Yes! I am happy, yet sad today.
Today I am filled, yet not content.
I'd just joined Facebook on my cousin's persistent requests, when I came across a "Kashmir" network. While going through it, I found it had some 150 photographs posted. I immediately jumped on to check them out, and then…
Every picture had its own glory, its own gleam. Every picture was breath taking. The serenity, the beauty, the nature at its best. Be it the snow covered peaks touching the clear blue sky or the fluorescent spread beneath, be it the 'Dal lake' with unending houseboats or the hump shaped submerged bridge in between, be it the "Chashmashai" or the "Parimahal", be it the famous "Mughal gardens" or the picnic spots, the list is just endless. Never had I seen the flowers in such beautiful combination and never could I imagine the temple in the middle of a light blue colored spring. So was I amazed to know about another temple on a dead volcano!
Oh! Every word mentioned here to praise the beauty of the pictures is just insufficient. I was in this awe after looking at them, I was speechless.
Yes, I am a kashmiri , yet not! Yes, I am a kashmiri yet much unfortunate like the ones reading this article. For I have been born there, yet not brought up. For I have seen it through pictures, yet not in real. For I have known it through my parents, yet not felt…. But today I am proud I belong to it. Yes, I am happy, am associated to such a beautiful place. Today I am excited for I saw, what I'd heard. It was like a trip going through those 150 pictures. I silently thanked the people who posted those pictures on the network.
…And then… it started paining, I felt hurt. My heart was crying. For every frame had a barrack or a bunker, for the picnic spots were deserted, for the temples stood waiting for devotees, for those pictures seemed paintings. For those houses were burnt, those 'shikaras' were alone and the houseboats had lost their grace. For the snow had turned grey. I, along with lacs, had to leave, never to return. I feared death for I had to live. I was a toddler yet had to run. I left my home, my motherland, my roots.
…And then... I was so angry, how could we? How could we be so weak to leave our home and hearth without even fighting for it? How could we give up so easily without even trying? How could we leave our own motherland when she herself was in an hour of peril? 7 lac Kashmiri Hindus left the valley, in the hope that they will all return, once the situation is under control. They were put up in tents and it has been 18 years since then, still they haven't lost their hope!! Still i am thinking, how could we?
…And then... I got the answer!
What are you supposed to do if your neighbors are threatening to kill you? What are you supposed to do when your only son is killed in front of your eyes and you don't get even four shoulders to take his dead body and finally have to cremate him in your own porch? What are you supposed to do when your pregnant daughter-in-law is raped in front of your eyes? What are you supposed to do when your son-in-law is kidnapped and killed and your newly married daughter turns a widow. What are you supposed to do when your father is killed in front of your mother's eyes and she herself had to cremate him, as against the tradition. What are you supposed to do if this is the scene in every nook and corner of the valley? I sighed, it was difficult to breath. I was amazed at His masterwork, yet amused at the irony. At the end of it, I felt lonely, yet felt many MEs in my self.
Today I saw my roots, yet missed the smell.
I saw the beauty, yet painted in blood.