“The Fury of Overshoes” is a poem by Anne Sexton in which we read that she was afraid of the wolf when she was a child. What an interesting stage childhood is! Sometimes we are afraid of real things that are never ever gruesome and yet some other times, we are scared of imaginary things, things that have never ever existed, things which are just imaginations. I was afraid of the huge, traditional musical drum which is a special part of musical apparatus in Gilgit, the city where I grew up. I still remember when I was a child, there used to be frequent musical shows in the open, beautiful and the lush-green garden in front of our home. There would be a storm of people to entertain from the musical program. A particular instrumental piece would be played with fourteen small drums along with one big, circular drum that needed a robust man to hold it on his belly and play. For me, those musical shows were really fear-provoking. I don’t know how and who had incorporated the delusion in my mind that the large-sized drum can rush at me at any time, and can swallow me in a single gulp, or it may beat me with its sticks until I fell to the ground paralyzed, wounded and badly hurt. My siblings and mother tried hard so that I do not fear the drum, but their efforts brought no hope of freedom. Whenever there used to be a musical show in our garden, I would not have the courage to step out of the house. I would sit silently in my mother’s lap while she would try to appease me by every possible tactic. My family members, many relatives and the huge drummer himself strived hard to bring me out of the trouble. Unfortunately, the delusion had so deeply prevailed in my mind that their description of the drum as an object unable to move was totally implausible for me. Well, it affected me a lot. I was deprived of the charms of the music. I could not dance and enjoy the music with my friends. The days of the musical shows in our garden would be among the worst days of my childhood. Being overwhelmed by the fear, I would not dare to step out of the home until the next day. I would be a topic of more special concern than usual for my relatives and neighbors in common and for my family members in particular on the days when music could be played in our garden. I would pray to God: “Allah papa, please make the drum afraid as it frightens me or take it away.”

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