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.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Special Bond Unlike Any Other

Rafiya speaks from her heart

Miss you Mom: Mothers day passed, but your memories remain

Rafiya Munshi

Some days back while managing books my shivering hands got hold of some notes written years back for me by my mother. I felt myself quite close to life, as these were the verses of care she left for me to ease my body and soul when she was not at home. Every time I read them my jerky movements and uncontrolled body collapses to the ground and makes me crawl like a child to find a darker place. No extreme art in the world is yet so defined and obvious in displaying the unutterable emotions felt on your loss and lifelong absence from the world around my Mom.

While experimenting with some words today, I can feel an unbearable pain and a blow to the fluidity of my ideas in such a manner that this piece can not justify even the slightest impulse of the emotional tide racing in my veins. Today, I have no valuable information to give nor a logical or reasoned philosophy to impart but only the few emotions of my own heart and may be of all those like me to share. Trust me; this attempt in itself is a daring one as there are no universal scales which could measure the need of a mother for a girl. Since her absence even the smallest of the trouble use to turn bulkier. She had the magic of turning the miseries in to comforts and hatred in to intimacies. She was a network connecting me to all and a binding force for all strained relations.

In every trail of narrating the extreme dearth of her presence at several occasions of my life, it became impossible for me to correct my style and selection of words. It is also true that many kind souls tried to laugh, cry and sympathize with me by turns but just with the twinkling of an eye I got attached to the harsh reality. And many times it also became difficult to manage my internal conflict and be in my best behaviors. Now I could hardly see those faces around me which cried loud enough the day u left my Mom.

I agree that all the brilliances of my wit and the depths of my sensibility if present is only because of you my Mom. And all the slips of my immaturity and doubtful tastes got developed only after you left me. Your absence has always afflicted my heart and my manner in such a way that sometimes suspicions arouse, instead of humor farce develops and instead of showing sentiments I turn sentimental, thus making the tenderness of my heart doubtful.

As to be compassionate is quite natural for a mother so it does not seem worth mentioning here that how kindly and uniformly you used to help me during my disturbed times. Rather my thoughts stand still while sensing that how perfectly and sensibly I was blanketed in your protection against the all natural sharpnesses of the world around. Every time, when I had to make the difficult choices your absence becomes quite inimical to my very existence and even in the excellent frames of my mind I start making the bargains among the choices. I often end up quite discontent and not at harmony with my heart and its feelings.

Since you left me I could not find a single face to gaze on for the understanding of the all that is unspoken, such an auricle which could feel the suffering out of my enjoyments, such a deep vision which could see the unshown and such a reliable thought which could never betray. Now as I am left with your thoughts only, they have a right over my whole heart-to divide them will be to lessen them, to expose them will be to risk them and where there is risk there may be loss which is unaffordable for me. It is only your thought that fills my heart with trust and confidence. Whenever my way becomes too rough for my feet and too steep for my strength, I could feel you around making my path velvety soft and my soul strengthened and refreshed. But sometimes I could also see your injured spirit waving her head and turning off silent at the times of my utmost miseries and dishonors. In all the painted scenes of my life I will always miss your presence and will ask myself that why I was chosen by nature to mourn for you while I was just gaining maturity. At the end I deeply apologise for sensitizing the most delicate emotions of all the tender hearts of my kind - I will miss you always my Mom.

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