Fake Encounter Dastarkhwaan

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An encounter was finished and the Canine Regiment had called for a press conference to detail about the event to the reporters. The reporters had rushed in from the city.

Major Gusta Bhargowda: It is a matter of deep honour for my team that today on the fourth of may 2015 at 12:00 hours we have killed three wanted over-ground workers of the HM in the forests of Tral. The three wanted militants…

Reporter interrupts

Kashmir Reporter : Sir you just mentioned they were over-ground workers?

Major: Yes yes, over-ground workers are militants too. They supply them with wazwan to keep them healthy. Okay. So we killed these three men who in the forests. We asked them nicely to stop. But they refused. We felt bad by their dismissal you see I am a Major in the Army. Anyway, we followed them while they were calling Pakistan….

Reporter interrupts

Kashmir Reporter: Sir, how can you listen to a conversation from a distance and how did you know that this call is to Pakistan?

Major: Yes yes, we have a new technology which is make in India. We again called them to stop. But since they didn’t listen one of our brave constables got pissed and fired at the apple tree above their heads. The apple fell from the tree and killed the three militants… yes reporter I know, over-ground workers.

Kashmir Reporter: Sir, how can apples kill people?

Major: You know nothing, Jan Shah, these apples are from Tral which is at a great height. They fell like bombs on their heads. Well, also it was accidental firing. We just wanted them to come with us so that we can treat them to Wazwan at our beautiful camp. Oye  constable Vikram Chotala bring the Dastarkhwaan. 

Kashmir Tar and Kashmir Rizi follow the constable and take the picture of the slain men. Constable grins as the Major tries to fit in the picture.

Kashmir Reporter: So were they carrying anything with them?

Major: Yes I forgot, they carried 10 Ak 47 rifles, 5 magazines, 20 hand grenades, 4 Insas, 5 rocket launchers, two packets of dry fruits, three Gucci t-shirts, three Armani jeans, five boxes of Ahad Wazwan, three transistors, one tiffin with cooked mutton, one plastic bottle, one more Dry fruit packet, one belt and five shoes at an encounter site.

Kashmir Reporter: (while Rizi and Tar starting eating dry fruits) So you mean to say none of them even fired a single bullet?

Major: Our constable who killed them accidentally was trained by Chris Kyle, you know American Sniper fame? Yes him.

Kashmir Reporter: The locals have said they were tortured to death?

Major looks at the constable and whispers in his ear “Which encounter brief did you give me?” Constable scared “Sir, this is the one to be done next week”. Major’s face gets angry, “You motherfucker, why did you not tell me before.” Constable bows his head down and takes his steps back. Major puts his sunglasses on so that his eyes are covered.

Major: Actually this has been an honest mistake on our part. We were unaware of the power of apples in the areas. We announce a cash award to the family and a job to the next of the kin. We have instated an inquiry and will bring justice to the family of the departed. We are deeply sorry.

Kashmir Reporter gets a note “IF YOU SPEAK MORE YOU WILL NEVER SPEAK AGAIN. DO NOT DARE TO TELL THE TRUTH”.

With guns around Kashmir Reporter he falls silent and not become yet another story for his own paper.

Rizi and Tar are taking pictures from their new DSLR cameras. “Sir you don’t need to tell us anything just email the brief and we will take care of it”. The Public Relations Officer is engaged in the deep conversation regarding the framing of the news to make the Army likable. “Add a filter here, you know, increase the brightness and reduce the contrast,we should appear acclimatised and send it on my Whatsapp, tell your editors we will publish bigger ads with more stories, do not worry.”

Kashmir Reporter isolated with no courtesy given leaves the place and heads to the houses of the slain men in the village.

As the Dastarkhwan which has food stains all over and blood stains at the edge is taken back inside the camp. Major has been hailed by the Indian Media as the ‘Hero’ with Sunny Deol montages from his movie Border. A medal and cash is on its way.

The fake encounter Dastarkhwaan will be brought back again next week. Stay tuned.

Tourist Map of Srinagar

Burn your bollywood films

Welcome to Srinagar International Airport.Burn your bollywood films

Well actually it is not an International Airport, yeah there was a single flight some years ago but that was it. Like international cricket matches, international flights also have stopped. Wait, Srinagar Airport is not even an airport to begin with but an airbase.   Continue reading

Indian Zealots derive sadistic pleasure out of Kashmir misery on Twitter

Couldn’t help but express dismay and sadness over the response of Indians towards the recent flashfloods and waterlogging which has killed more than a dozen people. Not to generalise the entire people, but here is a specimen of how dehumanisation and demonising the people of Kashmir has become a habit of Indians. Openly calling for extermination of Kashmiris has been a constant habit, this was getting too much yesterday. Here are the few I could gather, there are thousands of such tweets.

The following handle contained vile abuse which I found too repulsive to post.

Although there were a good number of people who expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Reclaim the playgrounds

Kashmir Cricket Field Snow

Some days ago a delegation of seven year olds had arrived at the doorstep of the district commissioner of a north Kashmir town. An unusual sight to see little kids marching with their cricket equipment. They were demanding their right to play in a playground in their locality. Never would one have believed that Kashmiri kids will one day protest for their right to a playground.

I remember as a kid playing in the empty field opposite to my home which was christened as ‘Parade Bagh’ since the Army camp nearby took out a march there. We used to play day and night there. All sorts of games, Truchay a Kashmiri game of hide and seek, King Queen – basically dodgeball but players have sticks which they need to use when the opposition throws a ball at their bodies, Mujahid-Military – something like Robber-Police with added flavour of the conflict, Saz-Long; Kashmiri version of Hopscotch and also the cousin versions of Tag like Vish-Amrit, Ice Water and Ready.

Oh yes, Hatti-Hatti where the objective was to run to the nearest wood/tree and Which colour? where the objective was to find the colour without being tagged out (I still remember the song). Also the Kashmiri game called ‘Pav’ where one had to hit the stone.

We also played football and cricket. Well mostly cricket. During curfews, strikes and holidays, this Parade bagh used to be flooded with kids and adults alike. So us kids of the 90s would generally be either supporters, naate-phol (basically harmless kid) or the much coveted both-sides, where the kid could bat twice for both teams and was usually the wicketkeeper on the field.

As we grew up, we had fair share of rivalries from other neighbourhood boys. The Sikh Bagh neighbourhood boys were our rivals. Our matches were mostly home and away fixtures until Parade Bagh was slowly taken over by new houses. And they didn’t like the sound of breaking window panes.

Sikh Bagh became the venue for us to play our cricket matches. Usually we used to have some prize money and a plastic ball (we called it Tennis ball). The only drawback of playing in Sikh Bagh was the presence of marshes which would make it hard for us to retrieve the balls with our short arms.

Later we graduated into senior teams and played in the main ground of Lal Bazar called ‘Khan Bagh’ which was akin to playing in our own Lords.

Today, Sikh Bagh is no more. There’s no ground there. Only houses made of cement and walls over the pitches where we played from dawn until dusk. Parade Bagh has become home of the dogs (also called LD bagh after the maternity hospital due to higher number of puppy births).

This is the case in most of the Downtown Srinagar, where playing fields have been taken over by houses. The kids lose their fields which forms the core of growing up in Kashmir. Only a few graveyards, curfewed streets and small patches of land serve as a playing field for the kids.

Despite the fact that this area is one of most traumatised zones in Kashmir. With daily harassment from the Indian Troops due to it being the hub of resistance. The kids have no escape from the violence. Sitting at home for longer hours is detrimental to their growth with nothing but idiot box to be entertained by. It’s unhealthy.

The proximity of violence nearby and no fields to play orphans them from positive outlets to bring distraction or sense of relief.

It’s a sad reality of Kashmir especially Srinagar, where construction is booming but without any plans for the kids in the locality. Where will the kids go?

It’s time that the Kashmiri community at large earmark zones for the kids to play their games and relish the very few joys of childhood in our country.