By: Dr Qayum Hamid Changal
I belong to the land of beautiful anatomy, lush green meadows and scintillating views wherever our sight surrenders. We have here the exact definition of all the four seasons mentioned in books, and then there is one more season that engulfs all four of them in her dark bosom. The season of death!
As I go to bed every night, not a single sleep passes blank. It is filled with the dreams of my homeland and those dreams are filled with fateful and turbulent moments. I dream of the bullets being fired everywhere, of the wailing mothers and distressed children. I dream of some known graves and sometimes unknown. I dream of so many security men behind me trying to catch me but couldn’t. I dream of one old man trying to cry but can’t. I dream of the burning Kashmir, and not of the Tulips and beautiful landscapes.
Why is it? Shall you call me the depressed or destructive soul? Or you claim to be the sane among all and give me the name of absurd dreamer? But the mother of all facts is I am not alone in this league of dreaming bullets and blood. Speak to any Kashmiri and he will open up vomiting out the similar experiences. It is not so tough to access the cause, nor does one need some scientific researches to conclude his findings. Since childhood we have been agonisingly pressured and pushed to the walls, our mental balance is intentionally altered after killing and arresting our family members and friends. Even if you are working abroad the news reaches you of the killings of innocent people,of fake encounters, of interrogations, of denying one’s rights, of raising number of orphans and widows,and of Kashmir turning out to be the death trap that was once your heavenly birth place. The recent research concluded suggest that the orphanages in Kashmir are becoming the ‘boiling pot’ of stress with more than 50 percent orphans suffer from unfortunate psychological morbidies. It would be expecting a lot from these tender souls if we anticipate them of dreaming clouds,dolls and families. They dream smoke,bullet and moans, of what that turned them to orphans. And same is the case with adults as well who lost their near and dear ones to this never ending conflict.
When I worked as a volunteer in Sub District Hospital Sopore after completion of my studies,at least 10 to 20 patients I would come across everyday who had the visible marks of torture on their bodies suffered during interrogations in various jails in Kashmir. And still I think of them, and of thousands of those whom I have never seen but know they are there in the valley unheard suffering every moment. And why won’t I dream death? From the cold murder of my uncle Nazir to the fake encounter of Khalid Muzzaffar, and all those before them and in between,and as one sees no end to it, I fear more dreams of reality shall come across my sleeps and give me that trouble. But then I believe one day all would be fine,and the next moment again someone is killed and my trepidation of neverending nightmares give me a peaceful yet painful sleep.
(The author Dr Qayum Hamid Changal is a doctor and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org )
Ideas expressed in this article are author’s own.