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Tag: Kashmir

Kashmir Tales – 2

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Flower of hope…

It was an unusually harsh winter. Old man Bab and young child Baccha passed most of the winter huddled together. Old man held the child close to his heart. They survived  because of the warmth that only human touch can produce.

Bab had seen many winters before, only to welcome the spring sun as it kisses the wet earth and see a  hundred flowers bloom and hear the air fill with distant rhythm of a ‘Chhakri’

But this winter is different, he thought. It is a particularly severe winter. It does not seem to end. 

“Baba, Where do flowers go when the ground is covered with snow?” asked Bachha as he cuddled closer to Grandpa.

“They wait, they pray, their roots huddle together…just like us” Bab whispered.

“Have you seen this happen before?”

“For hundreds of years. Our winter never ends. Our God has forgotten us.” tears formed in his old, arid eyes.

“But why does this happen to us?” innocent quiver of the eyebrow.

“Because we are full of hatred. We are wretched people, we hate our kin.”

“Is hate like this winter? Will it never end?” asked Baccha

“Yes. It can. You can make it happen. You can let all flowers bloom, red and yellow and golden…” said Bab. Both fell asleep under that pleasant shadow of a hundred flowers.

Baccha got up in the morning and peeped through the window. Golden rays touched the ground. He saw the snow melting away. He saw tiny blades of grass sprouting from the ground…and he saw this most magnificent of flowers. Grandpa is wrong, he smiled, God has not forgotten us.

 

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Kashmir Tales -1

 

 

Kashmir-21-300x214Kashmir, our hero in these tales, is an old man. Just an old man, waiting for the day he will die. Wrinkled centuries are etched on his weathered yet handsome face. We will call him Bab, grandpa.

On this crisp November morning, he walks with determined steps, towards nowhere in particular. Close in his wake, walks his grandson. We call him Baccha, very young one. By now having walked for quite a while, Baccha was panting. Cold and tired to the bone.

“Where are you going, Bab?”

Silence.  Deep silence of the long, lonely valleys. Silence of the dead.

“Where are we going, Bab?”

“Nowhere. Just keep walking” answered grandpa after a long silence

“Then why don’t we go home?” asked innocence

“There is no home. Our home is lost. It is only fire and ruins and frozen dead.”

“Who did that to our home?” whispered innocence in a quivering, scared voice.

“Some people came from over the West Mountains and burnt down everything, killed everyone.”

“Why?”

“Because we called them in to drive our own brothers and sisters out of Kashmir. But they killed everyone in Kashmir.”

“Are we the only ones left?” little one was grey with fear

“Yes, Baccha. I have nothing to look forward to but death, and you are too fragile to survive on your own……” sighed Grandpa, his breath freezing in the chill.

He was worried, line of worry etched deep on his brow. Just like the long, lonely valleys of Kashmir.



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