Today at around 2 a.m when I slipped into the bed with great efforts, my lids did oblige but mind and eyes refused to obey. The constant niggles to my nerves due to the flashes of mutilated bodies, smashed heads and pools of blood all around that the valley witnessed over the last couple of gory days and grieving nights was excruciating. The painful faces of the family members of the families that were left with one person less over the past couple of days zipped over the frame of my retina and swept away all the left over desire to sleep. I took a deep breath, ostensibly sucked in all the oxygen left in my room, shook off my body out of the bed to save my fast pulsating heart that seemed to choke this inhaled oxygen from flowing into my veins.
I found myself clueless, moist eyes failed me and my mind flashed back into 1990’s when almost every family lost at least one member. When mosques would reverberate with slogans of Ham kya chahatay, Azadi and the songs of Jago Jago subh hue.. Khonay shahida rang laya.. When tin roofs in the night would echo along the mighty mountains caging the valley. When dead bodies, blasts, grenade attacks, curfews, clampdowns, identification parades, frequent frisking, bunkers after every yard and even the scary air that was their to fill the lungs was only left amongst the gutted buildings, schools, bridges and mined roads. When serpentine lengths of rallies along the streets, lanes and by lanes would culminate at the UN office stationed on the edge of biggest Army encampment of Badambagh. When hapless children were rendered fatherless, beyond any reckoning the count of widows unendingly piled, Arithmetic computations failed to estimate the half widows that had become a regular feature in every village and mohalla. When having a son was considered a curse since it was thought would bring pain once he grows up. And today it is these beleaguered sons who were born, grownup and lived their lives in the kiln of this turbulent valley of pain and agony harbouring anguish and distress along every single day that added to their age.
1996 and 2002 elections did seemingly bring in the staggering respite since the youth of 1990’s were appallingly scared and terrified with the petrifying memories of Papa II, and the like camps both in Kashmir and outside. Moreover, they had by then landed into edge of their upper age limits where they evidently became more concerned about their families and small children. And the youth group stretching between the years 1996 to 2006 who could have considered all kinds of antagonism and aggression had seen the pain of their parents and elder brothers thus preferred to stay back without showing much resilience due to the family pressures or with the hope of changing the horrid plight of their families. Besides, liberalization of Indian economy, telecom revolution, private sector and unabated monetary inflows played the role of chanalizing their energies. Nonetheless, the seething angry was there to find a vent.
Then came the new crop born between 1986 and 1996 who although had grown up in the same pain and anguish, supported by their “one step ahead generation” who had kept their pent-up anger under the lid while carrying along their pathetically heaving failed aspirations clanking them on every political ebb or any act of injustice around. This new age band has seen monetary miseries as well as self earned opulence. Equipped with stone and anger they do not seem to listen to any excuse to keep them at bay. The amplitude of their anger has a history of their age in the conflict zone. They say they do not care nor do they want to shuffle the pages of history to justify and reinforce their stand. They sprung in 2008, 2009 and now in 2010 with bolstered rigour and force. They played heros with similar exactitude in the 2008 elections since they believe that administration and development should go hand in hand. Fear and fret is the last thing that has caught a mark on any of the lines on their faces. They are not even ready to listen to the protagonists of 90’s. They have an ideology chiselled over the years by the poignant emotions and heart-rending backgrounds and agonizing surroundings in which they have grown. I, startlingly at this point of time when thoughts do not even afford to move beyond one single day, did not keep myself from imagining what the next set of youth would possibly reflect and what the kids of today would make as the young men.
A deafening knock on the gate of our house clanged me back from the thoughts that had carried me into the psychology of the brackets of generations guiding Kashmir. Amazingly, clock had already stuck 6 in the morning. I, mustering my wits back, rushed down to open the gate and was surprised to find around a dozen of young men, apparently of the same age and size holding the vein in their arms by the cotton and thumb after having come from the locally arranged small blood donation camp. With the other limping hand they carried a big sack to collect food grains and other stuff for poor and needy people in the area.

Note: The author is my elder brother Sajjad Qadri. Published with due permission.


5 Responses

  1. spine chilling…especially after the recent fresh bout of attack in the Valley….
    Like John Lenon sang, ‘… give Peace a chance..’

  2. I agree with you!

    And, many of us are not even bothered . Some are in a quandry whether KAshmir is india.

    In a recent interview of director of the movie, lamhaa

    He said that : one of the militants asked him: when are you going back to india?

    hmm.. well, it is best to do something rather than lament i feel

  3. 😦

  4. I’d say “Give Kashmir a chance, to stand up on its own”.

  5. Hi!
    Re-twit you post: to my @ubfxgamo twitter

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