This vale of mine, the paradise on earth, bestowed with scenic beauty that captivates even the hardest of hearts. Those mountains, this green blanket shielding every corner, every single thing of my valley provides the imagery of heaven. This valley of mine, Kashmir, a land of Sufis, commonly known as “Raesh Vaer” a place known for bringing joy and peace to everyone. Every outsider, enjoys the mesmerising beauty of my vale but alas! has anyone ever tried to find where the natives are? How are natives of this vale and why dont they enjoy the bounties of their own paradise. Alas! They are busy in burying their children..
Theyre busy shielding their sisters, mothers from the brutality of forces. They are busy recounting the memories of their loved ones. Every day in Kashmir a son loses his father, a father loses a son, a sister loses the security of brother, a wife loses a soulmate, a mother waits for her son to come home and every day proves to be a black day in somebodys home.
The beauty of valley that everyone praises is the beauty that can be seen from a long distance, distance outside the boundaries of valley, from behind the veil of the mountains . The real face of the valley remains masked under the veil of this so called beauty. Ask about the beauty of Kashmir from a mother who has recently lost her son, she has encountered the ugly face of beauty of Kashmir. Ask a mother who has begged for money to provide education to her son so that he too can have a better future but loses him to bullets and pellets. She will unmask the ugly truth hidden behind the beautiful facade of our vale.
What beauty can a sister of a brother see in the mountains and lakes of Kashmir who has just lost his brother in agitation. A friend who lost his lifelong companion cant see the beauty in the greens of vale.
Ask those victims about the colors of world who lost their eyesight to pellets. Ask the mothers of disappeared persons what they feel about the beautiful evenings of Kashmir. Ask the blood stained streets and lanes of Kashmir who have witnessed the bloodbath. Ask the open graves of Kashmir about the beauty of grasslands of Kashmir.
FRIDAY is a day of peace, prayers, humility, and blessings but not in Kashmir anymore. The day often turns into a a black day, a day of mourning, a day when whole valley is chained.
We dont teach our children stone pelting, their caged childhood teaches them all. We didnt teach our children resistance, their ransacked houses and molestation of sisters teaches them all. We dont teach our children to rebel against anyone, the disappearance of their fathers teaches them all. We never tell the stories of atrocities to our children they are themselves witness to this all. There is nothing beautiful and mesmerising left in this valley of mine. The beauty you see is nothing but an illusion. There is nothing heavenly in this paradise as the beauty of it has been snatched from us.
Bazila Manzoor Dar
Postgraduate Department of English
University of Kashmir