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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



The Mists of Siva

The mists dance around you 
four seasons through
Lord Siva,
ensconced in your stone temple
on top of the Shankaracharya hill
rechristened Suleiman
by the fervent faithful.

The mists play hide-and-seek
as they alternately cover
and lay bare
mortar, metal, brick and concrete
hauled up to build houses
on the torso of this hill
for ministers and mandarins.

The mists tantalisingly course
where the contours fall apart
as we bore and blast
a spiral road and parking lot
for motor traffic
up to the hill top.

The mists gently glide and slide
as they deftly seek to hide
the ravages of the security guards 
littering this sacred hill
with eggshells, empty bottles,
phlegm and excreta,
while they guard you,
Lord Siva.

The mists play the cosmic dance
while they come to mediate
fresh disputes for ownership
of this strip of temple land
as adherents of the other faith
claim to have dug up evidence
of a tombís existence,
and fears gain currency
of a Mahabharata breaking out
not only in the valley
but also on this small mount.

Srinagar - March 1988



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