Chapter 1: A New Dawn!
20 Nov 2002: The railway station was jam-packed as usual. But Khan Chacha’s presence shocked all those who knew him. The man who hadn’t stepped in, since 19 January 1990, after helping his childhood friend Vihaan Singh and his family escape the Kashmiri pandit exodus, stood on the platform with eagerly waiting eyes, and hands which were spread out to welcome his most “Azeez Dost”.
This day was very special, as holy as Eid for him, the horn of the train resonating with the azaan of Jamia Masjid and the opening of the train doors similar to the opening of the doors of Jannat.
“Ah, there he is. Vihaan, how have you managed to remain so young while everyone here has gone from black to white?”, exclaimed Chacha as soon as the door opened. He saw his friend’s young days coming out of the compartment. But the figure that came out was not of his friend, it was of his son, Aayushman Singh.
“Salaam Chacha. Its me, Aayushman.”, the figure replied as morning light fell on the face.
“Salaam Aayushman. What a carbon copy of your dad! Where is he?”, asked Chacha excitedly.
“Salaam Asif Miyaan? I’m here.”, The voice was of the man himself. The light revealed two faces, one of Vihaan and the other of his better half, Aditi Singh, which upon seeing, brought tears to Asif’s eyes.
The friends were meeting after a very long time, longer than what the calendars could keep track of. Their emotional reunion instantly healed the scars of separation.
“The Pandit Is Back! My Lifeline Is Back!”, Asif started dancing to his self-created beats. Vihaan and Aayushman joined him.
Then they hugged each other as tightly as a child hugs a newly bought teddy. The reunion was not only of two friends, but of two religions which had stayed together peacefully till 1990, but had to part ways due to some evil minds’ conspiracy.
They knew that they are not going to part ways again, EVER. At least they thought that from now on, they would live their lives smoothly in each other’s company.
But destiny had brought the family back to the “Earth’s paradise” for a reason.
The Kashmir Valley, which until now had witnessed many bombings, deaths, and tyranny, was going to witness a series of events which were going to teach the entire humankind a new meaning of love. A meaning that saw beyond territories, beyond cultures, and most importantly, beyond religions.
In brief, the life of the people of the valley was going to change in a short period which began with the arrival of A NEW DAWN!
BY: TEJKIRAT SINGH SUKHIJA
Author's Note: Each Chapter of this story has a different account and mood. So, I have identified one song which resonates which each of the chapters. As Quoted, " if a tune can string us all together, then why make use of only the boring grammar", every chapter would have an ending song which would try to sum up the chapter's vibe.