I had thought that by now I would be desensitized enough to people dying at random in Kashmir. Turns out, I am not. There is no let up from the agony, and suddenly it is all too real.
Nayeem and Iqbal. In their twenties. Killed by the Indian army on this day. Both in their twenties.
It doesn't matter that one was a budding cricketer and the other too would have some talent that I dont know about. Ask their friends. Ask their mothers who would've bid them farewell forever by now. I didn't know these guys. I got introduced to them in their deaths. And that is a terrible way to know anyone. And yet, time and again, I have been introduced to these young men, posing in pictures which identify them as Shaheed (martyr).
Guys had a life ahead of them. Its gone. With its many promises. Leaving behind a picture of a heatbreakingly handsome boy in blue shades.
I returned today after spending the whole day in the countryside. Away from Twitter and much of civilization. On my way back, I saw two cars full of Japanese tourists clicking pictures. I passed through the ghastly cantonment at Badami Bagh and was back in the city. To this. This is what Kashmir does. It bears you down. Slowly. With its unending beauty and tragedy. There is Hope and Despair. But mainly, there is pain.
Keep your hollow promises to yourself, India. Wave your flag at them. It can't wipe the tears that flow for these two young men, and can't wipe off their blood.
We are now in mourning. I have no words. I offer you my heart.