The Crimson Terrain

August 7, 2017
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The young boy by the name of Iqbal was strolling along with multitudes of people belonging to different religions in the densely occupied streets of Amritsar. He perused the Golden Temple and it epitomized sheer pulchritude as the molten-yellow gleams of sunlight produced a resplendent shimmer upon the golden surface.
The huge procession consisting of children, women, and men of all ages moved about the street in a peaceful manner. Iqbal saw many different dresses worn by the people: some were wearing a “shalwar kamiz,” like him and his father, others were wearing either a white cloth that extended from their navels to their knees along with a similar cloth on the upper half of their bodies or there were many who wore turbans of a vast variety of colours; those men had long and black beards just like his father and many of his friends, except that his father and his friends did not wear a turban. The women were either covered till their heads with a black cloth like Iqbal’s mother, who was sick at home, or they were dressed in a women’s shirt that extended down to their knees. He noticed that many men, women, and children who were walking along with him had a red dot or mark on their forehead just above their noses. He had seen many of these people before in the community. “Father what are we all doing and who are these people wearing turbans and who are the ones having a red mark on their foreheads?” he asked. “They are all part of this country, son and we are all gathered here so that we may fight for our freedom against those ruthless invaders so that we can rule ourselves.” The fragile and developing mind of Iqbal did not quite decipher what his father had just said.
Nevertheless, the street was coming to an end and the procession numbering more than twenty-thousand started to sluggishly move into a nearby park through a narrow entrance. Iqbal was in the middle of the crowd and saw tall men, whom he had to see by slanting his neck backward, were patiently moving through the entrance surrounded by the grey-coloured walls of houses on either side. Everyone was going to a park that was quite familiar to Iqbal, who for the first time saw the park as crowded as it was today.
Thenceforth, as the minutes elapsed he, whilst holding one of his father’s hands, strode across the narrow entrance to the park in a congested manner along with all the other diversely-dressed people. The park had a short-heightened brick structure placed in the nearby corner; the structure had a small dome and was surrounded by a wall with three empty spaces in it that matched the vacancies in the famous European arches but at a smaller scale.
The ”Jallianwala Bagh,” as it was known was a vast expanse of green terrain surrounded by tall and well-built houses and fine buildings. Before all the buildings and houses the park was surrounded by a thick layer of green trees with regular heights. In the center of the famous park was a brick-red structure erected from the ground and nearby was a shallow well.
Soon, the whole procession had amalgamated inside the boundaries of the garden upon the lush green surface and impassioned chants such as, “ we want our leaders to be freed,” and, “ no curfews can stop us from fighting for our right,”  started to emanate across the vast assemblage. The procession had started to meet its intended purpose by staging a peaceful demonstration against the oppression they suffered. Iqbal stood in the crowd with innocent eyes trying to understand thing-his eight-year old mind understood little of the intensity of what was going on. He, along with his father, started to move away from the dense section of the crowd because his condition had started to deteriorate and he wasn’t able to breathe well.
As soon as he reached the corner of the enormous group, he saw that a sizeable amount of men wearing brown shorts, hats, and shirts formed a line in front of the procession. They were wearing black boots and socks that stretched up to their knees. Each one of them was carrying a long rifle and many of them guarded the entrance of the park and obscured the narrow entrances.
They had surrounded the entire crowd from a distance and started to fire incessantly at the static group. Iqbal’s mind fell into a profound anarchy and his thoughts scrambled as the humungous number of masses desperately rushed towards the entrance and the rattle of gunfire started to perpetuate. The horrifying sound resounded across his feeble mind and he covered his ears to avoid the terror in that traumatizing sound. For a moment, Iqbal felt as if he had lost his hearing and he saw how many of the people had fallen down and blood was amalgamating on the previously brown terrain rendering it a grotesque disguise of crimson. People were trampling each other and many started to jump into the shallow well to avoid the consistent drill of gunfire. Whilst Iqbal stood isolated and immobile he felt bullets pierce his back and fell to the ground. The convulsion made every passing moment feel like an eternity of torment. But, soon the pain emasculated and many people squashed the harmless body of the boy and after endless deaths and violence, the malevolent rattle of gunfire met its demise.
The gloaming had now emerged and as the sun set itself into darkness, a massive tally of defiled bodies lay helplessly butchered on the crimson terrain.






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