Table of Contents
PART I: Snow in Srinagar 
  Reaching Srinagar
  The city of fame
  Rainy afternoon in ...
  Up the Sindh river in a doonga
  Snow in Srinagar
  Chilai Kalan
  Crossing the Vitasta
  Journey into the Himalayas
  Ishbar evenings
  Pony ride in the Liddar valley
  Views of Haramukh
  My father in Hawaii
PART II: Ten Thousand Years of Solitude 
  The Fire in the Waters
  Records of our lives
  Ask Krishna
  The Conductor of the dead
  A Wounded bird
  The riddle of Isha
  Patanjali's song
  The hidden path up the hill
  Inner Sarasvati
  Naming things
  On high desert
  A small beginning
  Seeking answers
  Nachiketa's dual
  Quantum implications
  Chance and necessity
  A Boy and his dog
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Ishbar Evenings

Evening brings you to the magic circle of its sound:
the chirping of chicks, hens clucking,
the little stream jumping down the rocks,
the alarm in the koel's call,
the muffled footsteps of young girls
the clang of my grandmother's wooden sandals
as she shuffles up the incline,
the ringing bells from the altar,
the repetition of holy names,
and the deep call of the boatman
that echoes from the hilltops.
Sweet, warm smells from the bakery waft up
and we are served sugared green tea
with cinnamon, cardamom and almonds
sitting on rugs in the verandah facing the altar. 

The lake begins to prepare for repose
as the last shikaras slide on the surface
punctuated by the dull sounds of the oars. 

On rainy evenings the water sloshes down
along new channels from down the hill's slope
and spouts out of a thousand little crevices on the surface
bringing the boil from the secret chambers of the mountain.
And I wobble on my wooden sandals
over deep mud
to get the corn for our chickens
shivering as the cold wind gathers
under my loose shirt. 

In the sacred spring the fishes
prance unperturbed,
and the crows linger forlornly
on the ancient stones.
Birds, fishes, animals on the slope
have no regrets
they fear only for their survival,
we are burdened by our old memories.



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