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I shall gather a few of my kindand tour the new era penitentiary,Where millions are breathing in an open cage wondering what happened to open skies.
Hitlers, fascists, anti-Semites, andIslamophobesPaid visitors grazing wazwanon the Dal Elegant Shikaras drifting slowon affectionate watersXenophobes gossiping, loathing‘others’ on the Dal
This very yearEid did not arriveand Muharram never ceasedDiwali is here in all its gloryand the darkness yet dwells.
When we assembleTo rememberThe days of joymoments of sorrowWhat should we talk aboutThe fortieth of timeOf freedomOf relationshipsOf broken heartsOf separated lovers
I waitedFor a callYou did promiseFrom the land of forgottenNot that you didn’t tryAmong the serpentile queuesScared facesLonging to hearWishing not to fearBetween the dreaded shadows
Dreams The ones Waking you upWith a feeling You don’t like Bad or worse Wishing Well it’s just a dreamHow do you knowThe vultures in the skyLaughing You don’t know
What a curse, He saidI haven’t sleptDon’t know why I am cryingAm I depressedHaven’t heard from themShould I fly homeThey are caged inMy thoughts are neither freeShould I fly home
Day 5 Woken up by a dream My sister and niece waving at meEven the subconscious knowsHow can it beCome to reality It is a seigeNo matter there are Just 7 million people caged
Heavy hearts Heaving chests Tired thoughtsLonging eyes Busy lines Silenced lips All is well It’s all normal They call it normalcyWe call it life Occupied lands
Early this morningWaking up in despair That it is Eid today Have not heard from them in a week The first message in my inbox From a friend who I know from a while How much is land in Srinagar?
Kashmir A graveyardFor bodiesAnd SoulsSurely countries
Day 28 Did you sight the moon But the eclipse For how long Did the sun burn itselfThe earth no longer roundBut how long Didn’t you hear Eid never came It is Muharram
Another day Like the days gone Days gone into monthsLike any other day Of no news No message Another day Of wishes and rumours Hopes and horrors Maybe it is still true
Any news from Kashmir? They say now women are freeChildren will play and go to schoolFreedom has been delivered Any news from Kashmir ? Yes, no news is good news Isn’t it , they say
Now that we have anexed your home What about a swimming poolOr a big kitchen A home theatre A gym would be nice But why is it so green? We shall paint it red But remember
As he walked out Heavy hearted thoughts occupied that feeling of nothingness, for being or not being what for and how far did you not hear, the whispers rumours unknown
Saviour spoke Those incarcerated, Under siege Locked in and Excommunicated Those who need watching Who don’t know how to live Shall be bestowed, With a magical hug To cure them of
Fifty days, Of siege, Horror, Longing, Uncertainty, Wakefulness, Abyss, Anguish, Betrayal, Tears, Hurt, Torment, Do not be duped, There are festivities,
Why don’t you, Wrap yourself? In the mighty, Flag of the nation. It is guaranteed, You will need, No white fabric, To cover your restful corpse, No dressings,
Did I hear you?So early eyes still shut,Leaping up from a deep slumber,Conversing so calm,Wanting to tell me,All that is unsaid, The pain in your voice,I hear with my heart.
Do you know? Many months ago, When it was still summer, Sun high and mighty, Flowers in full bloom, The foliage over the hills, Waters fresh in rivulets, Birds still chirping free,
Mourning from or suffering with, The dreadful time continues, Close your eyes to look within, A sea of anguish rising high, Weeks and months drowned in terror, The vicious affliction never ending,
Wrathful winds full of rage, Blowing away, Smashing to pieces, The world of ordinary folk. If you were there? When out of sheer innocence, They unlocked the doors to their hearts,
Friday morning, Birds singing like immortality, Cold breeze playing the chorus, Freshwaters dancing in the stream, Branches of the mighty walnut tree, Fluttering on the windows,
Breaking the lull as you dwell in the city of Srinagar,Sedate Waters of the Dal lake bouncing to the moon Cooped up populace peeping through the crevices,Predators patrolling the streets hunting the lamb.
Shells flying through tranquil sectors,Men falling like uprooted trees,Bullets shrieking their names,Irrespective of beliefs or nationality.
It just took seventy daysto say HelloSeventy days to make a phone call,Days turned into weeks and monthsLost the count after all.
Dismay,Creeping deep in bones,Vampires tearing up,The adolescence of today,Yet to embark,Still to grasp,The deceit of the nation,How and when,Why and what for?
You constantly reminded me to wash my