This is the play ground which echoed with the laughter of numerous innocent children and now bares rusty skeletons of swings and slides. On another corner there were abandoned houses
. She told me there were strings of days with no electricity, no television or any media exposure. That’s how she lost her eyes. Even public transport ceased for a while, and she lost her feet then.
I hear an alarm, which was in fact a signal for people to run and hide due to news or assumption of aggression or threat of turmoil, but strangely, people continued to walk on the streets, probably because they have realized there is no place to hide.
She holds homeless, even hopeless inside her.
When I was about to bid adieu, I saw many standing with pictures of their husbands/brothers/sons in hope of them coming back. The ladies appeal more than often and claim their rights and perhaps claim their relatives too who've been cuffed under suspicion. I see some of them stand with tears brimming in their eyes. Someone told me that innumerous women burst out crying in the middle of protests, with no mention of the void in their lives whatsoever, and yet no one raises eyebrows because they all understand the pain.

She is Kashmir. And this is the poignancy I felt when I visited her this June.

PS: The title means 'Heaven'


  1. And somehow, we still pretend that we care...India has treated Kashmir worse than an invalid child. The situation there, no one understands there... Your words ring with the realization and revelation that you were exposed to. Kashmir was Firdausi...and now...we wait.

    PS: I feel weird to say I loved it...sounds like I an relishing. But I would say, this touched me somewhere... Crystal, you never fail to amaze me. :) Blessed Be!

  2. it had to you who would come up with some ingenious. if the picture was not there and you hadnt opened who was the 'her' people wd be left wondering .. i am a kashmiri and i love the fact that atleast one non-Kash understands the situation! i hate the fact that most of us are helpless.. and at the same time, this is literary genius.. it strikes a chord and like mystical said, this does touch the reader!
    you're TOO fucking good. take a bow, woman take a bow.plus, the swings part was soooo awesome.. fan fan fan hoo mai! fara ko bhi padhaunga. this is TOO nice.

  3. I always seem to learn something when I come to your blog. I love how interesting you are. I try to surround myself with interesting people because they can always teach me something new, and one is never finished learning. :)

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  4. You're a very good Crystal. Amazing post! I'm amazed how I didn't read your blog before. I love where you wrote about the pentagram having five sides and all. Best description ever!
    *hits FOLLOW*
    There now, you got yourself a new follower.

  5. I would like to thank you for visiting my blog and the lovely comments you left. I appreciated it very much.
    Have a lovely week-end.

  6. I came,I commented..but blogger play tricks on me..i dont know what happened to my comment

    Doesnt matter

    Awww :'(

    They told me Kashmir is a beautiful place,i've never visited her..but I believe it has some breath taking views but sadly political turmoil stealing away all the beauty..sad

    and you have highlighted it so nicely that I could feel her pain

    ... yet no one raises eyebrows because they all understand the pain.

    I hope kashmir becomes a real heaven soon one day :)

    and you are SO good with words

    Love ya :)

  7. This is one wound that refuses to heal! So sad that it remains only a subject to gain political mileage with scant regard for human life... A poignant story!

  8. its my first time on ur blog, and im deeply moved by this story. it hurts to see there are so many ppl in pain. i hope everything goes well for her. god bless her.

  9. I don't think I hv read anything like this from you...i.e. about a real life situation...really well written...what's worse is , it still persists, which is sad :(

  10. @ MSM,
    Yes. I hate the pretense from the pit bottom of my heart. 1000s of teenagers go missing in J&K, who the hell cares? And since we don't care , no one does anything. It is like a diseased limb no one cares about. :S
    Thank you so much, honey. I am glad it struck a chord with Someone. :)

    @ Hamza,
    I remember visiting your blog a while back! So you finally reverted. Haha. Whenever you come here, I just wish your visit is worth it! :D
    Welcome here and thanks a ton for the comment and follow up! Tc

    @ Tariq,
    Na! I guess, it becomes obvious that the 'her' is Kashmir by the time you reach the part about women holding pictures of their loved ones in front of the forces' tribunals. But you know what, it ain't just Kashmir, it could be Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan. Any place.
    Thanks a lot re. I already sent the link to Fara. she said she'll read it and tell me how she thinks it is!

    @ Bonnie,
    Wow. That is a huge compliment.
    You can Google for more about the Kashmir issue. There is too much for me to cover.
    I am glad I am providing their time's worth to someone. :)

    @ TOSM,
    Kashmir is still heavenly. Trust me.
    There is no place like Dal Lake in the world and being on a shikara beats riding a gondola across Venice ANY DAY. It is only Heaven distorted hellishly now. We all wish peace must be restored, but we don't know of ways to do the same.
    Love you back. xx

  11. @ Rahul jee,
    I agree, sir. It definitely is a wound that has been kept open for too long and is taking quite a while to heal.
    Yes , it has been turned into a political issue and there is so much propaganda that I think people have started ignoring the emotional aspect of the situation.

    @ Welcome to,
    You're welcome, Yvonne.
    I wish you have a beautiful Sunday :)

    @ Deema,
    Hello there. I really loved the images on your blog and considering you're a newbie, I was amazed at what all it had to offer.
    Yes, there are indeed a tad too many people in pain. Its good you understand and sympathize.:)

    @ Anurag,
    You're right. I have really few posts under non-fiction. The situation hither was such that I was almost compelled to write about it. And yes, its heart wrenching to see it persists even after so many decades. :(

  12. But this thing happens to them because of the insenstiveness of the elite.

  13. She is Kashmir. And yes that's when it hit me. This was beautifully crafted and I'm actually amazed at the way you've described it! It's really disheartening to see what Kashmir has gone through.

    This is one of your best posts :)

  14. Your way with words is so mesmerizing! :)

  15. The metaphor used to described Kashmir was truly ingenious!
    Excellent piece once again.

  16. If we just gave politics or POLITRICKS some rest and did something to bring Kashmir back to being normal and happy again!!!
    Beautiful post crystal. Touched the very core of my heart

  17. touching.superb.awesome.poignant.deep.well done......:-)

  18. Fahad,
    That isn't the only reason, but yes, it is one of the main reasons.
    The elite care. They care about nothing but them.

    It sure is. My best friend is a Kashmiri, and I am aware of and abhor the conditions prevailing there.
    Thank you so much. That's huge. :)


  19. M.Flowerr,

    Thank you so much.
    Wonder where've you been, how are things?

    Red Handed,
    We live in a demoncracy :)
    And we don't need politics, we just need politicians who Care. Not an impotent loser, Abdullah. He could settle his marriage and then settle the K issue.

    Thanks a lot! :)

    THanks :)

  20. ooh and btw...i saw u left a note in my chatbox...my post is up and running now..:-)

  21. And no matter how much plundered her beauty may have been by the factors that be,she still is beautiful! AND that is the real beauty :)

  22. aaaj skul why not come u baddy gal :(
    me hates u na pukka
    i giv u gandi puchchci :X

    and this my lady is thy beautifulest /khoobsuratest post i have read/seen/heard- choose your word
    you create magic and more magic...

    imagine me saying all this as DANDINI :)

    sorry for being late..!
    eco is killing me

  23. It is saddening to realise the actuality behind this post and that this is for real.

    But as a write-up, I liked the personification a lot. :)

    P.S: I feel soppy. I love all your posts that I've read so far. *silly si smile*

  24. Kashmir is such a beautiful place. It's so sad to look at it in such a manner..
    I wish things could be fine there, and it becomes a safe place someday.

    Amazing post :)

  25. Hey just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that you write very well. Ever thought of publishing a book? You should! I will buy :)

  26. Lovely piece of writing, theres alot of heartfelt passion and pain behind the words.

    Its a humbling experience to visit somewhere which provides you with what I call 'deep breath' moments (I often work in west Africa). It makes you question not only your own existence but the existence of others and their circumstances. First hand experience is quite often life changing, burns your soul and can make a huge impact on your life.

    These are special words Cяystal.. Best wishes..

  27. Omg! This is soo good and ironically heartbreaking. You managed to bring tears to my eyes. I love the way you've summed up the Kashmir issue in just a paragraph. :)

  28. ^ I have goosebumps too.
    This was brilliant.
    I hope the problems in Kashmir lessen, but not much is being done about it :/

  29. @ Rahul,
    Yes. Read it! Commented too :)

    @ A grain of sand,
    Well. A part of me wants her to go back to the previous, virgin, unaffected, untarnished beauty that she once was. Yes, that's how my first memory of her is and that's how I want her to be. :)

    @ Suvaiba,
    Sorry ya. :( I overslept.
    How many attended school?
    And, I haven't even finished the questionnaires as of now. i just returned home as a matter of fact :/
    Plus, that comment as Dandini sounded amazing. Khoobsurat, rather.

    @ Vinati,
    I know. My childhood bestie is a Kashmiri, so I do visit the place once in a while. And, the condition is despicable. Such a beautiful place marred by cynical human actions. Sigh.
    Ohhh! Thank you so much. *gives her a shy si smile back*
    You I love :)

  30. @ Philo,
    Hmm. Sometimes, I feel helpless. We can only 'wish' and do nothing but wish. Sigh.
    BTW, I loved how lovers and sinners ended. :)
    Thanks a lot, hon.

    @ Priyanca,
    That is the kindest thing people can tell me. :) I am elated a couple of you think that way. I'm too young though, maybe when I'm 25ish. ;)
    Thank you and welcome here. Hope to see you oftener.

    @ Paul,
    **makes you question not only your own existence.
    You just voiced my opinions, Paul. I so agree. That is just the feeling which sweeps over me when I look at such places. And not just Kashmir. Libya, Egypt, so many African countries too. Sigh.
    I remember a couplet I wrote which is befitting "The inexplicable, unspoken human misery,
    And yet .. the helplessness."
    Thank you so much, bud. Your comments make a world of difference. :)

  31. @ Nikita,
    Aww. That is sweet, and rather gratifying to see someone was moved by this piece. This post means alot lot to me and I appreciate your words highly. <3
    Thank you so much. Take care.

    @ Tazeen,
    Oh God. :o
    And listen, I ain't getting your blog updates on my feed. I don't know why. :s

    @ PurpleMist,
    I know. That is what is disheartening.
    They're avoiding the issue like plague. This very fact sucks. :(

    @ Shruti,
    It is. Yes.

  32. And the sad part is, no one is even bothered and Everything looks good on the surface, indeed.
    The way you observed things and wrote this beautiful piece thereafter, it stirred an emotion somewhere. I hope it gets better soon. Gob bless you :)

    P.S: I never ignored your lovely space and I'm really sorry for being so busy, dear :(

    Love, ~Moonlight~ :)

  33. This was painful to read. Painful. Embarrassing. Cringing. The thoughts that came to mind. The thoughts. The guilt. You beautiful writer. My thoughts aren't reading well on screen You got me speechless babe. :-)

  34. Firdaus. It was genuinely so painful. The way you write makes me reach for heaven. I've always wanted to visit Kashmir, but my family is too scared to even think about it. My parents went on their honeymoon there and that was the last time anyone from my family ever set a foot in that heaven. I know the circumstances, I know the danger but then you have to pay a certain amount of risk if you're on your journey to Firdaus :)
    'Rockstar' stabbed my heart, you know.

    I'm sorry for I've not been around for a while.

    I missed you too :)

    Love :)

  35. Moonlight,
    Over here, things don't even appear good on the surface. Visit Kashmir once and the pandemonium and chaos inside people's heart and the ugliness of the situation is more than visible and evident.
    Thanks alot. Its probably because I am know a couple of Kashmiris and am very close to them.
    Thanks again. And its okay. :)

    BABY! Where've you been? I left you a couple of mails and no reply. :(
    The situation there, yes, it is painful and cringing. I question my helplessness more than often.
    Thanks re :)

    @ Serendipity,
    Dudette. I cannot believe you said that. My parents went there for their honeymoon too. That's one HECK of a similarity.
    I visit it pretty frequently and it ticks my heart and makes it coil up in shame when I set foot there. Sigh.
    Its okay. We'll go on a journey up North insha'Allah.
    I heart you. :)

  36. This is super like post crystal... So loved it :)

    Kashmir a special status state, but the special specialty is hurting innocent lives.

    Too good !!

  37. Heart rendering and painful...wish our politicians understood the pain that ppl go thru.

  38. Thank you Jyoti and Ria. Much love to both of you.
    Indeed, the conditions are more painful are heart wrenching than ever, and even more disgusting is the fact that there's too much politics going over the issue and yet no political action is taking place.

  39. This is heart rendering.. a sad reality... especially when it comes to children and their innocence. A thoughtful post... thanks for sharing.

  40. wonderful!!!! i looked at the picture and continue reading thinking that you were talking about afghanistan and this is some afghan girl... and at the end i was surprised... i have never been to kashmir but i guess what you wrote here is enough to realize that the situation is not normal...lets hope kashmir becomes heaven one day :)

  41. Wow. Painful, but heart-tugging. Ur brilliant. Also, send me ur gmail na? Toh we can share a lot of favorites, beyond sitcoms :)

    Mine is twisha.maniar@gmail.com. Test mail me, so i get urs :)

  42. You've got to be kidding me Crys :)
    I'm so damn overwhelmed that my words are failing me :D

    This is so so awesome :)

  43. I had a friend name Firdaus long time back in school, but never knew the meaning. Thank you.

    How well you depicted Kashmir here, Its not just a piece of land. But a human. She feels. She cries. She longs for peace. She longs of happiness. Best Wishes to her.

    I have never been there. Just yet. I hope to go there soon.

  44. : Dee,
    Why just children, ya? I think everyone who lives there suffers and their share of misery is pretty much equal. and remember, pain has the same language, across the globe.
    It is indeed heart wrenching.

    You know what, its not just Kashmir, like I wrote it my reply to Paul, it could be any place in the world, any place torn by terrorism, inhuman, barbaric practices. Afgha, Kashmir, Libya, any place. Its the pain shouting out in one language and that is what is distressing.
    My fingers are crossed. Insha'Allah , Kashmir will get back on its feet one day.

    @ One life many moments,
    I left you a mail. :*

    @ Serendipity,
    I left you a mail too! :D

    @ Kunal,
    I know someone called Firdaus too. :)
    And my intention of personifying Kashmir was solely to garner feelings of sympathy or understanding towards it.. And she weeps, copiously at that. Her plight is miserable indeed. Sigh.
    I wish things improve super fast. I'd wish she got back on her two feet soon.

  45. So sad, but so beautiful written!

  46. I visited Kashmir a few years back, and that was the first year of the so called normalcy.

    Saw a lot of pain and saw a lot of hope as well, and that's what made me feel so happy once I was back. People fight because they feel that there is a better world out there for them as well, they hope their lives to get better, their families to come back...

    I am hopeful too, for the life to be respected again, valued again...

  47. wonderful post..and the photo reminds me of the Afghan girl in the National geographic...

  48. I was led here by a fellow blogger, Chintan. I'm so glad she asked me to pay your blog a visit, and I'm especially glad that we're of the same age group :)
    Firstly, your header is AMAZING.
    Secondly, I loved the quote bar on the left hand side, it was nifty :D
    Thirdly, this post...I'm at a loss of words. You write so well :O
    Keep blogging :D
    I'd love to read more of what you have to say :)


  49. Brilliant BRILLIANT writing Crystal!!

    And the pain that they understand so well but everybody else gives zilch about. It's been so many, many years since we became independent but the Kashmiris are still stuck in a state of limbo.

  50. Thank you So much Spiderdama!

    Siddhartha, I agree. I wanted to do something .. still do.. Insha'Allah things will be better.

    Ashol, Thank you! Yes, I agree. Its similar.

    TheStoryTellersLostPages, Thank you! We must thank Chintan for introducing us .. and those are some of my favourite quotes! :)

    PeeVee Thank youu!
    and ditto the latter part of your comment.

  51. Our media and the elite's biased nature !!


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