Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bring Joy to Others

Monisa counts her blessings and advocates spreading the good cheer to the really needy

(Ms. Monisa Qadri was born and raised in Srinagar. She has been a Mallinson Girl and studied bio-chemistry at the Women's College, Srinagar. She has studied mass communications and journalism from Kashmir University, and works in the Corporate Communications and Public Relations Department of the J&K Bank. She writes as a freelancer.)


You might have at some point in time felt strongly for a thing and nourished an ultimate craving for it in the deepest recesses of your heart, but for an oppositely acting resistance, in the form of some hesitation, you just could not do it.

Inhibition always prevented from taking to something. It’s somehow innate. Perhaps, there used to be uncertainty about the outcome, irrationality in the reasoning or complexity in the interests. But then there were things that were to be accomplished, which were the last priority, rather no priority on your mind. Quite an irony! In life, mostly what you have is what you don’t want, and what you can’t get is what you want!

Remember as a small kid you did not want to be kissed by that aunt of your father, who splashed your entire face in the process, perhaps with affection. Although, you did not want your face to dampen, but the inhibition to express it held your courage and prevented you from hurting her feelings because you loved her and more importantly your dad.

While passing down one of the busy Srinagar streets along with your ma, you spotted a toy or a dress, placed on the other side of the showroom window, which just stole your heart away. How much you wanted it then, but kept silent just because you thought your mother might not get it, may be she didn’t have enough money in her pouch that day to buy you the same. Through this inhibition you tried to save her from being caught at the wrong-foot or maybe saved yourself from being thumped in public and if you were smart-enough; it helped you pretend as if nothing seems good enough to you and that you were a super-nice kid.

The inhibitions you had as a student were visible through your shyness in answering a question, pointed at your class by that teacher, who you always wanted to impress. Since, your inhibitions stood in the way as introversion; you were stopped from impressing her, although you always knew the answer. You still recall some of those questions, the answers to which were so close to your mind as the spelling of your name.

The inhibition that you held in your pen, while writing for the exams, meant for qualifying some professional course, which your heart never craved for, only because it was an attempt based on mere hit and trial calculation and that you were the last person interested in seeing the blood all your life. Confusion about that particular career came across your journey then. It even came up when you wanted to socialize a bit and stopped you from going ahead for friendship with someone, who you always wanted to befriend, or at least talk to. Don’t you feel something still stopping you from making choices even about how you should look on a particular day, before taking a bus ride, before talking to stranger or while acting upon what you feel like? You won’t do it since your inhibitions leave you reluctant and you can’t help it. Inhibitions! Inhibitions everywhere!

Life moves on, you move on. But can anything compensate for the things that you should do, but you don’t simply because you hesitate, which is silly. At a personal level, these could just be forgotten because owning a toy, getting in touch with someone, or choosing your wardrobe seem too small to the conscience of a human being. These appear somewhat meager to the rational thinking.

Well, perhaps had you asked your folks then, chances are they would have surely got what you desired because we all know we are luckier than most of our fellow beings. You still remember how affectionately your father kissed you on your birthday, just when you thought he wouldn’t remember it or how your favourite food was served on that dull evening when it was not less than an amazing delight for your tired eyes and how you looked the best to your family every time you asked them, “How am I looking?”. I’m sure that stroke of fingers in your hair by your granny, while your head rested in her warm lap, relieved you of all the burdens of life. At least we are luckier in this respect than those whose wishes find no recipients, whose tears find no fingers to wipe them off, whose sighs find no hearts to derive solace from, whose shoulders find not hands to get a pat from, and whose childhood desires find no parental fulfillment.

When nobody’s life is complete, why should we not try and make each others life into an almost complete one, which is beautiful and worth living. Not to talk of those, who you dislike, our world - our Kashmir- is home to thousands of homeless and mother for many parentless, rather lifeless living people who have been orphaned and widowed and thrown into the dark seclusion by destiny that harbours pain and agony.

They belong to us and we belong to them. Should we think even a bit prior to spending time with those who need our care and affection? Should we ponder before giving moments of company to these lonely souls? How beautiful would it be to spend a Sunday with them, sharing some of your things and a sprinkle of bliss with these melancholic hearts who try to smile but cannot. Why not give them a surprise visit and living a jiffy of our valued life with those who cease to live the way we always do. The lucky ones do. You do and I do!

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