Sunday, May 01, 2011

A lamb-less state

This past month no rib, chuck or rack of lamb was available in Kashmir for most parts. That means a lot. It really does. We have sacrificed a great deal in twenty years. Taking our naati-phol [shank] away from us is taking it to another extreme. There is a limit to what one can renounce. Once again we proved that pushed against the wall, we can confront anyone, including the butcher-baradari, handle-bar moustaches and all. And none of us died out because of the lamb-less state.

The jury is still out on the latest turn-out in Panchayat polls. Come election time the hilly heart starts to vacillate and people swarm out of their huts and hearths to vote. Ofcourse Messer’s Geelani sahib and co feel quite bad about such fickle-mindedness, which in all probability is short-sightedness without pajamas. Sociologists admit that human memory is still short-term and God knows Panchayat-ghars were notorious make-shift interrogation centers not so long ago.

It has never been about elections. The otherwise highly competent election commission of India has been holding hocus-pocus polls – barring a few exceptions -- in Kashmir ever since we signed on the dotted line. Umpteen voting exercises have miserably failed to crack the riddle. The villages may need their headmen but even the headmen need to keep their heads held high whilst passing the village graveyard filled with the young. Queues can be deceptive.

Anticipation is rife as a new summer rumbles in. With the padre of resistance now openly counseling against the futility of stone-throwing, one can only hope that no more stones are hurled on Omar’s musketry, currently oiling their batons and brandishing their polycarbonate lathis [beating clubs] in expectation of a hot summer. Let us make peace this summer – with all kinds of butchers who straddle our little valley.

Let’s hope only daffodils grow in the city and countryside this year.

© Sameer