Of Pain and Passion: Kashmir’s ‘Coming of Age’ Artform

KO Photo by Abid Bhat

Kashmir has used its art to express its plight to the world and sing a lullaby to itself. 

The world has described art in millions of ways but what remained the same ever since the romanticism era is, Art comes from immense pain and suffering.

The intensity and magnitude of pain cannot be measured in any parameter which further leads to giving birth to Art as the world knows it from John Keats to Vincent Castiglia to Imtiaz Ali.

It is close to impossible to articulate pain in any form but still, artists make use of their pain and suffering to create a soul-stirring piece of art which most of them aren’t satisfied with because yet again the intensity of their pain couldn’t match with the pleasure of art created by them.

So what exactly is the connection between art and pain? Is it possible that pain could, in fact, fuel creativity? Maybe so. There is much speculation in scientific fields that “feeling sad makes us more creative”, which may very well be true most times.

However, it could also be true that pain drives us to express ourselves in most variant forms, the forms which suit their soul.

Art finds its way out of chronic agony and discomfort. Having said that, there is only one place which has raised like a Phoenix in the deep aura of discomfort and distress in the space of art and that place is Kashmir.

Having an enormous amount of obstacles, heart-wrenching grief and whatnot, artists from Kashmir have used these to embark and embrace the artists within.

Film Making 


The landscapes of Kashmir allured almost everyone to capture its beauty in any way one can. One such upcoming filmmaker from Kashmir is trying his best to do so.

Ruman Hamdani, an aspiring filmmaker from Kashmir, has found his home in creating films. He is quite a star on Instagram. He has created videos as a tribute to the iconic show ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Srinagar: through a tourist’s eyes’. He isn’t trained in filmography; instead, he has learnt everything by his own and is eager to capture stories of Kashmir.



The folk flavour of Kashmir has no match yet. Remember, the song ‘Dilbaro’ from the movie Raazi and the storm it had created?

The hint of home and the essence of belongingness is what makes the Kashmiri music more delightful and soothing.

For example, the band ‘Alif’ has proved the world the worth of Kashmiri music and poetry.

The uniqueness of the band is the rooted value which is engraved in them and seen in every performance of theirs. Mohammad Muneem Nazir takes off his shawl, one with Kashida embroidery on it, and wraps his microphone stand with it.

This is something he does before every performance.

The band members also wear a phiran or cover their gear with similar shawls. It reminds Nazir of “the feeling of home, of Kashmir, and the feeling of being rooted”.



Talking about Kashmir’s artists and the name of Aamir Wani comes naturally.

Aamir through his blog on Instagram has shown the world what it is to be like in Kashmir. He adds life to his films and photos with writing poetries in Urdu, Hindi and English describing the beauty in haywire in the valley. He is widely known as his Instagram name, ‘kashmirthroughmylens’.

one of its kind:- 

 I wait for you 
like the gardens do,
for spring to come.
Will you come soon?
Without you, 
this winter seems longer
and Kashmir- colder.
Radio Kashmir doesn’t play Raj Begum anymore,
there is no Shams Faqir either.
In your absence Jhelum washed away everything;
Houses, shops and even memories.
Winter has lasted years this time,
Some say it is never going to end,
but when you return, mine will.
On the stairs at yarbal, no one sits now;
It is deserted, I can hear it’s silent cries, 
but on the TV they say it is peaceful.
I miss you, I miss those days of peace 
and how we all were in love.
Those days of love,
when snow used to fall
and melt 
in lovers hands,
in our hands.

Radio Jockey 


RJs in Kashmir have taken the responsibility to entertain the people of the valley during the distressing times. Among others, RJ Vijdan keeps entertaining people with his wit and koshur humour.

Clearly, the creative and courageous artform has helped people of the strife-stricken region to move on with their lives.

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