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, June 11, 2009

Neelofar and Shakeel's Baby

Monisa shares the pain and agony of the precious life that is no more

(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.)

…And three of us were murdered

“They were not two, I too was with them.” This is a painful story of a child, murdered inside the womb of his mom. An unborn child, yet to know what it meant to be ‘being alive’, was killed. This part of life-the pre-natal phase, normally when unborn babies, in other parts of the world, experience simply physical growth, he had to bear a trauma. It was a dreadful night, when he along with his mother, his teenage aunt, was to meet their end. His sobs don’t let me sleep and he keeps asking me, “why did it happen to me? Why?” I have no answers. Honestly, I don’t!

He was yet to be born, but he heard his mother’s heartbeats and felt her pain. He knew that his mother had been thinking about her coming life and waiting for the day when he would be born to call her ‘moujee’. Her day started praying for his health and she went into the lands of slumber, thanking Allah for him.

He tells me, how his aunt would be scared at night even inside her house and how horrendous would that ugly night have been to her. She was a child, he mocks at her killers. A child! This baby, who is dead now, narrates their story of misery, which sends shivers down my soul. I am told of a death, which came so slow that its pain was so extreme, even the dying, wanted a mercy from lord that it came sooner. Now his smiles reflect in his tears as this angel went back from where he had come-heaven.

He keeps on coming back to me, to us seeking answers for questions, which our brothers and sisters living there with him, want to have. Their sighs patiently wait till their tears ask, “Till when do we die with the sword of cruelty and poison of disgrace? We want it no more.” He keeps on coming back.
He sings his own lullabies and sang one to me:

My angel, my mom, with her ‘wings’, I travelled
Far to the blissful lands of sunshine unraveled
I saw with her eyes and together we smiled
Now her dreams are frozen and all her hopes shattered
My aunt was so young, she played with me
She loved to call herself ‘a birdie so free’
And one day the monsters wiped all off,
My mouj and aunt Asiya and with them ‘me’
They ran for their lives, she (mouj) did more for me
The monsters so cruel; little knew we
They took them to thorns in the black of night
Screeching, the moon hid in pain and in fret
I heard their cries. I heard their woes
Vampires kept drinking blood and roaring like foes
For they knew not the lingo of my homeland!
That of honour and that of pride
Though they stole all the fragrance my angels had,
Their wings they burnt. But to paradise we led.
Now my angels sing to me, the hymns of my land
Those of sufferings and sorrow; but all of pride
I ask my aunt the meaning of life.

Surprised, she replies, “I was too young to know
My age too tender, my heart yet to glow.”
This girl, I asked, “Do word my tale of cries”,
Visiting her dreams in her haunted eyes.
She smiles to me in the sleepless nights,
“You were too blessed to fly to paradise.”
Promises me revenge for our hapless story
Ah! She cries, praying for our glory
Only thing that hurts in her elegy
That my mom dreamt of days with dad and me
Of dawn and the moon forever to be
But the cruel hands of my killers snatched life from ‘we’,
We were going home, which ceased so to be
We are going home. We are coming back to thee,
We are coming back to thee!!

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