Friday, 22 April 2016

Of Candles and Stories

The small flame in the Khanqah Mo'alla is always kept burning. The devotees and the shrine caretakers keep pouring oil, so that it keeps burning. Many miles and mountains away in Kishtwar, at the shrine of Hazrat Asraar Paak, there is a flame in a diya too.

Kashmir is not just a ragged, jagged place. It is a ragged, jagged people too. Its a place and people fallen from grace. Of memories filled with darkness. And of dreams we cannot see.

There are bazaars full of dim light, closed down in protest and anger. Despair runs this city like no other. There are schools with high walls. So many children never make it through them alive. Sigh! Education is such a hard business.

There are meadows under which bodies of people disappeared now lie. Quiet and waiting. There are fields in which flowers frightened grow. There are mountains in which bears and armymen patrol.

Less people and more memories, now reside here.

Our shrines and hearts are full of such prayers. And we light candles for hope. And we write, to tell our own stories.

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