The elections were celebrated like a festival. Where some booths had peaceful voting going on, some reported events of destruction including firing and injuring some local civilians. The media reporters were cursing the current government for not planning adequate measures to protect the civilians. Violence was anyways a common scenario in the valley, but during elections, the entire environment became even more sensitive.
People were voting for Afzal and Zakir both. The groups waiting for their grand party after Zakir’s victory, made sure that even the people around them voted for him!
‘Zakir bhai is going to win this time, insha-allah, Kashmir will see another revolution!’ discussions were being held right at the voting booths, and people were arguing and fighting upon their different opinions.
Zakir and Afzal went to vote for themselves at the same booth, and the media reporters had an orgasm watching the two cousins with brutal animosity, behaving like friends in public. Such scenes were not a daily encounter after all. Both the brothers instead got a picture clicked with their inked fingers and a side-hug, making it yet another unbelievable event in the history of Kashmir.
‘This younger generation is educated, tolerant and very understanding, so unlike the mad-men from the 60s or 50s. All they care about was winning!’ said an old man who was smoking at a road-side stall, watching Zakir and Afzal hug and pose for the photo, on a small TV set up in the shop on a shelf.
‘You are so wrong, chacha-jaan. It’s all a part of politics. Sympathy votes, making a fool out of the common men!’ claimed a young guy.
‘So, who have you voted for?’ the old man asked.
‘Nobody. I’m utilizing NOTA – None of the above! That’s my right to say that I don’t support any of the candidates and that the elections should be held again.’ he acclaimed proudly.
‘You seriously think re-elections will ever occur in the valley? Elections in itself are a challenge here, considering re-elections, there will be mass-murders and bomb-blasts! This is the most peaceful election in the history of Kashmir. Without bloodshed and without much deaths. Just that bomb-blast in Tibetan market was one tragedy, rest everything went smooth. In my life of seventy-nine years, I have never seen such peaceful elections, son!’ the old man puffed another cigarette.
‘Whatever…’ the young lad walked away.
‘This young generation, they want everything to change right now. Things take time to change and it’s not Alladin’s magic lamp that a Geanie will pop out and make things happen!’ the old man laughed at his own poor joke. People around him were busy seeing the scenario of the valley.
‘And here we are with Missus Sana Yusuf Khan, sister of Afzal Hamidi. Ma’am, what are your views about this election? What do you think will happen?’ the reporter asked and the little tea-stall was flooded with people to take a look at non-controversial and very private – Sana Khan.
‘This chick is so hot man!’ someone from the audiences commented.
‘Well, both of my brothers have worked very hard, and both of them want the good of the valley. Since it’s a democracy, so the decision is entirely upon the people, whom do they select. My best wishes are for both of them.’ without being much controversial again, and with a decent diplomatic answer, Sana drove away in her black SUV.
‘So this was Sana Khan, minus her husband Mr Yusuf Khan, who usually keeps himself away from the limelight, but is also very rarely seen in any elections during voting. Maybe this is his way of saying that he doesn’t like any of the candidates?’ the reporter made a poor joke and giggled. She then moved on to the public in general, asking their opinions about the candidates and their choice of person for the post of chief minister!
* * * * *
The elections were over, and voting was closed late in the evening. Sana was lying in her drawing room, resting on the same sofa where Zakir made love to her last night. She was immediately reminded of Zakir who was to again visit her today. She knew Afzal would be busy with his business executives and so she had called Zakir, but thinking of Zakir, she was reminded of Kavya too, who was nowhere to be seen since last night. She climbed upstairs to check upon her. She had locked the house herself and there was no exit-way in her entire house, other than the main-door whose key she carried to the voting booth too. There was no way that Kavya could escape if she was in the house. But there was a big ‘if’ ahead.
‘Kavya?’ she announced her name outloud. There was no response. Sana reached first floor and gently pushed the door of her room open. She was shocked to see an empty room, laughing back at her.
‘What the hell?’ Sana opened the cupboards. There was nothing, all empty. She was gone.
‘How the hell she escaped?’ Sana held her head. If Zakir would know about this, he would never leave her.
‘Shit, what should I do now?’ telling Afzal was even more dangerous right now. He had made a public promise to safeguard the girl, and if she ran away from her sister’s place, the entire blame of that would be put upon him, and his image would be ruined.
Sana picked up her phone and called Zakir. She told him everything. Zakir reached at her place within ten minutes.
‘Are you serious?’ Zakir’s face was red, his eyes, bloodshot.
‘Zakir, you have been drinking…?’ Sana asked.
‘Yea! Celebrating my victory, but where the hell is that girl?’ Zakir was in no mood to change the topic.
‘I don’t know? Hell how would I know?’
‘It was your responsibility!’ Zakir shouted.
Sana was quiet, ‘Zakir…’ she spoke after giving a minute to Zakir to calm down.
Zakir neared her and kissed her on her lips.
‘Not now, Zakir. I’m worried…’ Sana’s pleadings fell on deaf ears.
‘I know…’ Zakir continued stripping her clothes off. She resisted but he was adamant.
He fucked her.