Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mid-winter feast

I am off for the weekend. To the land of white meadows, whiter runways and stupid aspirations! Kashmir! Some colorful Indian Mughal prince once blabbered a few couplets, praising the pristine beauty of the then-virgin dell. The verses are still parroted by a whole lot of native folks. Especially old school teachers and amateur urdu poets. I just can't stand both.

I have a mixed opinion about my compatriots. I find Kashmiris at once innocent and shrewd. They are both -- warm and fake. Religious and phony. Perhaps I am being a little acerbic here but I am only trying to be honest.

I find Kashmir beautiful but its people pretentious. Now, people might throw this at me: We have good and bad folks everywhere. Don't we? West and East. India and the US. Guys, I too have a kashmiri origin but I am only attempting a general caricature here. There are exceptions. And there are cart-loads of them.

To begin with, I admire the resilience of Kashmiris. They stood bullets. Braved a strong army. Fought insurgents. Suffered unspeakable pain and anguish.

I love the warmth about them. They are hospitable raised power five. They will put you up in their family. Unlike anywhere else in India. Feed you like family and leave you surely touched.

They can be Naive. Stupid. Ignorant. All in tandem and might still come across as lovable. Color of their skin or the sheer ingenuity of their senses?

I hate the antiquated values of Kashmir. Their backsliding words. The hypocrisy of it.

I abhor their arrogance, the artificial attitudes and contempt for everything alien to their narrow vale-view.
Everything starts and ends with religion in Kashmir. Another matter anything they do has shades of shallow pretence to it.

From where I stand, that's not done. Nations are not found on such lackadaisical edifices. You have to have strong mores and a value system in place. No amount of pressure must break this link.

My assessment may be wrong. I can't die for my beliefs because I might be off-track. But I'm firm.

Ps-- I am holidaying in snows. I am going to have the rich wazwan. Cups of the nectary Kehva. One of my best mates -- Tansir -- is tying the knot -- I do style -- and I don't want to miss out!



Jonnathan said...

Now thats what an honest piece must be like.

Surajit Chaliha, Enpro said...

hey you write straight from heart and that is the first sign of a great writer.

Raj Huda, Gurgaon said...

I think this is a very honest attempt at describing something. Personally, I think that we have such people everywhere- kashmir to kanyakumari but u r right, one has got to be critical sometimes