Kissaa Kahaani

May 30, 2011


I imagine, I need my imagination to feel free. I need my mind to travel to faraway lands so that I dont feel the stifling anymore… I imagine because the world seems unreal to me, I see and witness and experience things which are so untrue and so cruel. My imagination takes me somewhere which is all soothing, a place which seems to hug me and a place which seems to caress me and take my pain away kiss by kiss… I find that the people I idolized and worshipped are not the people I thought they are, I find that I live in farce, I have a facade on my face and and a mask on my heart I see and undergo what the world wants me to see… But in my imagination, I am surrounded by people who are unselfish, jovial, happy-go-lucky, without any mask- inside same as outside, no two faces, I am surrounded there by ‘people’ and note by ‘fake’… Imagination is a freedom, I dont feel the pain when I imagine.. Imagination is strength and it takes away my weakness… imagination is exhilarating I dont feel the sadness and gloominess … Imagination is the key to be happy…

Yes, it takes me away from ground reality… Yes, imagination is a fantasy… But I prefer it this way. Why? I dont want to remain hurting. I want to laugh- If I imagine, its easier for me to laugh… in imagination, I dont see my tears on my cheek, in my imagination I dont feel the sorrow and the pang in my heart…

imagination is freedom… imagination makes you walk on water… imaginations make you sleep on clouds… imagination takes you places undiscovered… imagination makes you look up at the star when you are down in the gutter… imagination makes you dance when you cant… imagination keeps you warm when you are cold… imagination is liberating, exhilarating…


May 16, 2011

Riches to Rags…

The story is fictitious. Any similarity to anyone is purely coincidental. But out there, there are people who will feel a connection- there will be people who will hate this story, thinking of me as being biased; or there will be people who will feel the pain once again and blame me for it. May be this story will cause tears to fall- not for all but for those who actually suffered. May be this story with faces unknown and names randomly selected will be as alive as you and me to those who were in similar such situations. .. Ethnic Cleansing. Wikipedia defines it as a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. How tragic! These words seem so mundane, clinically neutralized, sterilized and detached. Ethnic cleansing is ‘murder’ in cold blood in the name of religion; not necessarily the ‘murder’ per se, but ‘murder’ of hope, ‘murder’ of roots, ‘murder’ of innocence and what not. Kashmir suffers such ruthless actions I needed to say the above lines so that I could tell you the story of Bhats, a simple Middle Class Kashmiri Pandit Family, ousted from their own home, their own roots cut to pieces… Bhanuchandra Bhat was an honest to God, 43 years old teacher in a Govt School in Pulwama in Kashmir. His whole passion was to contribute to the character building of the ideal citizens of India. His life revolved around his students. It is not a secret that a teacher is the butt of all jokes for every student everywhere. Every teacher is skeptical of turning his back towards the mass of tiny tycoons; every teacher is paranoid and looks out for the pranks and silly jokes or some mimicking actions, or some hilariously accurate cartoon on the blackboard. But a gentle soul like Bhat Sir was never subjected to the traumatic experience. No Siree, not even once in life! Bhat Sir was more respected than even the principal. Everyone loved him; why that other day only that tiny child of 2nd standard kissed him on cheeks and whispered in her lisping voice that she secretly wished Bhat Sir was her Abba whom she never saw. And that bully in class 11th, the one who always mistreated the weaklings and disobeyed teachers was always the first one to stand in the class to show his respect to Bhat Sir. The Universally claimed dumbest and most shy student gave his best in Sir’s class to win a word or two of appreciation from him and Sir always indulged him. The Principal of the school was an assured man. As long as he had Bhat sir with him, his school was safe from the hooligans- inside and outside. Life was good to Bhat sir. He was having a good time and he had earned it, rightfully so. He did not need to work- he had a huge Saffron Farm in the outskirts of Pulwama which was in his family for ages. He had an almost-palatial house, built by his great-great grandfather. Teaching was his passion and he enjoyed it more than that farm of his. So he taught. Shradhha Bhat, was simple house wife. She was more than content in managing the house, the lawn, the farm which her husband practically ignored. She loved cooking and feeding her clan of five- Her Husband, her twin daughters, her son and she herself. She prepared all the ethnic Kashmiri cuisines which were adored by her kids and gave a paunch to her husband- she loved cooking Dum Aaloo, Nader Yakhni, Tsoek Vangan, Razmah Goagji and what not… Both Wife and Husband were religious Brahmin couple. They had a blessed living and they were happy. They were well loved by the community, the neighborhood, the relatives, and the extended family. They took a special pride in their children. The 16 years old twins were bubbling with youth and energy. The buoyant glow was radiating from their skin, God had blessed the girls Sharda and Shobhita with such beauty and the beauty of Pulwama added to it. They had just completed 10th and were enjoying summer idling around on their newly acquired bicycles. The son Vaibhav was in the process of selecting a college and wanted to be a mathematician like his father. The 18 years old was confused whether to go to Delhi as his father suggested or to attend the J&K University as his mother insisted. Everything seemed normal. But it was not. The year was 1989. And it seemed that the whole valley has undergone a time travel to the era of Sultan Sikandar Butshikan, in 1389, who was on a mission single out the non-Muslim populations, which caused many Kashmiri Pandits to leave the Kashmir valley. There was violence on the road. People were leaving, Bhat Sir’s relatives were asking him to consider his family’s safely. It was a turbulent time, very turbulent. Bhanu Bhat Sir was more concerned about his students, his colleagues and his neighbors that he was for himself and his family. He was getting suffocated of the tension. In the teacher’s room, the anxiety was increasing day by day. The unrest and the awkwardness were unsettling. Muslim teachers looked flushed and guilty and Hindu teachers looked accusing and scared. The silliness of the situation was that none of the both sets of the religion present in the lounge had anything to be guilty of or to be scare of. But the Valley was losing the trust and with the trust the beauty of the nature was fading…. It all started just 3 years back, in Anantnag in January 1986 when a massive riot occurred. Bhat Sir realized that he should have seen it coming. Now every day the newspaper reported the killings, loots, rapes of the Kashmiri Hindus. And Govt was either helpless or was unable to do anything. He exhaled with relief, at least Pulwama was safe. As he walked to wards his home he realized that large group of young boys were crossing his path, his house was within 300 yards, he smiled at them, and they smiled at him, few waved and they went their own way. However the uneasy feeling he had in his heart became heavier. As he proceeded ahead, that bully of the 11th standard broke from the crowd and came to him. He said to sir in a hushed voice muffled with unshed tears, that he is sorry- he couldn’t help him, and he couldn’t stop them. He asked Sir to leave as soon as he can as people do respect him still but his son Vaibhav made a mistake and had to pay for it. And the boy ran away. Bhat Sir stood transfixed. His mind refused to process, He didn’t realized when he reached home, the loud sobbing and unnaturally deserted neighborhood, the peeping faces from the windows made him snap out of his limbo. He ran to his house only to see death. His son shot dead point blank on his face; his wife fainted on his body; and his daughters hugging each other, their duppattas torn and thrown away; eyes staring into space. A neighbor came, put his hand on his shoulders and narrated the longest story of Bhat Sir’s life- a story which is so tragic and a story which is yet to end. Vaibhav had a fight with a group of young boys, he called them unfair as they are trying to uproot people, those people came to Bhat household; knocked the door; shot his son; fooled around with his daughters; looted the house; a very young boy in his teens told the mob that the house belonged to Bhanu Bhat. This made people stop in their tracks and they went away. As Bhanu Bhat looked at the chaos that used to be his home he realized that the place here he was standing was no more pious, no Shiv Pujan could be done there anymore, this was the cremation ground for a young life- his son. He hugged his daughters for a long time, brought his wife around; in two short hours he rounded up whatever he could from the house and called the taxi, he would leave. He was wrong; he and his family didn’t belong there anymore. The Pulwama was corrupted now. His hopes in the young ideal citizens were now over. He was no more a teacher- he was just another uprooted man. He was no more a Kashmiri Pandit, his culture was looted. He was man now with no belief. The Bhat Family lost that day their culture, their roots, their innocence, their son, their smiles, their home, their farm, their professions, their patience, their faith, their reason for living… They now live in a camp in Jammu- Mishriwala Camp, Jammu. A one room accommodation took care of the four of them. Shraddha Bhat never spoke again, unless it’s in her dreams- more of a nightmare. The girls were now studying through correspondence, the once bright and beautiful girls were still able to look forward to future but they were still scared of venturing alone on the road. They have a common bathroom, one toilet shared by 4 families. They have no compensation from Govt or any news of their home in Pulwama. Govt and the system have accepted the fact the Pandits won’t return back. Bhanu Sir now teaches the young kids of the ‘Refugees’ in the camp. He doesn’t know what else to do. There are many Bhanu Bhats there… There are people who live in a such depraved conditions, what makes it worse that they don’t have to live like that. What makes it more worse that they own privileges and they have the best of what world could offer, but they no longer have it, it was snatched away. With this piece I offer my salute to the brave ones who decided to fight fate and rise above it; with this piece I write to offer my homage to those succumbed to the inevitable and unnecessary genocide and ethnic cleansing; with this piece I pray for the souls of those young ones whose minds were washed and they were made to take up guns in their hands instead of pens by some “religious leaders”. I take this opportunity to present some facts and figures: 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in Muslim majority area of the Kashmir Valley, were forcibly pushed out of the Valley by Muslim terrorists, trained in Pakistan, since the end of 1989. They have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country, outside their homeland, by unleashing a systematic campaign of terror, murder, loot and arson. As per records 105 educational institutes were wither burnet, damaged or forcefully occupied. 103 Religious & Cultural Institutions Destroyed/burnt, damaged (Temples/Ashrams/Dharamshalas) . 14,430 business houses destabilized (Including shops looted/burnt, factories looted/burnt, occupied). 20,000 Agriculture dependent families deprived of their land and source of income. 12,500 Horticulture dependent families deprived of their resource. More than 20,000 houses burnt, rest forcefully occupied. 95% of the houses looted. The Cop report sat 209 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed so my estimate would be at least 10 times more. These people who are as Indian as you and me are not taken seriously, their plight does not touch anyone, Govt after Govt play with their emotions and hopes. Please read the story and pass it on- let this be your good cause for the day. God Bless.

May 13, 2011

Ek Patta

Filed under: The Unadulterated Magic — MK @ 11:05 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Ek patta jhoomta hua sa aa kar Highway ki atki hui traffic mein aa gira,
Shayad wo khud ko titli samajh raha tha

Us patte ke hare peele muskurate rango mein thi ek ajab si chamak,
Ajab si kulbulahat, jise maine apne auto se dekha

Kabi is car ke sheeshe par, kabhi us scooter sawaar ke helmet par.
Kabhi ithlata hua idhar, kabhi lehrata hua udhar

Dhuein ki badbu aur gaadion ke horn mein kuch alag sa nazar ata hua wo patta…
Shayad wo khud ko titli samajh raha tha

Shayad us patte ko maalum nahi tha, shayad nahi jaanta tha wo ke wo titli nahi…
Traffic khulte hi, wo patta ek pahiye ke neeche pis gaya…

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