‘I tried to run away from the reality, but failed’
It has been exactly a week since I landed back to peace -- after my return from the burning paradise, Kashmir. From on board the plane, I overlooked my beautiful homeland where mountains stood naked with the icing of clouds hovering over the peaks.
I felt it was a beautiful but a painful dungeon. What I saw from that small window of the plane, was not what I witnessed on the streets, hospitals, and homes during my stay at my home in Srinagar, where I had gone to celebrate Eid.
Now, I am away from the horrifying scenes of blood -- and children hurt with hundreds of tiny pellets pierced into their bodies lying on the beds of hospitals. And I am away from the siege which continues.
As I started from the airport in Delhi towards my apartment, everything around was normal. I was seeing so many people on the streets after a week of curfew. The normality here made me feel guilty.
I felt very mean about myself as I thought about my friends, my relatives and my people back home who have been denied almost every basic need.
I made a promise that I will detach myself from what is happening in Kashmir as it had caused me pain, and my consciousness was affected. But I failed. The thoughts of the sufferings of my people still haunt me.
I try to sleep at night but I cannot because the images of people hit by bullets arriving at the hospitals fills me with disquiet. The depressing condition of Kashmir and the scenes did not allow me to stay detached.
I am scared of seeing my Twitter and Facebook timeline as well. I probably would not have written about this had I not read about five-year-old Nasir admitted in Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in Srinagar. Nasir has not been hit by a bullet or pellet.
Apparently, the security forces have inserted a needle inside his left eye, according to local media reports. His innocent cherubic face is partially covered by a bandage. He was not protesting or mourning the death of Burhan Wani. He is just five.
I assume he does not even know what was going on. And Nasir is not the only one. There are hundreds of children who are injured by the pellet shots -- which the authorities say was a “non-lethal weapon to control mobs”. But, it has left hundreds blind.
My friends in Delhi, keep on saying that Kashmir is an “integral part of India”. I do not contest them. Neither do I question their obsession for Kashmir.
I just have a simple question to the stakeholders. How can you do this to the people whom you call your own?
I might be living my normal life sitting in the national capital. Of course, every beginner who wants to make a career in journalism would want to be in the midst of news.
I am filing routine stories about all sorts of news. But I am guilty of not writing about my own people. Not because anyone has stopped me. Because it is so depressing and painful that I do not have the courage to write about it.
I can only click a picture of the beautiful Kashmir when I overlook it from the sky, while in reality, I am running away from all the things that depress me. IANS
(Ruwa Shah is a delhi-based Kashmiri journalist, The views expressed are strictly personal.)