Regardless of this new gadget-heavy info-technological era set upon us, Kashmiris have always shared numerable traditional children’s games between multiple generations. In this ludic oeuvre, one sinister game emerged out of innocence, somewhere between 1989 and 1990. In those early days, within designated playgrounds in rural villages and within the cityscape, young children, and particularly boys, would play a game of chase and hide-and-seek called “Military-Mujahid” (translated “Military-Militant”). The game reflected the way Kashmiri children would come to internalize war, conflict and struggle while trying to make sense of a militarized reality within the prism of their innocent playfulness and creativity. Beyond the tragedy of such a game even existing in the first place, this story by Javid Ahmad Reshi delivers a narration that exacerbates tragedy into the grip of horror, grief, trauma and heartbreak, as Kashmiri children continue to play such a game to this day.
Encounter by the Brook – A Short Story by Javid Ahmad Reshi