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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


P. S. O

I am a P. S. O.
A personal security officer.
An officer on paper,
but in practice
a vassal of the one
that I secure.

I have to be vigilant
night and day,
and move at his whim,
follow him like a shadow
from his house into the car,
office or bazaar,
mosque or a walking trail,
public function
or a recreational locale.

He flaunts me
as a status symbol,
while I sniff around
like a highbred hound
and keep in readiness
to throw myself in
and safeguard my charge
from abuse and assault.

We P. S. Os
are a fast growing breed
since the terrorists’ creed
engulfed my country,
and every minister and secretary
or an official of any consequence
seeks to fortify his security
with a large posse of police
and us.
But not uncommonly,
my charge happens to be
the very fountainhead of militancy
who, having had his fill
of loot and kill,
has abdicated finally
and surrendered to the army.
Not only has he been absolved
of all crimes of insurgency
but also accorded the status
of having formally joined
the socio-political mainstream!
His ex-mates and collaborators
now charge him and upbraid
for being a dangerous renegade
and seek ways and means
to avenge his treachery.
And that is where I come in handy
to insulate him
from his own cult,
and from all fear
from himself,
and from those whom he used to hold
so very near and dear.

Jammu - September 1996



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