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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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On Your Arrival

Ever since you wrote
about your intended visit
we prayed and hoped
it would come off well.
We waited with bated breath,
drank often and drank deep
the dreams of reunion,
now that it was to be
away from home, in exile.
We scoured places to visit,
surveyed walking trails,
discussed menus to suit your taste,
mowed the lawn,
trimmed the bushes,
planted new saplings
and cajoled them to flower in time
to welcome you
after six long years.

Six years
of the acme of our life,
spent in the anguish of exile,
over half a decade
of rootlessness,
of hatred and intolerance,
of bloodletting and mindless violence,
of people tortured and killed,
and a whole community banished,
of kith and kin
dying before time
of disease and damnation.

And when you did arrive
we suppressed our sighs
and snuffed our cries,
brushed our agonies aside,
lest they pollute the joy
you carried on your wings.
We wore smiles wide
and would not permit
even a shadow of the pain
to flit between us
lest it blemish the bliss of reunion.
We would not let you carry
the burden of those images
back with you.

Jammu - January 1996

 

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