My Name is Kashmir

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Dr. Qayum Hamid Changal

After the life of threat and menace, the son of my soil sleeps for eternity and mother anticipates one last hug. Crestfallen meadows and melancholy in my breeze, I am the forsaken land where soil unclasps the dead like one lover embosoms another. In my lap the juvenile blood smooches lush green turf, red and warm trying to catch the breath and look deep into the eyes of discombobulated tomorrow. It is all poetic but tragic.

You won’t even imagine how it feels like an old father bolsters the coffin of his young son. I endure but all in waste, I want to lacerate my breast and swallow every good and bad soul along with it’s contrivance. But I don’t as I can’t swallow the affliction of my people, for I am aware of the fact that it’s torment will smoulder me into ash. If the dawn is placid, dusk would be disappointing. And if the dusk is quietude, the coming dawn with it will bring misery and vexation. I am the silent observer, I am raped and mutilated but I watch like a bystander. If I protest I am told to bear it for the agony shall be perpetual.

I see everything. I know how Tufail and Wamiq was murdered and truth was annihilated. They rest in my bosom so peacefully, their tender cheeks nudging my epidermis. Not only them, but I discern how their parents every night talk about them. They converse about how with delight Wamiq would eat meals when his mother would make “Yakhni” for him. And I smile and sob both when I spy Tufail’s father kissing his academic report cards. Sometimes I think how doomed I am that my people can’t even enjoy the benefits of being alive. It’s like they breathe and walk, but they can’t feel that light push of existence. From business to education, rich and poor, man and woman, young and old, and every living and nonliving being of mine is caged. Apprehended in their own yard,not even my children know what freedom looks like. It sounds strange but the ‘heaven on earth’, I myself don’t remember what emancipation actually means. But, I listen my people chant the slogans of “Aazadi”.

My name is Kashmir and you can’t foolishly ignore me, nor can you give me that candy of dummy happiness by calling me ”world famous”. Now I am celebrated for my gutted houses and blood on the roads. I may be illustrious, I may be prominent, I may be great, but it all confines me into the body that knows only to entertain only foreigners and witness my own limbs, my people, maimed and ignored. I am told I am the land of saints, but then didn’t they declare to the world that I am the heaven on earth as well? It is all metrical, the fact is I am chained and grief-stricken. I once again wish to be the core of Mehjoor’s poetry and smirk on the face of some child, and me alluring again. Hopefully sooner!

(Dr Qayum Hamid Changal is a doctor and can be mailed at qhchangal@gmail.com)

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of JandK Headlines.