The Gasi Mohalla locality of Safa Kadal in downtown Srinagar wears a gloomy look.
Graffiti, black flags symbolizing mourning and banners featuring Adil Ahmad Yadoo’s picture and poetry dot the neighbourhood.
Shaheed (Martyr) Adil Ahmad along with Muslim Kalima reads one banner that hangs in the nearby park.
“Aemi Khota Cha Kanh Bod Niyaz, Moul Paran Gobras Jinaz, Subah Sham yeti Karbala,” (What bigger tragedy than a father leading prayers for a son? Mornings and evenings here are bloody), reads another banner in the locality.
Ever since 16 year old Adil Ahmad Yadoo was mowed down by a government force’s vehicle near Noorbagh , the entire locality has been mourning and his mother Misra is yet to come to terms with the death of her son.
Her face is gloomy, and her sunken eyes show traces of now dried up tears.
“I am dumbfounded, as if lightning has struck me; I don’t know what to say. Nor am I able to explain what I am going through,” says Misra about the loss of her elder son
For the past eight days, she has not been able to sleep or eat properly. Her only wish has been to visit the grave of her son who was killed on May 5.
“I want to visit his grave at Shaheed Mazar . That is my only wish now, maybe he will reply to me there,” says Misra.
Adil, 16, had gone out to buy bread when he was caught in stone pelting clashes between government forces and civilians.
Video footage, viral on social media, shows a police vehicle running over Adil. According to his family, the vehicle ran over him even after he had managed to move to the footpath.
“The vehicle kept moving, even after he was mowed down,” says Adil’s younger brother Arif Yadoo. Adil was later taken to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital where he breathed his last
While Adil’s brother and father Ghulam Ahmad Yadoo have begun accepting the reality of their monumental loss, Adil’s mother has not stopped suffering for a moment since the death of her beloved son, seeing shadows of Adil everywhere and constantly checking his belongings.
Misra is finding it unbearable to rest in her one room shanty.
Among Adil’s belongings are his prayer beads and his school bag, both hanging in their kitchen.
“He was a very pious boy who prayed five times a day; in fact, he was perhaps the best in the locality,” said his Father Ghulam Ahmad Yadoo .
Adil was a 10th standard student who used to make bags on his sewing machine.
“His results came out only yesterday and he would have been able to join class 11 classes,” says Yadoo.
Yadoo looks older than his age, as calamity had struck him in early youth. Yadoo’s younger brother was diagnosed with cancer, and in a bid to save his brother, Yadoo sold everything to pay for medical treatment.
However, luck was not in his favour and he lost both his brother and property.
Today, Yadoo lives in a one-storey shanty made of wooden planks on the banks of river Jhelum. For the white bearded Yadoo life has turned upside down, and more than his sparse living conditions, it is his son’s loss that is giving him sleepless nights.
“We were living a happy life with my son being our sole bread earner. Now after his death, nothing is left,” Yadoo says.
After his son’s death , not only has Yadoo to figure out how to support his six-member- family by himself, but he will also have to take care of his wife Misra who has been ailing since her son’s death.
“She does not talk or eat; she has become numb. She doesn’t even cry, but once in a while when I am out the tears overflow,” says Yadoo
While Yadoo talks about his ordeal, Misra is lost in her thoughts, “Ba chas gamich dam phait (I am choking from inside) I just can’t believe my son is gone forever,” she says while breathing heavily with pain.