In a searing portrayal of the havoc created by the use of the pellet guns in Kashmir which has partially or completely blinded scores of the youth in Valley, the noted Kashmiri artist Masood Hussain has drawn a set of haunting black and white sketches of the teenage boys with sightless eyes.
Some of these images were posted on Facebook on Friday and they soon went viral, being shared across social media including Whatsapp.
The sketches graphically evoke the horror of the young boys losing their sight. Boys in Hussain’s sketches stare blankly from the pages. Their glassy visionless eyes imprint themselves scaldingly on the mind’s eye. One sketch has a boy with gaping holes for the eye sockets. Other sketch has a boy resignedly touching his forehead with one hand over a shut eye indistinguishable from the skin.
Hussain got the idea to make the sketches when he visited the Valley’s leading SMHS hospital for some personal work.
“I happened to visit the eye wards where I saw the small boys with pellet damaged eyes. Many of them will never see again. And those who can will not be able to completely recover the original sight,” says Hussain. “This troubled me. I kept thinking about them at home. And this is when I decided to make the sketches”.
Hussain’s aim is to shine spotlight on this ignored human tragedy. “Now these boys have been blinded. We have to think now how to help them,” he says. “I hope my sketches creates some awareness about the situation in Kashmir”.
The artist is coming up with more such black and white portrayals to express the “darkness, into which these boys have been pushed”.
“I thought black and white colour will describe this depressing state of affairs,” Hussain says. “Lives of these boys have been rendered barren”.
Hussain’s images offer a devastating comment on the ongoing situation in Valley. They tellingly expose the indifference of the government and the utter senselessness of the ongoing cycle of violence in the state. The sketches have followed the morphed pictures of the celebrities with pellet-damaged eyes made by a Pakistani artist which recently took internet by storm.