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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




Sangrampora, ten months back,
was a mere rehearsal, a consolation,
but here in Wandhama
it is total extermination-
not just seven males
but without discrimination
of age, sex or position,
the whole Pandit population
and their gods without exception.

Could there have been
a more austere occasion
than the devotional Shabe-qadar night
when the whole Muslim population
was out in the mosques
for a night-long prayer and recitation
while their Pandit neighbours
joined the Muslim incantation
with their death throes and supplication
as lethal ammunition was being pumped
into their frames and formation,
right under the nose of the administration?

No orphans this time, no heirs,
no widows no widowers,
no gods nor their worshippers;
twenty-three victims, without survivors,
crying to the Indian nation
on this foggy morning
of the 48th Republic Day celebration
for their final rites and cremation.

All that remains of the Pandits
is a dark cloud in the Wandhama sky
hovering like a huge question mark:
what was that terrible compulsion
that drove the fanatics
to pump eighteen bullets
into the tender constitution
of a tiny kid
that had just begun its locomotion
when a single would have done?

Jammu - 26 January 1998



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