HT City

One by one they all left


Avery matter-of-fact narration, with no trace or effort to sensationa­lise pain, the book A Long Dream of Home, a collection of essays documentin­g the prosecutio­n, exodus and exile of Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s armed insurgency, is a humble attempt to get the community to speak their collective angst. Jointly edited by Siddhartha Gigoo and Varad Sharma, this work of non-fiction tries to piece together stories of a community that is fast dwindling. Two and a half decades of violence and the longing for peace, 1989 marked yet another chapter of wrongs for the Valley. These essays are akin to raw diary entries with little or no pretence of language and expression. Sentences are crisp and to-the-point. There is a craving for almond orchards, for Chinar trees, for simpler times, for days much before the nights became long, dark and wintry, much before the air was slashed with mistrust and days marred with curfews; much before it became important for Kashmiris to follow Pakistan Standard Time. There is a sense of betrayal nursed by the Kashmiri Pandits against the Muslim majority, as one of the contributo­rs puts it, ‘our intertwini­ng histories came in the way of our conflictin­g memories’. TITLE: A Long Dream of Home AUTHOR: Edited by Siddhartha Gigoo and Varad Sharma PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury PRICE: ` 499

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