Zero Sum: A Song for Kashmir



Zero Sum (aka Mount Despair)

Come sit with me and rest a while, come drink my salted tea.
Smell the hills, the open skies, in all you'll know of me.
Take off your bunting, your hurt, your creed; what good come from these?
Wash your hands in the silent warmth of our samovar of grief.

The Bugloss flowers brightest blue; its roots red as blood.
The lotus stem holds forth the truth from ancient beds of mud.
Paisley prints the stolen beats of witness protected lives.
My valley isn’t twice cooked meat for your sharpened carving knives.

March 9, 2013
Hyderabad

[Uncredited image found across several Kashmir related blogs and site. If it belongs to you, please let me know, will gladly credit.]

30 comments:

  1. Loved the imagery. Finally someone bringing the attention to our most volatile state.

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    1. Thanks, Sandeep. Like most other separatist movements, the tragedy here is that the people end up paying the price of games played by vested interested for personal motives.

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  2. Have you read "Curfewed Nights?"

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    1. I haven't. Looked it up, sounds fascinating. Will try and get my hands on it. Thanks for pointing me that way.

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    2. You must read this book by Basharat Peer. It tells you the story of what an ordinary Kashmiri faces, and it is a sickening state of affairs. I have the book. I might come to Hyd next month so can give you the book to read if you want it.

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    3. That will be great, Rachna. Will be looking out for it.

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  3. Beautifully written. Wash your hands in the silent warmth .. love this line !

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    1. Thanks, Ruchira. The one thing that unites Kashmiris across the world is grief. Kashmiriyat still lives but only in sorrow.

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  4. Poignant. And you know the word that usually completes the phrase "Zero Sum".
    The Kashmir Game has gone on far too long to even have a credible reason or result any more, I feel. Such is the pity.

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    1. Very true, Rickie. It really is a game. Sadly, no one asked the Kashmiris if they would like to play it.

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  5. Kashmir the crown jewel of our country..
    though most of the times it is in news for wrong reasons... but is beauty can make you forget all that in a minute..
    I have few kashmiri friends... and the glow they have on their faces when they start talking about their native state.. their smile n narration is worth a watch..

    some pretty beautiful expressions above..
    enjoyed

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    1. Thanks, Jyoti. The people of Kashmir have an unique warmth that is common to both Pandits and Muslims. A large part of that comes from the longing for the tranquil beauty of their homeland, one that has sadly been overtaken by political greed.

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  6. Touching,achingly sad. The last line says it all.

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    1. Thanks, Pattu. This is probably true of many of what is popularly referred to as "people's movements" but are actually manifestation of more selfish motives.

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  7. Durdanto likhechen!
    the last line is too perfect for a rock lyrics...
    Cheers :-)

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    1. Thanks, Anunoy. Your comment here is very special to me, and we both know why.

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  8. Profound and can feel the pain:)

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    1. Wow! This post seems to be attractive some celebrity attention. Thanks, Ishita. My day is made.

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  9. Filled with pathos... moving!

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    1. Thanks, Abhimanyu. I know you read all my posts, but comment rarely, and when you do, I know I did my job well.

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  10. The eternal paradise....

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  11. Lovely lines that capture the mystery, the pain and the beauty of Kashmir...

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    1. Thanks, Matheikal. It is so sad that when we talk about the beauty of Kashmir, we can no longer separate it from the pain.

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  12. loved it subho.Keep writing to make people thimk before they do something which hurts others.

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  13. Its serene.. its sad... its beautiful.

    How I wish.. "sadness" wasn't part of it.

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    1. True, Namrota. This is one part of the world where sadness should never have entered. Perhaps great beauty and serenity invite sadness.

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  14. very nice and impactful

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    1. Thanks, Cifar Shayar. Coming from a repository of poetic wisdom like you, it means a lot.

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  15. Kashmir, the head that sits uneasily.

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