“A shot in the dark

A past lost in space

Where do I start

The past, and the chase

You hunted me down

Like a wolf, a predator

I felt like a deer in lovelights”

I, Ahmadi, I loved you and trusted you, mother. I gazed adoringly with unconditional love into your eyes. Cradled in your strong arms, I felt safe. I did wonders at school, brought home many a prize. But I was only nine, when you told me I was the bastard child, moved me to the outhouse. I was cold and scared, I pled to be back int he warm, lit, inviting house. I longed to belong. But it was not to be. Instead, I glimpsed you frolicking with the dogs and wolves through the windows. They often bayed at my broken door. I begged for safety, you turned me down. Where do I start? The past, and the chase.. Now my body is bitten and ravaged, bereft of life. You hunted me down, I felt like a deer in lovelights. I wait to die. Tell me, what do you see in the wolf’s eyes?

“A shot in the dark

A past lost in space

Where do I start

The past, and the chase..”

I, Tribal, the other from Ilaqa Ghair, I am confused, mother. You always said I was yours. But my brothers and sisters live with you, and I am cast to the wilderness. You sent my siblings to school, fed them, sheltered them, loved them. But I was left to tend to myself, drinking rainwater and eating brush. The rules were different for me too – the rules for ‘the other’, punished for others’ crimes, without defense or appeal. To me you said I was your sword, your asset… that I must fight to gain strategic depth. I did as you said, unquestioningly, faithfully. And then came the wolves. You told me they were my friends and brothers. Do brothers eat flesh of brothers? Mother, they devour parts of my body every day. Yet you do not see at all, looking through me into their yellow eyes. Tell me, what do you see in those eyes?

“You loved me and I froze in time

Hungry for that flesh of mine

But I can’t compete with a she

wolf who has

brought me to my knees

What do you see in those

yellow eyes

Cause I’m falling to pieces”

I, Hazara, I’m falling to pieces. I beseeched you for help when the beast first struck. I did not want to trouble you too much, you were busy. Then the wolf tore out my eyes, gnawing at my flesh. I screamed for help. You told me you loved me, then turned away towards the wolf herself…and I froze in time. Mother, now the wolf gouges out my heart, hungry for that flesh of mine. But I can’t compete with a she wolf ...I am bleeding, dyeing, calling out to you. But you are in bed with her. Tell me, mother, what you see in those yellow eyes? Cause I’m falling to pieces.

“Did she lie in wait

Was I bait to pull you in

The thrill of the kill

You feel is a sin

I lay with the wolves, alone it seems

I thought I was part of you”

I, Soldier, swore undying allegiance to you. I swore to love, respect and protect you. I would die before I let a single hair on your beautiful head come to harm. Mother, I fight whenever you order me to, my duty but to do or die. I hunted with the wolves, when you told me to. I hunted them, when you told me to. But now they hunt me, mother. I look to you and you are nowhere. I lie with the wolves, alone it seems. I thought I was part of you. Was I bait to pull you in the thrill of the kill, you feel is a sin? My spirit is crushed, heart betrayed and perplexed. Help me, show me the steady path, the rah-e-mustaqeem. I am the hunted, look at me. I will let the wolf eat my heart, cut it out myself if you so desire. Only let me know. I can offer my skull for the wolf to play with, if it please you. Only let me know… What do you see in those yellow eyes?

“I’m falling to pieces

I’m falling to pieces

I’m falling to pieces

Falling to pieces”

I, Man Woman and Child, I’m falling to pieces. Falling to pieces, mother, while you watch askance. I knew the wolf, saw the hound’s bloodlust but could not persuade you. I died every day, while you dithered. I begged you to save me, but you remained undecided. You said you’d talk to her. Mother, can beasts understand our tongue? I did not think so. See for yourself now – the wolf only lunges while you talk. Yet you cannot make up your mind. Why do you not see the undiluted evil in her eyes. Why do you hesitate? Why do you tell me the wolf can be talked into not killing me every day? Why do I see you petting the wolf secretly, exchanging glances? Is the wolf your secret child, mother? Do you see your lover in her eyes, mother? Will you never turn on this spawn so vile, mother?

The writer is a human rights worker and freelance columnist.

Email:gulnbukhari@gmail.com

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