Lis­ten to me, I am Kash­mir seething with ag­o­nies.

Views from Sari­nagr

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - [The au­thor can qhchan­gal@gmail.com] be mailed at

FDR QAYUM HAMID CHANGAL INALLY it is the dusk. It was an ap­palling day, all day it rained like never be­fore. See, the roofs are not wet, they are sim­ply holed. Con­fused? It rained bul­lets all day long, and lit­er­ally rained like never be­fore. I could lis­ten to the moans of Ali Mo­hammed, shout­ing at his wife, “Come inside Zooni, we must try to die to­gether.” Ag­o­nis­ing! I don’t know they lived another day or not. But, when it was a pos­si­ble last breath, they were try­ing to re­live their first meet where they promised to die hand in hand.

Who am I? Well, I’m the mob, an in­di­vid­ual too, and am all in be­tween. But, most im­por­tantly, I’m Kash­mir reel­ing un­der con­stant threat of gun.

I guess you know me well. For my tourists I’m just another place to visit and deeply drown in her al­lur­ing col­ors and fas­ci­nat­ing beauty.

They feel my skin, but the bruised in­ner or­gans are cov­ered un­der the su­per­fi­cial white and lush. And, for my dwellers I’m the tor­tured mother, dis­crim­i­nated and mo­lested meet­ing all the re­quire­ments to feed the col­lec­tive con­science of democ­racy.

Some­times I’m just like a rolling stone, travel from place to place. Ever heard of a place trav­el­ling from one place to another? I know it sounds ab­surd, but not more ab­surd than my state of af­fairs. Some­day I’m on the round ta­ble of these crooked au­to­crats, a few days later you shall find me mak­ing head­lines in the news­pa­pers, and some­times I shall be dragged into the ad­ver­tise­ments of the depart­ment of Tourism to be sold for earn­ing cer­tain rev­enue.

In the North West of In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, I’m a Mus­lim dom­i­nated re­gion. Part of me dwells in Pak­istan, they call it ‘Azad Kash­mir’.

For the past three decades I’m maimed, as­saulted force­fully and blood is spilt ev­ery­day. On the roads, inside the rooms, by the banks of my river, in the mead­ows of my bo­som, on the snow capped moun­tains, be­neath the canopy so mes­meris­ing, blood is shed.

You know, till date more than one lakh Kash­miri peo­ple have gory con­flict.

Peo­ple fight for right of self de­ter­mi­na­tion, and die dream­ing it. It’s a per­fect ro­mance, the Romeo be­ing a com­mon man and the Juliet me. Romeo so much loves its Juliet, it wants to set it free.

The love that longs for the ev­er­last­ing kiss, but ends up in the one last one only to res­onate high to kiss again.

A few days ago my daugh­ter Shaista fell to the bul­lets of the Forces. She was very beau­ti­ful, so beau­ti­ful that death en­vied her. Some­times I’m a bit proud of my­self think­ing how brave a mom I am. Sons say good­bye to me, daugh­ters are raped, mo­lested, maimed and they too bid me a fi­nal adieu.

I do shed the tears, but then I’m back to nor­malcy. You call it in­hu­mane, I call it liv­ing lost their lives to this ahead for the alive but re­mem­ber­ing dead who sleep in my gut, my bo­som, my limbs, my mind, ev­ery­where.

Mine is an un­end­ing tale of atroc­i­ties. En­forced Dis­ap­pear­ances, fake en­coun­ters, wid­ows and half wid­ows, or­phans and half or­phans, de­pressed and tired bod­ies, grave­yards wher­ever you see, and mass graves that you are not al­lowed to see. There’s ev­ery rea­son to worry for me, for my peo­ple. But, the In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity al­ways turns the blind eye to­wards me. May be be­cause I don’t have oil fields. Or, may be I’m of no po­lit­i­cal im­por­tance to them. They talk of hu­man­ity, hu­mans suf­fer here too. Why this in­ten­tional dis­crim­i­na­tion?

If Pales­tine de­serves world at­ten­tion, so do I. Yes, I do. Come and see my scars. Touch my wounds, they sel­dom heal. Look at my eyes, they’re al­ways moist. My wrin­kled face, read it! There you shall learn all about my be­tray­ers, the ques­tion look­ing for the fi­nal so­lu­tion, and the gloom that lingers in my heart. I’m the dis­puted ter­ri­tory, solve me for the sake of hu­man­ity. I can’t hold more dead bod­ies. Please, I sim­ply can’t. A sigh! —Cour­tesy: JKH.

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