Just to let you know

A few days ago I went for a swim. After finishing, as I came back from the change room, I sat on the pool-chair next to mine; collecting my belongings. As I was leaving from there a kid called me from behind. I stopped, thinking I must have forgotten something near the pool but instead he just came up to me and said, “Excuse me, just to let you know, you were sitting in our chair.” I said “Ok?”. He said, “I just want you to know that.” and left.

I also left from there thinking that did he really made all that effort just to tell me that I sat in ‘his’ chair? ‘His’ chair at a public pool? What sort of entitlement should you feel to claim public property as your own? No prizes for guessing that this kid was British or American.

Later on, while I was recollecting this incident, it occurred to me. The kid didn’t feel any entitlement, he was just putting out the fact to me. He had gall enough to correct me and tell me that I had trespassed my boundaries, that I was not supposed to act the way I did, that I was using a public utility that he was currently using and I shouldn’t have used it, that I should be more careful in future, that in future if I confront the pool-chair of a timid guy who can’t stand up for himself maybe I should remember him and that timid guy wouldn’t need to face me. He was just there claiming his right.

Now think about it, would a desi kid or any kid from modest upbringing do the same? I don’t think so. All our lives, we have been told to stay out of trouble not because we will harm ourselves but because we don’t have the means to get us through. Each trouble makes us gain more experience but at some cost. We just couldn’t bear the cost and consequences, so we should stay away. We stayed away so much that we don’t even claim what is rightfully ours because we don’t want any confrontation.

It explains why children of well-to-do families get more out of life than those who come from modest backgrounds. Their parents have taught them to fight for their rights from the tender age, their parents tell them that they can bear the consequences for what is rightfully theirs. They don’t settle at compromises.

Use the same logic in our families, a girl child is often advised to make a compromise with her brother even if she is right. This might be a way of her parents to prepare her for the life full of compromises ahead. Parents don’t want any confrontation among their children so they will ask one of them to compromise- most often a girl child. Brother is sitting on the couch munching food while sister is slaving away in the kitchen preparing the same. Why? Because the sister is told to compromise and avoid standing up to her brother and father asking them to lend a hand. She continues to do the same with her husband and avoids all possible confrontations living a life full of compromise because even though she is facing abuse she is told that she and her parents can’t bear the consequences!

 

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Kasheer’i Cha Kahh Garre?

One of the famous proverbs in Kashmir is “Kasheer’i cha Kahh Garre?”- Are there only 11 households in Kashmir?

Legend has it that Mongol invader Dalchu/Zulchu/Zulju carried out carnage in Srinagar,  Dalchu’s reputation preceded him mainly because he was a Mongol invader and they were known to be notorious for their invasion. Mongols only plundered, killed, and raped they didn’t settle down after their invasion so the ruler of Kashmir at that time, Suhadeva fled Kashmir along with the rest of the influential people and left the common people to the mercy of Mongols.

The scale of the destruction caused by Mongols was such, that only 11 households remained who went on to rebuild the Srinagar (Kashmir) from ashes. Richen Shah, the first Muslim ruler along with his wife, Kota Rani are believed to have rebuilt the city from 11 households. Hence the adage, Kasheeri Cha Kahh Garre? 

History did repeat itself in the 90s when the rulers like Suhadeva escaped from Kashmir and left the general public to the mercy of mercenaries. We all saw the escape of Suhadeva but when will the Richen Shah and Kota Rani rise up to the occasion and raise the city from ashes?

P.S. One thing we probably miss here is that it took Syed Sharaf-ud-din ra (Bulbul Shah) to make Richen Shah out of Lha Raichana. So, probably another Bulbul Shah is the need of the hour.

*Spoiler alert* Raichana initially wanted to assimilate into the general public by adopting Hinduism as his faith but being born as a Buddhist he was allotted Shudra caste which was a slap on the face for a king like him. Being denied the entry into Brahmanical society, he went on to be the first royal purveyor of Islam in Kashmir leading to mass conversions. One thing to note is that he didn’t dis Hinduism or ban it despite being ignominiously treated by the Brahmanical society of that time, THAT is Kashmiriyat- to behave humanely when in power!

 

Beyond Loss and Grief

Agar kho gaya ek nasheman to kya gham

maqamat-e-ah-o-fughan aur bhi hain

~ Iqbal

In his poem ‘Sitaron se aagay Jahan aur bhi hain’, Allama Iqbal puts forth a simple antidote for our misery; a simple advice when overcome with loss- the worse is yet to come.

You may argue that this will rather depress a person instead of alleviating him out of his misery but think about it, if each time we face troubles, grief, losses we remind ourselves that this hardship is quite insignificant to what we are about to face in future; we will feel ourselves more strong than ever. If I tell you that the future you would laugh off at something over which you are crying right now, you might stop crying at it because you will realize that the future you is mature enough to tackle this current situation.

Remember something that had you sleepless 5 years ago? Today, you are probably wondering, really? Did that insignificant problem matter so much?

As Ghalib puts it ~ Mushkilein mujh par padhi itni ki asaan hogayin

So, everyone is telling you one thing- it will get better just hang in there. Either you will become stronger than before or the problems will perish but latter seldom happens.

Nothing Lasts Forever

Khan’an hindyan timan roabe khaanan

Jaan’an aes dapan yapaer ma pakh

Sundrah aasakh hoerr wognavaan

Tsomrav saet aes duvaan lasch

Pate taeth jaayi wechmai kappas vavaan

Nasar Babb, mye wuch tse wechne gas

~ Nund Resh

Those people with palaces high

Where commoners weren’t allowed in

While Nightingales were hired to sing

Expensive robes were used for dusting

Now that very place is a cotton plantation

Nasar Babb, I witnessed, now you go and see

This couplet from Nund Resh basically explains the ups and downs in life. It sheds light about the ebbs and tides in one certain family looking at which we should introspect.

This couplet is about certain rich people in some village where Nund Resh happened to visit at some point in his life/had heard about their opulence, once when they were at the epitome of their lives and then when they held nothing but dust in their hands.

These guys owned a vast amount of land that expanded over the entire horizon. The situation was such, that their land used to be between two adjoining villages. The shortest trip between the two villages was through their land but they prevented the people from taking that route in a bid to avoid their land become a thoroughfare.

While explaining their opulence, Nund Resh describes them being so wealthy that they used to hire singers whose sole purpose was to keep the ambiance melodious throughout the day and used expensive robes as dusters! Here, I think, Nund Resh hints at the fact that even if they let some part of their land become a thoroughfare it wasn’t a big deal for them but probably because of their ego they didn’t want to help out anyone.

After some time, when Nund Resh again visited that place he found it so desolate that it was turned into a cotton field. Then he tells his friend, Nasar Bab to always remember ebbs and flow in one’s life. To live a life that is grounded, if you have money and power it shouldn’t go to your head because after every rise there is a fall and after every fall you rise again.

The plant that receives sunlight in the morning should never think that it has seized the day and it will outgrow all the other plants that are in the shade because all those plants that were in shade in the morning will surely receive sunlight during some part of the day and will have their shot at life!

Same is the case with humans, those with blessings should never confuse their blessings to be a result of a special relationship with God which will never wane because both poverty and wealth are tests from God to see who performs the best of the deeds.

In A Parallel Universe

Bahut se gauhar-e-shahwaar baaqi reh gaye honge
Ki jin ki Khoobiyaan sab mit gayi tah men samandar ki
Hazaaron phool dasht-o-dar men aise bhi khile honge
Ki jin ke muskuraane men hai Khushboo mushk-e-azfar ki

~ Nazm Tabaa Tabayi

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

~ Thomas Grey

The above-mentioned couplet is my most favorite couplet, it is from the Urdu rendition of a famous English poem by Thomas Grey and somewhat similar to Ghalib’s

sab kahan kuchh lala-o-gul mein numayan ho gayin

Khak mein kya suraten hongi ki pinhan ho gayin

These couplets make you contemplate over the ‘What if’ prospect. What if you were born in a different family; with different financial and emotional capital? Could you have been the same person that you are today?

For instance, if you were born in a family with different financial resources than yours, you would have been an entirely different person. You would have had a different schooling, a different set of friends, a different outlook of the world, a different you. Wouldn’t you have been?

Isn’t it both frighting and pathos to know that there are numerous people out there more able than you physically and mentally but just because they didn’t get the chance at life like you did, they might be working a lower rung job despite having more compassion, patience, integrity, and acumen than you? And nobody will ever remember their name.

There might be someone out there who could grasp quantum physics much more easily than Einstein and could have done wonders to physics but he/she might be a househelp somewhere. Or that there might be someone who could usher incredible reforms if given a chance at leadership but he/she is somewhere slaving away in 8-hour shift.

So, in some parallel universe, you might not be reading this mundane blog but rather be the epitome in the field you always wanted to be.

Of Faith And Trust

Ikhlas gov aevyul Pann tai

Aashiq tath walnai aai

Laa’Shaqq Chui na aeshqas tzhenn tai

Yaaras wantai Bozyem na

~ Mahmud Gami

Fidelity, perceived as a feeble thread

Strong enough to bind a lover, forever

Love is boundless, without any doubt

Please tell that to my beloved

This couplet from Mahmud Gami talks about the concept of faith and trust in love. He describes faith as a fragile thread can be broken at any instance. For example, if you trust somebody with some information/ money/ or anything and they break your trust. You will never trust them again even though you might still hold them as your acquaintance but to trust them again with anything will be impossible. First of all when you trusted them at the very beginning, you knew it very well that it could go either way. So, trusting someone is like holding onto a fragile thread, hoping that it would not break. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t but when it does, it is over and out.

But what happens to this commitment when you repose your trust in someone you love and that person breaks it?

For instance, when you confide in someone you love and that person breaks your trust, do you still continue to trust them? You do. You will come up with all the excuses in favor of that person and against your own reasoning. And if a time comes again when you’ve to repose that trust in the same person you will again do it.

It’s like someone breaking your heart and after you’ve collected all the shards and rejoined them; you handover your heart to the same person just hoping that this time it’d be different but it continues to be the same exercise. You are helpless not because you cannot predict the outcome but because in love, those seemingly fragile threads of trust, entangle you so much that only thing logical seems to trust that person. And without any doubt this shows you that love in itself cannot be stopped. But should someone tell the beloved that you repose your trust in them again and again despite already knowing its outcome?

Of wishes and desires

Tharr Tharr Cham, Marr Bae Shayad
Sharr Mye Jigruk Draav Nai
Khoshh-yiwun Nundboan wesiyay 
Myon Su Dilbar Aav Nai

~ Rasul Mir

This couplet is one of my favorites because more than anything else it talks about all the things that you couldn’t accomplish, all the desires that were never fulfilled and all the wishes that you threw into the abyss of your heart.

In this blog (and maybe in future as well) I will try to take one couplet from some poem and try to explain my understanding of the couplet. My understanding of the couplet, words, idea may or may not resonate with your understanding. This is the beauty of art, everyone will have a different view of the same thing. Excuse the mistakes. Here we go.

 

The above mentioned couplet translates to-

I tremble, perhaps this is my end

For all my desires were never fulfilled

That likable beloved of mine, dear friend

Never did he ever come

If you peruse this couplet, you will find Rasul Mir explaining the vagaries of life in one single couplet. We all have wishes and desires, some of those are know to most of the people who know you- like your career choices, some are known only to your family and friends- like your future goals, some are known only to you- you know what!

Rasul Mir is talking about those desires that only you are privy to and no one else. That desire(s) of yours that you, yourself know will never be fulfilled but still you continue to provide it a special resting place inside your over packed heart. You keep it buried and shielded from all other happenings deep inside your heart and whenever it is resurrected, you will be smashed by the waves of your memory onto the rocks of reality; again and again until you go numb but it is all worth it or maybe not. The impact of the memories is so hard that you shake and think that this is the time when you might face your end or perhaps you do want it to be the end as it becomes unbearable to confront those emotions.

The thing with humans is that we always find grass greener on the other side. Similarly, with your desires, you always think that life could have been better had your wishes come true. Your desires always appear appealing to you no matter how worse/ pungent/ impractical they appear to other people. And such is the secrecy with these desires that the heart you bury them in is your only confidant in this. Your only true friend, you trust; with whom you discuss these wishes and desires.

While reading this blog, if the flames of such wishes and desires mentioned above were rekindled, you will only talk to yourself about dousing them. You will not talk to your family, your friends, this screen you’re reading from but yourself, your heart- that is your only companion in this.

Witness

Once a traveler was passing through the city of Madina, he was intending to sell off his horse so as to have some money for further travels. It was quite early, the market was empty but he saw a buyer approaching him in the market. The buyer turned out to be our Prophet (saww). Deal was done and Prophet (saww) went to his home to fetch the money. Meanwhile, someone approached that traveler asking him for the price of his horse. The traveler said that he had already sold it to the Prophet (saww), the new buyer promised to pay more than what he has already sold it for. Since there weren’t many people around to witness the deal of the Prophet (saww), the traveler refused to acknowledge any deal with the Prophet (saww) upon Prophet’s arrival with the money.

Time was passing by and the market was getting started with more and more people joining in, many of whom started to take interest in what was happening with the horse deal. As it was decided, Prophet (saww) was asked to bring forth a witness or leave the deal. Since there was no one present at the time of the deal, Prophet (saww) had decided to leave the deal as such.

Suddenly, someone claimed that he had witness the deal taking place and favored the Prophet’s version of the events. Upon the completion of the deal, Prophet asked that witness, how was it that you claimed to be the witness despite you not being present at the scene and seeing it all? The witness replied, Ya Rasoolallah (saww), this was just a matter of a horse deal, you said that there is a God called Allah, when I trusted you over that I can trust you over this as well!

A-Z of Sabb

People in subcontinent earn for two things: Home and Wedding. People want a big house and a bigger wedding. Kashmir being the part of the subcontinent is no different. Here, let’s skip the Housing part and concentrate on Wazwaan! Any typical Kashmiri wedding ceremony consists of 3 days of function at groom’s and 2 days at bride’s.

  1. Mall’e Maenz

This is prelude to the Maenz raat (mehndiraat) and is celebrated by both the bride’s and the groom’s family. Waaze arrives on this day but before him Hatakh arrives. This is just a test drive for the days to come and is mostly used to differentiate Panin (your own) from Vopar (everyone else). Invitation to this day is seen as the attestation to the proximity of the relationship you have with the invitees, hence leading to numerous hatakh (sulkiness) which is the most important and the most vibrant part of any Saal!

Normally, Waaz’e (traditional Kashmiri cook) arrives on this day to start preparing the dishes and be a pain in the back for the Vodn’i vael (Most underrated guys who are the organisation and the backbone of any wedding). This day doesn’t find any mention on the invitation cards, so all the Saal’ar (guests) were invited through an intricate procedure called Dapn’i gasun– Let’s discuss that some other day.

The most important and the most exhausting happening on this day is the Waaz’e waan initiation. Waaza after building and starting the Vaerr (fireplace on which dishes are cooked) starts asking for ingredients, which he has already made the Yaezmann (The owner) note down months ago to keep them available on this day. Still, some exigencies may take place and you might have to fetch the items which Woste waaze (Head Cook) demands from the market, this literally means that Waaza can demand for anything from Shonth (fennel seeds) to nuclear launch codes. The worst part of this is that NEVER EVER EVER, in anyone’s lifetime, has any Waaz’e asked for ingredients in a single-go. It’s always that they demand things slowly and intermittently, it is as if the Verri Josh makes them have a deep philosophical contemplation on the combustion of Verr, hustle bustle around them, nature, and cosmos. The Batte (food) served on this day is usually Tzarvan Batte (bare minimum dishes)

 

 

2. Maenzraat 

Also called mehndiraat, this day used to be reserved for the application of Hinna on the hands of the bride and little finger of the groom. This ceremony used to take place at night after guests were served dinner. In groom’s case, the Panun Toall’e (close relatives) used to wind currency notes around the little finger of the groom but nowadays that custom is replaced by a new ceremony that consists of cutting a cake with Mehndi Mubarak written over it, application of Hinna in the case of the Groom is skipped nowadays. The dinner that is served from this day is ferried by the Vodni vael who always have the feast after the general guests have finished eating.

At the bride’s home, Maenz-koeri arrive. These are the young females of the groom’s family, comprising of very close relatives- mostly first cousins; their selection displays the proximity of the rishta, leading to Hatakh and Malaal. They take a Hinna bowl from the groom’s home to the bride’s. Ironically, this is the most recent malady and it came into existence about the same time when Maenzi-waajyen did. Maenzi-waajyen is the professional Hinna applying artist, he/she is fetched from some beauty parlor again by some Vodni voal and then needs to be dropped there by the same because they don’t accept auto kiraye now! So, technically, the Hinna from the groom’s arrive when the bride has already spent few thousands on the services of a professional!

 

3. Yann’i woal

Also known as Masnandnashini, this day comprises of some of the major happenings both on the bride’s and the groom’s side. The bride’s side has this day earmarked for the reception of the baraat along with the feast that has to be served in three different sittings to three different groups. First group comprising of the gents whom you can trust with the punctuality of the time with just +1 or 2 hour delay. Normally, the timing for the feast on the invitation cards is put at 2 pm sharp but we all know the desolation of the tent at that time.

I once remember arriving at a function at 2 pm sharp, while they had asked to arrive at 1 pm, I saw the Tent’i wael with tenting rods and furnishing in their carriage so I assumed that these guys have been punctual with their timing and the feast has ended and that Tent’i wael chu kaarkhaan wataan. The Yaezman saw me and asked me to wait upstairs, at this point of the time, I thought that latecomers will be served in the Hall of shame. When I entered the hall, I was the only person there who was born after 1960s! So, I sat among them listening to the siyasat (which again is the part and the parcel of any Kashmiri wedding) I barely knew about. They were talking of such an old past that every second person they mentioned had the jannatgaar suffix, so either they were discussing the ancient Kashmiri history or their childhood. When it was 4 pm, I thought now they’ll serve us as they must have been serving ladies for the 2 hours I have been here. At 4:30 pm, Yaezman again came to the Hall asking us to come downstairs. We were served the lunch at 5 pm, to my surprise, Tent’i woal was fixing the tent when I arrived instead of uprooting the same. To this day, I blame the Yaezman for making me listen to the Paatcha daleel because he, being my neighbor, could have said that lunch will be served late and I would have spent that time at home!

The morning of this day witnesses an important event at the groom’s which is his shaving and hair cutting. Unlike earlier times, this too has been reduced to the norm rather than necessity; as in the earlier days, the groom actually used to undergo shaving and hair dressing but nowadays nothing of that sort happens as just like the case of the mendiraat of the bride, the groom too has had an expensive salon treatment few days ago.

The gents sabb is followed by the ladies sabb which is deemed to be the most crucial sabb because they can and certainly will talk! “Tyem chye katthe karaan”. They will talk about everything from the Rass traavnik skills of the Waaze to Waaze vardi to how many Kokar each tream contained to kem kotah wartaav kor to malaal kemis kemis chu gomut to daisy laal’eni hash’i oas huth khaandar’as pyeth te yei logmutIn short, this sabb has more critics under one roof than all the critics of both bollywood, hollywood, tollywood, and Bhojpuri film industry combined! Hence, this sabb is considered to be the most delicate in terms of quality of service needed. The indicator of which is quite apparent on the face of Daspaak woal. By the end of the SabbDaspaak woal has developed few ailments in his back.

Nowadays, caterers are hired for the same purpose but some are averse to it for various reasons ranging from Vopar kot tzanokh zanaan’an manz to Temav seat chune mazze lagaan kenh (latter mostly said by the Chaache who spends all the 2/3 days enjoying Verr’i josh sitting on Kursi.)

After the zannan’e sabb has ended, preparations begin for the Mahraaz Sabb at bride’s and Mahraaz saal at groom’s.

Mahraaz Saal ranges from Kahwas pyeth to Battas pyeth and depends on the preferences of the groom and his family; from Sunnat’i hisaab’i chu pakun to Ase chuna lukan hyund khyomut. Baraat usually leaves around 10 pm and returns around 1 am. In case, the baraat is on Kahwas pyeth and haven’t had dinner before leaving then it’s literally a nightmare for the Vodni vael  (BTDT) who are resurrected from their sleep and asked to serve the Laezimdaar patxh (mostly Zaamtir) who were accompanying the groom in the baraat.

The bride is received by the Groom’s close female relatives, rarely his mother; like all the happenings at a Kashmiri wedding, the selection of the receivers also displays the proximity of the Rishte– one more thing that needs to be kept in consideration for the Malaal free wedding, which never happens. After taking her full time (a subtle way to show the bride who is the boss) the Hashh (Mother-in-law of the bride) arrives to lift her veil hoping to send her relatives into Gashh (state of unconsciousness from the sight of bride’s beauty) the event is called Mohar Tulin. This is generally performed by the Hashh or the Badde Hashh (Mother-in-law of the Mother-in-law) if the latter is alive. This marks the end of this day.

 

4. Wathijj

This is the final day of the Kashmiri wedding and is celebrated by the groom’s family alone. On this day, the groom’s family has a feast for the ladies among whom the bride has her lunch. Again, the three other people sitting around the bride on the Tream defines the proximity of the relation hence you know what…. malaal obviously. The Wartaav (small monetary/gold gift given to the couple) takes place here. It is important to note here that the Wartaav process also takes place in the Gents sabb but most of the gents who give their gifts there are the ones who don’t have a Wathijj saal for the female members of their family. There is a female/male in zanaan’e sabb and Mard’e sabb respectively, who keeps the record of all the Wartaav that has been received on the Naev JK Bank diary or some other diary. This sabb at the groom’s is at par with the zanaan’e sabb at the bride’s yesterday in terms of Katthe, Hatakh, and quality of service. With this comes the end of the Wedding in general. There are other customs as well that follow that are Satim Doh and Phirr saal on which the close relatives of the Groom’s and Bride’s visit each other respectively actually for the purpose of general introduction but now to make mends to Hatakh and Malaal dealt out during the wedding.

 

MORAL OF THE STORY: Weddings in Kashmir, being the only social gathering, are a funfair except if you are a Vodni voal.

Kaeshur Rachav

A month ago, I started a section in this blog wherein I translate the kashmiri songs, I have started with the popular ones first. While translating the songs, one of the problems that I faced was that many of the songs that I came across were nice to hear but I was clueless about the words that were being spoken in them, I couldn’t find the meaning of the words in the modern lexicon, that we use nowadays, as this modern lexicon stems from the urduisation and englishisation of our language. We barely know our language and our culture, that we inherited, as it existed. Partly because it is considered condescending if some child deigns to speak in kashmiri and partly because we don’t want our accent to give away our origins. We are somehow ashamed of our culture, our identity. Yes, it is true, we are ashamed of who we are!

Go to a social gathering and check for yourself, the child speaking in broken urdu  is quickly deemed to be refined and intelligent; and henceforth becomes recipient of affability, love, and generosity of the guests whereas the poor soul who has kaeshur on his tongue becomes the eyesore of the party even if his broken kashmiri is music to ears, he ends up receiving the cold-shoulder from the guests as he is an uncouth fellow just like his parents who didn’t teach him to shun his mother-tongue and ape the foreign language! Such brutes!

This leads to the Urdu-waala guys ending up with kashmiri that is worse than those with ST/GB certificates. I am not making this up, I have had the pleasure to be with such guys at school and college and trust me they only ended up making my Urdu worse. They know that they are speaking an alien language and in a bid to fit in they end up with linguistic disasters.

Tu shikaslad hai, zara kar kaam, zara ja dafa, tu balayei/kalle hai, hum lipper pe thay, usko waaze naatihyen thi aaj syun main saath are some of the examples of trying to fit in which became sort of urban-lingo at school leading to degradation of not just one language but two!

The second reason that I mentioned above is that of being afraid/ashamed of our origins, our identity that is ostensibly present in our accent. Urdu helps to mask the accent so nobody will know what part of Kashmir we are from. Some people are ashamed to belong to a particular place and it is not just one place! I, like all the sane Kashmiris like snow and it gives me immense joy to see a heavy snowfall, somewhat like we had this winter. I once asked few guys from other districts to tell me about the level of snowfall that they receive and surprisingly even at places that receive snowfall in several feet, their replies made me certain that we either receive as much as them or even more! Because, again, somehow the level of snowfall would have made me believe that they live on mountains, maybe!

We want our children to parrot English and Urdu because these are the official languages of the state with former being the global language, fair enough, this will definitely help them in getting acquainted with the functioning/happening of the state and the world easily but they have a lot of time for that, they first need to get acquainted with their own society, their culture, and their roots; they first need to know about the past they inherited then only can they appreciate the future they will build. In a world that demands polyglots, why are we robbing new generations of a language, that too their mother-tongue? In the process of doing so we are doing a great disservice to our land, our culture, and our forefathers. We come from a place that has a written historical document dating much before than that of Europe! Our poets were documented when English were learning to read! We are being dishonest with our past and robbing our future at the same time.

 

There is a silver-lining though but that is generally when we are no longer part of the Kaeshur society, I’m talking about NRks- these people being away from the motherland find that spirit of belonging and try to be more connected to their roots and in that process they impart the mother-tongue to their children and use their resources to safeguard the language and culture for future gens. If you google about Kashmiri language over 90% of the content comes NRKs- lessons about learning Kashmiri language, Kashmiri texts, commentaries on Kashmiri culture, cuisines, documented cultural shows and what not! They sponsor the cultural shows there and most important of all- get that documented! We are slowly getting rid of pheran and kangir but thankfully some ingenious people got pheran in vogue. So for the time-being pheran is another fashion accessory but kangir, still for some, is for photos only. Our so-called regional channel that is there for the promotion of the Kaeshir language broadcasts majority of programs in Urdu, and surprisingly, in English as well, that too at prime time!

Documentation is really important for the future generation because we come from that part of the world where it is shameful to speak in your mother-tongue, to learn your culture at school- we know about Harrapa but nothing about Burzhama, to practice and follow it! So, when in future, a kid wants to know what cacophony his grandparents murmur in, he might google the sound and find that it’s the language he was supposed to speak in!

So, document your culture as much as you can, write about anything and everything that is Kashmiri because if you don’t write your own history as you witness it someone else will as they want it to be!