I have so far not been able to visit the ever beautiful, scenic Kashmir although the undying longing has remained at the bottom of the heart forever, since as students, we read the famous lines uttered by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir when first saw Kashmir he said “Agar firdaus bar ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto” (If there is a paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here).
The dream to visit Kashmir valley is slowly dying -with daily reports of curfews, killings, army, stone throwing and such ugly news items which no one would ever like to even glance at.
Those days, we used to envy the local residents of
Kashmir and today, majority of them pray to the Almighty to shower mercy on them and grant peace and safety of life!
Undoubtedly, thousands have died (both civilians and security personnel alike); some million Indian troops are stationed in
Kashmir, fighting militants. Talks and talks go on but very little has changed.
For the local villagers the daily life has become an endless saga & daily ordeal of violence, repression, loss of tourism and handicraft business, unemployment, migration, deaths of family members, closure of schools and what not. In past three months alone, about 100 civilians have been killed in various incidents, many or most of them being the young people.
What has prompted me to write this post today is a peculiar – and heart-wrenching custom that was reported in a daily news paper ( Divya Bhaskar) yesterday while commenting on the painful state of affairs in this region which once a paradise and is now closer to hell !
When an unmarried youth dies in Kashmir, the wedding songs (that were reserved for his wedding) are sung by the mourning women walking along with the death procession!
On one hand there are tears, cries and beating of chest in pain and on the other, the never-to-be wedding flashes across their minds when many of them have to customarily sing the wedding songs!
Strange are the ways of God. And equally strange are the ways of we mortals also.