When the children of Kashmir return home, will they recognize Jhelum’s gurgle as she carries the everlasting woes of the two countries? Or does her name return as a long-forgotten memory of their old fathers whispering to them in Kashmiri tongue? Lest the years to come, they’d remember not the gunshots that rummaged through the desolate streets, but the grief-stricken voices of their fathers praying for a night, stained with sins just to collapse into the forgiving arms of the morning.
When the children of Kashmir return home, will they remember how the Himalayas had breathed a wisp of the breeze upon the chests of those who lay dead in the cold? The mountain’s might lies in the number of bodies it can bury & yet stand strong because the shoulders of those who fire the shots are too weak to carry the bodies of young & the innocent.
When the children of Kashmir return home, will they reminisce about the valley of flowers that once carried spring to their doorsteps? Or will they remember the knock of winter that was indistinguishable from the ceaseless thud of guns against the door, not knowing if they were fated to watch a pool of light make its way through the holes in the blankets, or breathe their last in their mothers’ warm arms?
When the children of Kashmir return home and the language of love is buried deep in the depths of every man’s memory, they will have to conjure every syllable their mothers sang that once put them to sleep, and build Kashmir again, not with bricks & sand, not with the tongues of another land, but with the love that a man has for all.
“Jhelum” sung by Vishal Bhardwaj from the movie “Haider” is poetic portrayal of Kashmir; a land torn by conflict.