I wasn’t one of them. Or I wasn’t, perhaps, anymore. When people spoke to me, people whom I had known since my childhood, they addressed me differently; ahan’u, for instance, had become ahan’haz. Both mean “yes,” the affirmative, but the respectful formality of the latter word had replaced the affectionate familiarity of the former. In any case, there I stood at a distance watching, moving forward only when the boys charged, returning to my place when they were chased back. I did not shout any slogans nor throw any stones. I may have handed a couple of small pebbles lying next to me to a teenager—a stone warrior—who was running short. During the “stone battles” of Anantnag, however, everyone shed painful tears, the throwers and the bystanders. There was no escape from the tear gas. That is why my eyes grew red.
Stone Wars by Mohamad Junaid