone. This is an extension of the humanity closest to his home, regardless of its shape, size, or color. A man who truly recognizes and knows God can see God in all things. You have to go no further than the Indian army soldier to see that. By the way, no exaggerations here!