Blessed Mourning

I mourned and I cried,
You said, “I’m too blessed that my dear one died”.
I’m too blessed to mourn for the loved one?
Mother, father, daughter and son?
You made a ‘lovely’ proclamation:
“Blessed are the mourners”,
‘Cause they mourn the lost part of their life?
‘Cause they mourn the gall of strife?
I’m astonished at your vision,
You view my agony as a blessed rendition?
You call death a blessed assuage,
You murder, filled with a murderous rage,
With a yearning to see the gushing warm blood to go freezing cold.
You say that, you did only what you were told!
And then you try to explain your pain and anguish,
With your officially ‘sympathetic condolences’ and formal announcements,
And all those bloody monetary pronouncements.
All this while I’m put in a cage!
All this you do for a bloody wage!
Your sympathies are as cold as the murder,
Which make the fake consolations of peace fall down asunder.
So, I do what I can,
I’m only a weak oppressed man.
I call upon the wisdom of God,
The all-knowing, the all-just Lord.
And I ask, I ask, and I ask again:
“Am I too blessed to mourn for all my people and my land?”
“Am I too blessed to suffer from the loss and pain?”
“Where are You? Where’s Your helping Hand?”
If He says, “Yes, you’re blessed”,
I’d ask Him to bless you too.
Blessed be thee and ye all . . .
And if he says, “No”,
I’d ask Him to make you my beloved,
‘Cause I too want to mourn for you,
When a murderer like thee will murder you!

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Let’s be strangers

Done, undone.
For myself, for someone.
It’s a circle, it keeps rolling.
It’s life, it keeps moving.
I did it to undo,
I did it for myself, I did it for you.
All that happened was not my choice,
All that I said was not my voice.
There are demons, inside you and me,
They reside there ’cause we let them be.
We have names, and they have names too:
Angels of deception and Angels of hue.
They color us with a selective tinge,
They produce in us, a deceptive fringe.
We lose our mark, we lose our stand,
We let the instantaneous spark to burn the whole strand.
We accuse, we fight just for our ego and pride,
We refuse to acknowledge, we let in the destructive tide.
Our dorm is flooded, with lies and mournful scorns,
The blossoms have faded away, giving birth to scornful thorns!
Our wounds may be unhealed and our patches unpatched.
We’re in a denial, but there’s still a bond that keeps us attached.
The seasons are lost,
It feels like an unending frost.
This feels like a chilly night of Chillai Kalan.
There seems no future, it seems to stay for an infinite span.
We feel despair and dismay, we forget the spring.
How far will this winter stay, it will soon grow it’s wings!
We’ll march on, ’cause there’s music, ’cause there’s fife,
Together we will arrive, yes we will arrive, ’cause there’s life.
Let’s undo all that we did,
Let’s do it right, let’s not skid.
Let’s scream and shout for the beauty that exists,
Let’s dream and let it sprout for the beats which heart persists.
Let’s be strangers, let’s start over.
Let’s reclaim the life, let’s make it our . . .

(Chillai Kalan is the harshest 40 day winter period in Kashmir)

Kashmir and Kashmiri: The dilemma of Language

The misery of Kashmiris while they speak can be adjudged from the fact that we, Kashmiris, are unable to express ourselves clearly in our own language, Kashmiri. We fail to get the words/expressions/phrases that we need to express ourselves because we have always felt shy of our own language and because we’ve always maintained a psychological distance from our very own language. The new generation finds it cool to speak in Urdu/English rather than their own language, Kashmiri, which they find boring, uncool, offensive and degrading. It’s not a problem, not at all. But the problem is that, most of us aren’t even well versed with English/Urdu, the languages which we keep flaunting and the languages in which we always try to show-off our true colors. And we know it well what we do to the grammar, sense and syntax of these foreign languages when we speak. Whenever we, Kashmiris, speak Urdu I’m reminded of the fact that, “Urdu used to be a sweet language” until “Kashmiris started speaking it”.

The problem becomes apparent and frustrating when we find ourselves talking to Kashmiri elders, those who are not aware of any other language except their own, Kashmiri. We’re always unable to express ourselves in pure Kashmiri, we’re always left desperate to find an appropriate word/term to describe what we want to express. We have to go around the field just to express a simple emotion/feeling/expression because we lack the proper vocabulary to do so. And when our elders speak we are puzzled by their vocabulary and we have to keep asking the meaning of those words to make a sense out of our Kashmiri conversation. We actually don’t speak Kashmiri even when we claim to do so. We speak a hotchpotch mixture of Kashmiri, Urdu and English. It’s not a problem when we are talking to those who are well versed with these languages but we are left in lurch and desperation when we talk to our elders. I always feel ashamed at such times when I’m unable to express myself to my elders in their language, in my own language, Kashmiri. I feel embarrassed at my misery and the misery of my fellow citizens who can’t claim to have their ‘own language’.

The lack of having a proper way to express ourselves is slowly taking a toll on our intellect. Most of the people may fail to observe it, but it’s a fact that, when people don’t find a proper way of communication and expression their intellectual and reasoning power decreases with time. This is what happens with deaf/dumb people. And we, Kashmiris, seem to be partially deaf/dumb. We’re a paralyzed lot who don’t have a proper source of communication. Even when Kashmiri is such a rich language, we are still left out of resources to express ourselves, because we’ve simply failed to use them. What can be a worse nightmare than being unable to express yourself properly?

We all know what we do with Urdu/English when we speak. We don’t even spare Kashmiri, our own native language, let alone all these foreign languages. We destroy the very fundamentals of any language we speak, be it our own Kashmiri or foreign English/Urdu. We’re experts in doing that! We destroy the sweetness and the purpose of languages because of our half-knowledge/half-acquaintance with each of them. Only in Kashmir (maybe there is another such miserable place on the face of Earth, and I hope not) we find that, speaking your own native language makes you feel ashamed while speaking foreign languages like Urdu/English gives you an edge over others and it becomes a matter of class and dignity. How disgusting to see parents refraining there children from speaking Kashmiri in their disgusting ‘Urdu’. Sorry to use such words, but the way they speak Urdu only gives you the feeling of disgust. They way they say “Beta” and then “Kashmiri mein baat nahi karte”, the ridiculous statement and the even more ridiculous accent, which they are proud of, makes you crave for a place to hide yourself from these ‘high-class’ people. Such statements always make me wonder at God’s wonders. I wonder, why were they born in Kashmir, why not in any Urdu speaking place? They wouldn’t have had to feel embarrassed about their native language! What amazes me more is the way Kashmiris laugh at others when they use Kashmiri words while speaking Urdu/English but find in perfectly normal and highly acceptable to use English/Urdu words while speaking Kashmiri! Rationale, anyone? We need to get over this inferiority complex, as soon as possible.

Don’t even for a second think that I hate Urdu/English. I’m a huge fan of Urdu/English poetry. And of course, I’m writing all this in English. It’s a good sign when you see people of a nation speaking diverse languages but not at the cost of their ability to express themselves properly in any of them. It’s an irony that I’m talking about all this and bashing Kashmiris for their lack of knowledge about their own language while the fact is that, even I’m unable to read/write Kashmiri properly like most of the Kashmiris out there and that, I’m only able to speak half-baked Kashmiri, a hybrid of all the languages I know. As a matter of fact, I’m frustrated at all such Kashmiris, I’m frustrated at myself.

Language and culture of a place develop over time according to the needs of that place/society. So it’s for our own benefit that we should be fluent and highly comfortable with our native language. We need to learn Kashmiri, not for the sake of preserving it or doing a favor to this language. But for our own selves and to be able to express ourselves clearly lest we be a doomed nation who has lost it’s intellectual/reasoning power just because of being unable to express itself in a proper way and being like dumb/deaf people unable to express themselves or say anything properly. The way we express ourselves, and the extent to which we are able to express ourselves properly has a huge effect on our mental and psychological development. We need to learn Kashmiri properly from the beginning of our development as a child, to be able to express ourselves properly and efficiently, so that we are able to do discourses/discussion/debates in a language we find ourselves completely compatible with. We need to learn Kashmiri (our native language) because, I don’t think that, Kashmir wants to be a mentally/psychologically underdeveloped nation. All the people on the face of Earth find themselves inclined to their native language because their psyche and mentality has developed in the environment of the same language. So, it’s high time we take back our abandoned language from the lap of darkness and earn the right to call ourselves, Kashmiri.

Loneliness

Feeling of nothingness,
I’m stealing words out of the emptiness.
I wonder if my heart beats,
Just for the silent sickness?
Why make a sound, my heart,
When the ‘sounds’ have turned off?
This feeling makes me feel alone,
Even when I’m surrounded,
And everything is all around.
Moon shining high in the sky,
And Earth going round and round.
Still I feel neither the stars nor the ground!
I feel like sleeping, but then I want to wake-up.
I feel like dreaming, but then I want to shake-up.
I feel like this and I feel like that.
I don’t know what it’s all about!
I’m looking out there in the dark,
Why’s reality so cruel and stark?
A mix-up of emotions . . .
I wish to explain, but they are so blank.
The colors are lost.
Black and white? No, it’s just pretty dark.
Not the bad omen, not the good.
It’s a sign of void in the hollowness.
It’s the disease, they call loneliness.

Think Gaza!

The sense of belonging is lost.
Deprived of home, I’ve paid the cost.
Imaginations are bereft of thoughts,
I want to think of all the bruises and the blood clots.
I want to think of the dead,
The cries and the mournings.
The land is burning,
And my heart cries out:
Ah, the destiny, the evil destiny,
The evil existence of the devil, humanity!
My soul is yearning for a thought.
‘Cause truth seeks an answer:
My heart, my heart, my heart!
Burning desires of a thought,
The smoke rises and falls.
When I’ve a thought, it makes me cry:
What has fallen from the sky?
Boom, comes the reply!
Down from the earth,
The smoke rises sky high.
I’m told, they are not bombs.
They are angels carrying tombs.
Feel their presence, just feel.
Feel the angel of death, Izrael.
The chosen ones falling on the chosen land.
The soil, the air and the beach sand.