Reflections of Guilt

As the winter Sun gingerly smiled from behind the overcast clouds, my bosom pals all gaily smiled. Giggling joyfully, the ripples on my serene surface, engulfed the smiling reflection of my willow friend. As my soul mate cherry tree, bent down to kiss my face, her blushing blossoms, gaily loosened and settled on my calm facade. My bountiful waters, bordered by majestic Himalayan range, were celebrated as the biggest freshwater lake in Asia. 

Wular Lake, that’s me!

Formed centuries ago by earthquake activity, I house plenteous freshwater marine life. Served by Jhelum River in Kashmir I have stood witness to the long and tumultuous history of my motherland.

“Not today! I Have no time to spare” I apologized to my friends. 

Today was special!

A morning colored in nationalistic flavor, Republic Day, filled me with immense patriotic pride. I swelled in self-admiration as the fluttering reflection of the tri-color flag colored my waters and the soul-stirring freedom struggle songs drenched the air with nationalistic devotion.

Everything had to be perfect today! 

My shoreline spruced up, late-night combing operations completed, sniffer dogs and reinforced security force in place, all had to be perfect. I was so excited to be in the national news for being the first place to host a big procession, after the abdication of article 370 from my motherland. 

Sweet-smelling roses and marigold lined grounds were all bedecked to welcome the Home Minister of the country. Little kids dressed in Indian tri-colors, dancers from far North and eager locals all waited for the moment of pride, the flag hoisting ceremony. There were even foreign dignitaries and revered artists among the invitees present.

Indeed a rare moment of pride! It was the first time that my motherland was deemed peaceful and safe enough to host an event with national coverage.

All this excitement made me very edgy and nervous. The fervid air stirred my otherwise calm waters. A noxious feeling in my gut made me uneasy. Being the host, I prayed for a peaceful ceremony. As the clock ticked, the moment of truth was inching near. The chief guest was welcomed by a shower of red roses and at sharp 8 am our national pride, The Indian flag was unfurled with the National Anthem playing in the background. Emotions and tears moist many eyes as the collective patriotic spirit drenched the crowd.

Boom!!!

That very moment, a loud explosion, involuntarily burst my inners, sending a big water spout, spraying water across the shoreline. As water splashed the crowd was caught unaware and ran heedlessly in all directions. Of course what followed was a familiar scene in my motherland. 

Downhearted and hopeless, I curled inside in guilt and shame. I was deeply embarrassed at my debility. Exploited by terrorists and used as a weapon against my own country. Defeated and aghast, I for once hated my tranquil self and wished to be a turbulent sea, who had the power to defend itself. 

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