These are the happiest and saddest days for Yawar Ibrahim. He's ecstatic for being able to spend an entire day watching world cup cricket on television. And he's wretched since seeing his favorite sport returns feelings of helplessness and loss to him.

The fours and sixes and the jolting bouncers impassion Yawar to play cricket with his friends in the neighbourhood ground. Every exciting shot beaming from a small black-and-white TV set borrowed from neighbors feebly stirs Yawar to move his legs and arms. But he relapses into silence realizing his crippled state.

Sixteen-year-old Yawar has been paralytic for nearly two years. His legs that would love running on the cricket field all day are unable to walk or support him. His lips wear a frozen smile and haven't uttered a word in months. His life is confined to a small green-painted room in a rundown two-storey house.

His only expressions are his smiles brightening his round plump face. His action is confined to his left arm that he raises to point out his paralyzed right arm which he then withdraws to indicate an arc- shaped scar in the head.

He depicts his left hand as a tear-gas canister. He indicates that the tear-gas shell shot into the air and struck his head wounding and leaving him unconscious. He moves his left arm to the right limb and shows that the tear-gas shell paralyzed and curled it forever.

"This has become Yawar's routine action," says his father, Mohammad Ibrahim Bhatt. Bhatt says that Yawar was hit by a tear-gas shell on 30 June 2009 outside their Maisuma, Srinagar, home. It was a time when the Valley was holding frequent strikes against the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian. "There was a strike on that day," says Bhatt, "when Yawar had gone out to buy butter. People had gathered and had started protesting on the street outside. In order to control the crowd, the security forces resorted to tear-gas shelling and firing."

Yawar who was returning home was trapped in the melee between security forces and protestors. In a violent moment, he was directly hit on the head by a whirring tear-gas shell.

"Watching him fall in a pool of blood, some people took him to the city hospital nearby," says Yawar's mother, Gulshan Begum. "It was after he was moved to the hospital that I was informed about Yawar's accident."

Yawar was in coma for seventeen days. He came out of it paralyzed and bedridden.

"Doctors say the canister hit him deep in the head, affecting his nerves and brain, which snapped his ability to talk or move," reveals Gulshan.

Yawar was then fourteen and in eighth class. Yawar's two passions were books and cricket. "He was one of the few children in our locality who concentrated on studies besides excelling in cricket," says Bhat

Yawar's condition has brought enormous emotional pain to his family and nearly impoverished it. Bhatt sold the little property he had and his small mechanic shop to pay for Yawar's treatment. "Now I work as manual labourer and mechanic alternately to earn," says Bhat.

Gulshan has sold her only pair of earrings and bangles and her eldest daughter's trousseau. "We sold everything we had but Yawar is not improving," says Gulshan. "My younger daughter gave up her studies to nurse Yawar." Yawar is the only son of his parents. Both his elder sisters remain unmarried.

"I have to spend one thousand five hundred rupees average per week on Yawar's treatment," says Bhatt. "I can't imagine getting my daughters married or educating them."

Yawar's family has received no aid from the government or NGOs aside from some monetary assistance in 2009 from the separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front when Yawar was hospitalized.

But the family fights all odds to return Yawar's childhood. Bhat wishes to take Yawar to a leading neurologist in Jammu but doesn't have sufficient travel funds.

"My son," says Gulshan, "was not a protestor, stone-thrower or militant. He is paying the price of innocence. I am ready to do anything to make him well."

"I long to hear him call me 'mama' just once," sobs Gulshan.