The dark side

​As i drove towards the Jamia Masjid, the guards at the checkpoint in Hawal wouldn’t let people pass. It’s futile to talk sense into the concertina wire tenants. Somethings don’t change, as much as we try. I parked my car nearby.

With my torn shoes, I paced my walk as it was getting late to reach the grand mosque. The cold winter breeze, the smell of a jackboots and the sound of children playing with plastic ball cricket.Β  Continue reading “The dark side”

My fingers run across a map and they bleed

My fingers ran through the edges of these lines
Mapping my memory of spilled blood
Baghdad, Damascus, Anfal
We rise against darkness only to fall
Karachi, Homs, Srinagar
A world held hostage by a trigger
Continue reading “My fingers run across a map and they bleed”


Srinagar is in the state of a Srinagarrison. On my way to Jamia Masjid, there are checkpoints. Indian soldiers and Kashmir militia on the patrol,Β  tense, their faces fallen, their heads tossing around everytime a young Kashmiri passes by. Bullet proof jackets, combat gear and armed to the teeth.

This is no security force, it’s a force that wants to remind people that we occupy and you are bound to be frightened.

Tonight like many other nights, a young Kashmiri is a suspect.

As I make my way back home, two youngsters speed past a checkpoint, even after a show of arms by the militia. They don’t halt even though commanded to in a loud voice. This generation of Kashmiris have no fear.

8 Indian soldiers dead, two armed fighters flee as two other armed fighters shot dead in return fire.

Night is solemn, tonight is an escape. My city is a garrison, we live to see another day of occupation. Only the last day of occupation will be the first day of our peace.

Tonight is a sigh, a prayer.

Nothing is built to last, even occupations

Hundreds of years ago, the Mughals in Kashmir built the gardens bordering the Dal. Thinking that there imperialist empire that occupied Kashmir would last forever. They consolidated the occupation with ministers, numberdars… (bureaucrats)

Couple of centuries later, the powerful Durranis broke the Mughal Occupation, with an occupation of their own. They built the Fort which is atop of Koh e Maran, again using the example of their predecessors, they consolidated their occupation through bureaucrats. Thinking that they would last long.

Then the British came, and sold us in what could be the biggest slave trade day in the history of mankind. The vassals Dogras became the new occupiers.

They brutalised the valley which led to the exile of hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris to what is known as Pakistan. The famines that killed thousands more due to their policies. (read Mridu Rai’s Hindu Rulers Muslim subjects)

When Kashmir was subjected to a genocide and subsequent bloody partition of their country. They were taken over by new occupiers.

The military complex of India is unfathomable for a valley like ours. The massive army cantonments, the ammunition, the number of armed personnel (almost a million), the structures and the planning for next ten years.

Just like the predecessors who occupied this country for the last 500 years, they consolidated their occupation through bureaucracy which is counter-revolutionary.

They too think their might and power cannot be defeated by the people who have resisted for five centuries.

But they forget an important lesson, nothing lasts forever, even the most brutal occupation. The Mughal Gardens, the Durrani Fort, the Institutions; the very land where you walk is a witness to this brutal history.

Be on the right side of the history, and you’re answerable not just to the Almighty but to the generations that would witness the dawn of the promised day. On that day, no justifications and no amount of intellectual bullshit can exonerate you.

C’esta la vie