She has always been on a run – sometimes to save her ownself and sometimes to bring up her children.

November 18th 2014

Married at the age of 17 and widowed at 25 – Haseena’s life has always been on a run. 

With three children wandering from place to place was a life – she explains -- she has lead till now.

Mohammad Shafi Mir and Haseena got married during 1994 and five years of their marriage -- and death did them apart.

Haseena has been a witness of the bullets that killed her husband. 

During 90’s a wave which flowed through Kashmir, swept away her husband.

Mohammad had joined the militant group, Al-Jahad, soon after their knot -- which came into notice of Haseena when he began to stay out most of the time. 

As the raids of Army at his house became frequent he preferred to pay an occasional visit to his family.

On one such visit when everything was calm in this Drangabal area of Pampore he went to offer Nimaz and got killed in an Army shoot out right out the mosque.

Haseena has been a witness of the bullets that killed her husband. 

“We would live in constant fear as we would witness firing and raids almost every day. Be it night or day – army would enter anytime and would run amuck.”

“Yes, the memory of that day is still fresh in my mind. Immediately after he left for Nimaz I heard the firing.”

When the bullet sounds fall on her ears she went running out and saw the body of her husband lying on the street. 

Like any other encounter – where Army, after killing, takes the body in their possession and release it on next day only – Mohammad’s body was also taken by the troopers.

“Without letting me see his face they took over his body with them.”

Pampore, their home town in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, would be under constant security cover those days – while the encounters and crackdowns would take place every second or third day. 

“We would live in constant fear as we would witness firing and raids almost every day. Be it night or day – army would enter anytime and would run amuck.”

Due to this reason everyone in Drangable would prefer to stay out of their homes, she adds.

After her husband’s death she stayed with her in-laws for eight months -- before she was asked to leave subtly.

“We have seen what none in this world would have. Army would barge into our house when everyone would sleep. Men would be taken out in rib breaking cold while female folk would always be concerned about their honour.”

These conditions forced them to take shelter at other places.

“Sometimes I would go to my parents’ place in Chanapora locality of Srinagar and other time I would go to some other place - since Pampore was one of the most volatile areas.”

Haseena has always been on run -- because of the unpredictable settings at home -- till she permanently settled with the parents – after Mohammad got killed.

She was too young when her husband was shot down given to which her in-laws suggested her to remarry. However, she reckoned that as an injustice to her kids. 

In these twenty years this family of four eats, sleeps and lives in that one room.

Her new born was just six months old when she lost her father and the other two – a boy and a girl -- were two and four years old. 

After her husband’s death she stayed with her in-laws for eight months -- before she was asked to leave subtly.

“They didn’t say leave permanently but asked me to live with my parents for some time.”

Living with the hope that one day they will call her back Haseena passed her 20 years. 

“According to Islam I have no place or any share in the property of my in-laws but since my kids have no other support so I have been asking for their help.”

Her in-laws have a will established business and deal with saffron but they couldn’t provide financial security to the children of their son. 

Kashmir has hundreds and thousands of widows and orphans who feel being ostracised as no one comes for their assistance, she adds.

“I am waiting for that day when my children will have a support for building a better life.”

When Haseena came back from Pampore she, along with her three kids, would live with her parents and two brothers but ever since the death of her father she puts up in one room of the three storeyed house.

In these twenty years this family of four eats, sleeps and lives in that one room.

Growing up her kids has been the toughest time of her life, she remarks. 

“There was no one by my side. My relatives would deny recognising with the fear of providing financial assistance to me.”

Stitching her life back again seemed near to impossible but she took up tailoring to sew it together. 

“I rented a room to start my own small boutique so that my kids would sleep peacefully.”

But as fate would have it, her arm got struck with an ailment and she had to leave her small job.

Her son Asif, 24, had to quit his studies to bring food on table. 

He is working as a labourer and her elder daughter – who pursued graduation – is working with an automobile company, while the younger one got a scholarship to study outside. 

None has come forth to help her, Haseena says, whether any private or governmental organisation. 

“Some organisation did help me with the money in the beginning but will the time there support waned like my strength.”

Kashmir has hundreds and thousands of widows and orphans who feel being ostracised as no one comes for their assistance, she adds.

“A widow or an orphan should have a support of all but in our society we are left at the mercy of God”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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