A child that feels unloved will burn the village to feel its warmth - Abbas Raza

‘The imperative was ignored’, said the teenage boy with a deep sigh, sitting on a rooftop in rain puffing his cigarettes one after another in regret.

It was wrong, he thought to himself, but was it a wrong entirely his to be made right?. The clouds hovered over him, the tall and mighty trees all bent slightly by the robust winds, the leaves adorning the trees all flung around, and every drop of rain fell on the ground with hell going loose inside his mind.

‘The past doesn’t let me engage’, he said to the sky staring upward, talking as if to the sun behind the dark clouds. Guilt had consumed him. Optimism was nowhere in sight His self, filled with the dark thoughts and repulsion from any love this world had to offer.

‘Owing to you, do I sit here in solitude’, said he as he folded his sleeves and touched the burnt scars on his arm. ‘It is credited to the childhood you provided that I am scared of entering any commitment’, he added holding a picture in his hand.

As he closed his eyes, he heard every single drop of rain falling on the ground, he could sense the petrichor more boldly, the lightning in the sky was ever more obvious to him, and he could feel every breeze that caressed his scars. Amidst all of this, he struggled with the past that passed by his closed eyes, like a slideshow. The events of him being physically assaulted and sexually violated passed by his sight like a vivid reality. A reminiscence of his days of childhood continued to go by his mind. The violations of his integrity by an elder relative, and his parents’ account of further torturing him claiming his words as slander. His father assaulting his mother and her, dealing with it like a bystander to tragedy and wearing a smile every day, preparing as if for the torture and hell that was to be wreaked.

Tears continued to drop from his eyes as he sobbed and blamed himself from putting an end to the incessant torture in what seemed like the only way. He continued to sob as he opened his eyes. ‘You deprived me of my right to live’, he said with guilt, staring at a blood-stained knife beside him.

The kids played in the rain down on the roads, but to him, the world had ended, around him, hell was bent loose, and all that lied ahead was agony with a touch of distress. He looked up, stared as if into the eyes of fate, confronting it and stood up. Took the last puff of his cigarette, flung it from the roof, shortly after jumping himself.

The guilt of patricide had eaten him. He took his life shortly after those who killed his esteem in the innocence of childhood. The guilt of an irrational and lack of trust in his parental relationship were the final nail in his coffin.

Conspicuous as it is, it goes ignored. The fact that what we bear in childhood leaves an effect on us; one too dark and strenuous to be overcome. Our experiences shape us, in oneof the two ways; we either grow to give either the same experience we have had to lighten the burden form our soul, or we end up being the opposite of the torture we have had to ensure no other being has to ever put up with a battle so hard, and a past so dark.

The people in the former category only add further toxicity in our world. They increase the pains of the peoples, and state their own sufferings as plausible causes. The other sort of people have been so few, so precious. They die fighting for people’s rights, and more so often, they just die.

The nourishment starts from home is an advice too common in our households. What we fail to reflect upon is everything starts from home; the learning, the growth, the torture, and even the will to comprehend the societal and systematic torture that destroys an entire generation.

Lack of trust at home makes a child feel alien and unwelcomed at home. Home is the one place where one must feel invited and valued. It is in the darkest of hours that home enlightens a person. It allows them to express themselves in an atmosphere that is not only free of judgements and hatred, but also accompanies compassion and love. Home and the relationships therein, teach the importance of inclusive dialogue and the etiquettes of having discussions with a diversity of opinions. In the most globalized of times, one thing this world simply does not need is a systematic nurture of radical mindsets. Rationality, objectivity, and diversity of opinions must always be welcome, and this lesion must be taught at home, first of all. A healthy relationship is imperative and must not be ignored. As the African proverb goes:

“A child that feels unloved will burn the village to feel its warmth.”

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