For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn

Parents smell their children. They inhale their presence deep into their soul. Maybe it is an addiction. Maybe it is the fulfillment of being. Maybe it is because the two are one. Whatever the reason, it is the ultimate form of love and honesty.

Parents breathe in their kids.

Parents talk to their newborns. They not only talk about random stuff, but they talk about their deepest – most philosophical feelings – too. As the two are one, it is like the unspeaking one is understanding it. And every feeling associated with it.

Parents. Parent. As soon as a person becomes one, they become someone else too. They may look the same, but their entire internal system is changed.

Some parents have more financial resources than others. But have you seen underprivileged parents trying hard to make ends meet? Have you seen struggling parents in expensive malls spending hard earned money on their kids’ joy-ride? Trying hard to buy a burger for them? Going through sweat, blood and tears and giving them their all? Every single penny counts.

Parents – who cannot stand each other for one second are seen in family courts standing for hours on end each month to witness a glimpse of their kid. Some see their kid(s) after a fortnight; some after a month. Some after six months. Some after a year.

Parents – mostly men in family court cases – face severe trauma when their children are brainwashed and hate them. Yet, the parent is again present on the next visitation date. With the same smile. The same hope. Some hope.

The strongest of men have succumbed to parenthood. Bowed down through an unseen string with unimaginable emotional power. Who knows what this parenthood is?

Parents. Ask them if they will import pain of their kids. Ask them if they will trade cancer. Tumor? Kidney? Marrow? Heart?

A kid in pain has parents in pain.

A kid with a tumor has parents with a tumor.

A special kid has special parents.

With all the violence and hopeless conditions in the world, people still make kids. Why? Why do mothers in Palestine and Kashmir and Africa and Burma give birth? With all the threats and risks, they go for an eternal uncertain decision of their lives. They know there is something – unseen – missing from their existence. Can motherhood be explained with words?

And then there are those who sniff kids too. They prey on them. They plan and target and then unleash their ugliness on those who don’t even know what they are being put through.

A raped kid has raped parents.

A bleeding kid has bleeding parents.

An unstitched kid has unstitched parents.

A dead kid has dead parents.

Imagine yourself at the other end of the eternal torture. Parents do. They imagine this all the time.

Imagine your kid being raped. Imagine your kid in a coffin. Imagine your kid bleeding. Imagine your kid missing. Imagine your kid being lowered in the ground.

Imagine your kid’s school being live-telecasted with bullet sounds on TV.

Kids as collateral damage. Sacrificed in war. Over 130 were killed in APS in December 2014. We called them ‘shaheeds’ and were done with it. A mother said, “People say I should be proud because my son is a martyr. Would any mother willingly trade places with me so she could feel this ‘pride’?

Would you trade your kid with one of the APS kids?

Would you love to hear the same lectures of martyrdom at your kid’s grave?

Would you accept the APS Commission Report with silence as you are doing now?

People say He loves you 70 times more than a mother loves her child. I object.

I wish God had seen and felt all this too. He should have come down and lived like a parent. Remember that poem “Allah Mian thallay aa”? That holds so relevant. I wish He could have been a human being in pain for a lifetime before creating us. But then, I have other queries too…

A decade back, I was scared of such queries.

Today, I am not scared. Not of queries at least. It is answers that make me shudder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *