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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Premium on Death

My visiting friend from the valley
tells me that people over there
are in a hurry
to meet their doom
for there is a premium on death.

Each of its victims,
whether in crossfire
or in custody,
or through terrorist killings,
leaves behind a legacy
of one hundred thousand in cash,
a job for the next of kin,
a life-time pension for the widow,
and for the orphans
a maintenance allowance
till they come of age.

My friend says
that the stakes for death
have been further raised
for the policemen
that die in action,
from one to five hundred thousand
and there is always
that additional bonus
of another hundred thousand
from the Central Government
as an ex-gratia relief!
There is a vested interest
in death these days
in my lost paradise,
so my friend says.

Jammu - 18 October 1997



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Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

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