'It Doesn't Feel Like Home': Nostalgia, Nightmare In Kashmir Orphanage

Tabia Masoodi, Al Misda Masoom - Kashmir Observer

LIFE inside an orphanage is an emotional roller-coaster—“always testing the tested”—Musaib says without blinking an eye.

The orphan yet to observe his 18th birthday narrates his nightmare that comes to haunt his stay in the house of orphans.

The nightmare starts with an Azaan that suddenly turns into a resounding scream. A siren-wailing ambulance can be heard next in that dusk hour. It unsettles Musaib who leaves his prayers and embraces his mother tightly.

His mother Fozia quickly folds the praying mat, mumbles prayers for everyone's safety and runs downstairs to make sense of screaming. Musaib follows her like a scared kitten. He then wakes up to an awful reality.

He sees himself in a strange shelter bereft of his mother's comforting presence. He gets up and prays in the masjid of the orphanage, he now lives in.