My sleep broke with the sound of gun burst in the witching hour and my family was frightened. My Grandma started wailing and went on sobbing which created a panic situation and all male members of the family traumatized as the scene in our home was uncontrollable. My uncle started to console us to tackle the situation. Gunshots ratlled and confined us in one place, crept to the ground.
My uncle yelled at me, “Nayyar! Wear some clothes, the military can anytime enter into the house and who knows what to ensue.” I aimed to crawl towards my room but the nervous system was broke down and my body was not moving. The firing stopped for little time, which gave me little motivation to wear pheran.
All of a sudden, a huge blast sound echoed in my ears and blurred my vision and I thought our time has come. After the blast, the guns started roaring and my grandma fell unconscious. My mother started rubbing her hands, feet, sprinkling water to bring her out from the unconscious state.
It was chilai kalan, the temperature was in minus, like others I was shivering with cold and everyone was in such trepidation that nobody dared to move out to arrange warmth like Kangri. The silence of guns was giving more tension. Everybody was sitting as they are waiting to die.
After a while someone's phone begun ringing, my father picked up the phone, it was our cousin, living in the same locality, calling and enquiring about the blasts and firing going on. We had no idea regarding the epicentre or focal point of the gunfight.
After some time, maybe before two hours to Fajar salah, somebody chanted slogans and appealing the youngsters to come out of their homes on the loudspeaker, this was from our local Jamia Masjid. It added more fear and horror.
We were half dead when all of a sudden somebody suddenly started knocking our main door. Already gunshots have taken our lives and now this knocking hum frightened us more. A different panicky scene stir up and someone from family screamed. We are dead! My father got somehow the courage to see and told us it’s my uncle on the door Uncle entered with tears in the eyes and said “Today, no one here is going to survive, everyone would be killed, the whole village is cordoned off and the army has blasted Yousuf's house,” Yousuf was a peon by profession and was working for decades in our local school.
After hearing the heart-wrenching words from him, we all fell in deep shock and our eyes got filled with tears. Fajr Salah time come up and nobody moved from their respective places. All were in a state of anxiety.
Time of day come up which induced some energy, and we started preparing tea, gunshot were constantly heard as background sound
After some time we heard a huge bang like sound and we presumed the gunfight likely to be ended as everything may be razed to the ground.
And firing stopped and the only thing which was audible or could be heard was the noise of people who came from the adjoining villages visiting the gunfight site. It was some sort of relief for us when somebody on phone told that the army has left the village and cordon has been called off. We came out to verify. On reaching the site we found one local rebel and an army man killed.
The frightful night keeps haunting me even today and I don't want to recall the moments.