Owing to the popular demand and love my last article received from you “ what is it like being kashmiri and a dreamer ?”
What do Kashmiris do during hartal or indefinite strike?
I thought to pen down my feelings again-This one goes back to “hartal days “ sitting in my office all alone,it was strike all over Kashmir,so our employees were not present and i was left with plenty of time to think about things which are otherwise lost in the deep tunnels of brain cells present in our subconscious brain.I am free thinking creative, whatever resonates with my inner rhythms of my soul forces me to express it.It doesn’t happen often ( though i desperately wish it could) .So, long story short gone is the career of becoming an author whose novel-can-be-turned-into movies .Though i am a walking paradox of “ i want to do it all” and 26 YO who just wants to get hold on average financial security for life.I think it would take an astronomical amount of time to get me to writing again, finding that peace and harmony again and getting the hell of a control over my vocabulary AGAIN.
It was so quiet that day otherwise it is noise of hustling employees,shouting orders,meeting presentations.I thought it was a good idea when i left home in morning.I needed to get away, to get out,try to be productive.But my creativity just kicked in when i sat on my office chair with my headphones still tucked in my ears listening to my favorite Kashmiri song-”Kar faliham lo gulabo lo”( when will you bloom my rose).My grandfather use to sing it to me .Blowing out a breath like i wasn’t inhaling oxygen back at home,clasping both hands behind my head ,i turned around looking at all the sticky notes i had left day before indefinite strike was announced.And those notes were the proof of delayed monthly targets ,hence affecting the overall work and yeah our bills too.
Nature had also set me in mood of writing ,Outside it was blurry landscapes of green and grays and mottled hues and chinar trees standing tall with shaky and quivering leaves with branches reaching up to the sky as if in prayer,begging for the relief from the tragedy they have been rooted in.The weather was grey and clouds were bursting rain like somebody pricked them up with a needle.Nature around me was in motion,doing something,clouds,rain,trees even the wind was mocking me with its constant gnawing at the windows,straining against the walls telling me “i am doing my god damn work”-everything around me was and will contribute its part towards the overall balance of life.Nothing in nature remains idle ! Everything in nature serve their purpose.
Supposedly Kashmiris get lot of free time than our other fellow homosapiens. I don’t deny that,We do get monthly hartals/curfews and events which ultimately lead us to sit back at home with no internet , no work, no homework , no nothing !I have been able to witness many many of these historical events and these EVENTS always end up maintaining a certain amount of curiosity in me.”What do people do sitting back at home during hartal?” – Do they read Quran if they are good muslims ?, Do they cook harisa for a time pass ? Do they watch TV all day – may be some stupid Star Plus serial or may be they are binge watching Game of thrones all day. Or may be they read if they are book worms like me. Or may be they talk to their loved ones all day on phone.The question is “ what do they do”, and how does it contribute towards their overall being and towards Kashmir”?
Within this question is a great multitude of questions( WARNING-Pun intended questions coming your way)- “ Are we experiencing some sort of evolution ,some sort of change with our brain’s DNA , since it has to function differently in Hartal, no it doesn’t function at all”. “ Have we ceased to take any of these events seriously “?I feel like we all will develop genetic mutations with time modifying our intellectual capacity naturally in the way that Kashmiris will evolve into species mankind hasn’t ever witnessed before.Or may be we will evolve into the species who are better able to survive challenging environment .
Challenging ?As you might wonder, what could be possibly challenging for living in heaven on Earth ? ( you have no idea).Most mornings,I’d first grab my phone and google hartal updates if there is any(and if internet is working),then i would check weather update because clouds here are not giving our only sun a chance to shine bright , we get plenty of rain in all seasons.
I am not complaining about weather,i like rain,snow precipitation of all sorts and i like them as long as we don’t declare them as holidays( like we never get enough of them ).And FYI we rarely get snow anymore in cities and towns during winters ,all hails to global warming !
Back to my morning rituals again-My mother would make noon chai for everyone in the morning, she is a house wife,hartal no hartal, snow rain doesn’t bother her.She has something to do, she has plenty of household tasks to deal with.So i spare her and every housewife in Kashmir the evolutionary process i referred to before SARCASTICALLY !
But me -I am an environmentalist , my job is supposedly round the clock but somehow this clock stops when it is hartal and i am helplessly sitting in my room thinking what i could have done if it wasn’t hartal like i did yesterday and the day before. I loose the Track of time thinking uselessly,day dreaming indefinitely during hartals, so yesterday after finishing one last book from my TBR Pile,i lost myself again thinking(since i have no practical thing to do) i got jolted up from my own head when i heard beautiful azaan echoing through the high and domed ceiling of Mosque and drifting out in air.The sound reverberated through my very being,touching a deep part of my soul particularly when Muazin said“Come to success”.It was actually calming like a feeling that has finally found its place, a feeling that finally sat comfortably as it settled into my bones.
Right there i felt myself being pulled away,as though there was a bigger picture , a grander plan that was unfolding.I started thinking about my dreams that i have yet to fulfill,and i also got sinking feeling that they might not come to fruition. I want to see whole earth before humans destroy it with pollution if not anything else.i want to backpack, experience northern lights in Iceland, trek mountains of himalaya,feel the warmth of sun on some beach.I want to contribute my part towards saving our only planet from the harm of poisonous Us.I was carried away with all these thoughts when my mother shot a look at me and said in high pitched voice “Shouldn’t you be praying,all you girls do is sit around and do nothing”.
Sadly and unfortunately ( not sarcastically) She is right ! We do nothing !