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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Status Change

My friend and neighbour of yore
comes to me here in exile
and exhorts me
to visit my abode erstwhile,
whatever little of it
has withstood
the militantsí depredations.

He invites me
to stay in his house
where from I can look
at my battered home
and take stock
of the prevailing state
of my homeland
and, in the bargain,
make a pilgrimage to the temple
on top of the Shankaracharya hill.

He well remembers
that in days gone by
before exile was forced on me
I would climb the hill every morning
to pay salutations to my lord.

The greatest tragedy of exile,
it dawns on me now,
is that the deity within my daily reach
has receded into a remote pilgrimage,
my own house become a relic of the past,
my homeland an alien place,
and my status of a tourist at best.

Jammu - June 1996



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