Sunday, January 4, 2009

Snow


Mummy! It is snowing! I cried.

Yes, it was just like that fairy tale.

Just like that dream.

The picture had indeed frozen.

Little snowy pearls in front of the great green conifer whirls.

With frozen snow islands at the tree feet

and the big brown mountain beneath.

They stopped and smiled,

Dazed perhaps by their own beauty.

I stood there too, in open mouthed wonder,

Thanking the Lord.

I had finally been blessed.

Blessed, as I saw the first real falling snow of my life.

As I saw the true colours of my land, for once in my life.

So whats the big deal, you may say.

When a Kashmiri sees falling snow 13 years after she is born, it is big deal.

When a Kashmiri sees that snow from the window of a hotel room and not her own doorstep, it is a big deal.

When a Kashmiri is as much a tourist in Kashmir as a Canadian, it is a big deal.

And when the snow that should have been the most routine part of your life comes as an out-of-world-surprise, you wonder what else you must have lost.

What other parts of you lie dead and buried in that soil.

The war against my identity seemed to have won;

I will always be an incomplete soul.

But the missing parts, ironically, have also been my link.

Because though today I don’t own an inch of land in my land, as long as that soil has my dead remains, Kashmir will be mine and I shall live.

- Radhika Koul is a high school student here in New Delhi. She can be reached at radhika.koul@gmail.com

28 comments:

Veer (veeruz@gmail.com) said...

Awesome indeed !!! Radhika !!! Read it at least 3 times and felt the pain ...

When I was a kid and we all would sing on window facing vyeth at banamohalla...

Sheena pyetoh pyetoh
Rudah chalo chalo !!!

Kav toth chuya chey maamoh
Vyetha mouj chay wanvaanoh ..
Sheenah pyetoh pyetoh ...!!!

Dariy myaani teh dyedi myaan achtoh..
Kangri khor asiy fyeran manz ho !!!
Sheenaah pyetoh pyetoj ..!!!

So on so good .....rest of this childhood ryme I don't remember !!! But that faint jollygood time will always bring smile even if 1000 nails pierce my body..

shaon sengupta said...

Very touching. You are a gifted writer Radhika. Hope you and your comrades return back to your land with pride and glory one day.

Parttha Pratim said...

You have touched our hearts, Radhika. Make no mistake, if your soul is so pure, one day or other your dream of returning to your motherland will be fulfilled by Almighty.

Partha Pratim Sengupta

Bhawna kak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tarun Vijay said...

The gods are anguished

Dear Radhika,

Read your poem,brought tears to my eyes. You have very subtly woven a fabric of Kashmir's nay humanity's pains, sorrows and anguish through sentiments of a patriot. I am sure even gods would be sad reading your poem.

I trust your generation, and my generation would see India getting revived in the land of Sharada and we shall see snow, from our homes , Indian homes in the valley.

god bless you
Tarun Vijay

--
tarun-vijay.blogspot.com
Tarun Vijay
Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
(centre for civilisational values and policy research)
11 Ashok Road, New Delhi 110001
tel. no.-011-23382569,23382234.

RAMESH Manvati said...

Beautiful and touching poem.

" ....
And when the snow that should have been the most routine part of your life comes as an out-of-world-surprise, you wonder what else you must have lost........"

Yes Radhika ,it is a big deal for the Internally Displaced Kashmiri Pandits, now in 19th year of forced exile.

Do read my poem " THE SNOW IS CALLING " written a decade earlier.You can google search it and find it in Annual number of VITASTA Year 1999/ 200O ( published by KP Sabha Kolcutta).Second part of this poem will appear shortly.

Best wishes , God bless you.


R A M E S H

Wilson John said...

dear radhika,

I read your poem with a wistful heart. You have expressed the sentiments of a lost home so vividly and yet without a rancour. Please accept my best wishes and congratulations.

warm regards
WJ

Wilson John
Senior Fellow
Observer Research Foundation
New Delhi INDIA
Phone Number : 011 - 43520020
Fax Number : 011 - 43520003
Email: wjohn@orfonline.org
wjohn60@gmail.com
Website: www.orfonline.org
blog: http://india-alert.blogspot.com/
-------------------------
YOU CANNOT FAIL UNLESS YOU QUIT

ganjoorc ganjoo said...

read ur poem. well thought. keep it up

--
R C GANJOO

Suneeta Raina said...

Quite Wonderful Radhika !

It is really a good one, keep it up.


GOD BLESS U



Suneetaa

Kamal Kumar Pal said...

Dear Radhika,

Your prose-cum-poem is extremely touching. Thank you for giving me
link to this blog (http://kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com/).
I shall be a regular visitor.

May God bless you,
Kamal Kumar Pal

Director
Riddhi Management Services Pvt Ltd
FE 297 Salt Lake City
Kolkata 700106
India

Rita Koul said...

Wow...I too cried & hugged you Radha when we were in HILL VIEW Hotel of Gulmarg. Yes, for me it wasnt that much of a touching scene, but I am so proud of you my daughter for expressing the feelings of every kashmiri, born or not born in kashmir, in such a wonderful way. RIK, your initiative really deserves laurels for its efforts. Bhagwanji bless you all.

Maa

kamal pandita said...

beautiful Radhika...!!

Cheers,
Kamal P.

Seema Chakravarti said...

so sad, that young kids have to think about identity and loss at such a young age....

Richa said...

Well expressed!! I realize, I do not have to wait much, before I get to read "your" book.
All the best...

Aditya Raj Kaul said...

Radhika tells us about suffering, displacement, lost roots and a lot more... A mix of poetic-prose from a 16 year old girl long displaced from her homeland - Kashmir..

Great words Radhika. (Loved the Big Deal part, nicely put)

We at Roots In Kashmir (RIK) expect a lot more from you in the coming days.

God Bless you.

Irma Razdan said...

Radhika's simple and evocative words have truly captured the deep pathos and longing for ones lost home.

Anu Munshi-Khandhar said...

very nicely written, radhika. this reminds me of a poem i wrote a couple of years ago. since most of you can relate, i thought i'd share it with you all:

"I Just Watched" by Anu Munshi-Khandhar

The sweet taste of nostalgia left me breathless.
I reckon it was for a moment, but felt eternal.
It slid past the chinar trees, the minarets, even the icy tunnel.
And there I was, just eleven years old.
A house was on fire, our neighbor’s house.
The little Muslim children were running over with “kavlis” and gathering
water to throw at the fire.
It was leaking from the roof and drops fell on my body.
Why amongst all this did I feel a calm sensation?
I just watched.
Thorns went ripping through my grandmother’s feet, or was it her heart?
My father had left just for the day, only to return to chaos.
Only tears, not water, would have to quench the thirst of that fire.
There were plenty of tears, but alas, none from my eyes.
I just watched.

I handed my ten-day-old sister to Nadia.
She took her Quran and prayed that it would all end.
It didn’t.
Neighbors threw furniture, books, bed sheets out the windows.
They wanted to save something.
We left our home.
The same home we built with blood, sweat and tears demanded more tears.
It wanted more blood.
That is exactly what it got back.
The blood of our Indian javans, the sweat of their mother’s brows, the tears of Kashmiri eyes.
And still, I just watched.

I watched families being torn apart, women being widowed, daughter’s committing suicide and men without jobs.
I saw the elderly wither away in tents.
I saw the man I had always looked up to living in a lonely room with newspapers covering his windows along with broken glass.
I saw his tears, his longing for a home, his nostalgia.
And I wept.
I wept for hours and left.
I promised myself that I would make a difference.
I promised that I wouldn’t and couldn’t watch any more.
I promised to be the daughter of Kashmir, our mother.
To this day, that nostalgia is like the radio of my inner memories.
Some nights, it’s on...in my dreams.
I twist and turn the knob...the stations are alive, breathing, forcing me to taste the past.

Irma Razdan said...

What a lovely poem, Anu. The words tugged at the heart strings and left me a bundle of emotions. How many tears are still left unshed :-(?

Akshay Shali said...

wow..i have these very vague memories of the last time i went to kashmir, i ws 5 i think!!!(before the terrorism)...and now whn i look bck at photos of me with my dad and mom..i wish someday i can again go there again..on my own..i can totally relate to wht radhika says..because i gt to see the pics of my frnds(non kashmiris) who went to kashmir in dec last year and those pics were magical..it might be strange, been a kashmiri i have never seen snow..but i just want to tell evrone..dont lose ur identity of been a kashmiri..been born and brought in delhi..ppl think iam a punjabi..and i hate it..iam a Proud KP and always will remain tht wy..

Vinod Subramanian said...

akshay it is nice but i think it is important to be an indian first.

Akshay Shali said...

ohh yess sir,,nothing can changge..indian to the core..man..indian first, thn a KP..

srishti said...

Radhika, i dont know how to describe this poem but as beautiful. it brings out a feeling of loss to those who hav never been to kashmir and possibly will never be able to go now. the only thing we can do is imagine. imagine what the hindi chapter told us in 7th grade, imagine how paradise in erath feels like. your poem took the imagination a step furthur. thank you!

Pooja Shali said...

it is a big deal fr all of us..!

Palak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palak said...

When u read this poem in class i could almost imagine a small childlike, innocent radhika in two scenes..one at the doorstep relishing the snow with a quiet smile..engrossed in deep buried thoughts and the other radhika, standing near the window exclaming..a voice that held tinge of excitement and pain..
yes, you are a gifted writer no question, bt you are a WONDERFUL speaker as well..you brought out the intensity of pain ahd angiush dt you and each one of your kind are going through..so much so that even the ppl in our class who always cribbed wen asked to listen,had their attention captured by ur poem and were forced to ponder and introspect.
Im not wishing you luck because i KNOW that you can achieve WHATEVER you want and in few years,you'll get YOUR KASHMIR, and YOUR RIGHTFULL PLACE in that paradise on earth.

lots of love,
yours,
palak

Srikant said...

A very well written piece radhika
u got all of your emotions into that poem
and made everyone else feel it too
I am sure that one day
the Kashmiri Hindus will get their homeland back
All the best,
Srikant

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Meesha Dhar said...

i nearly spent 15 minutes to think what to write. I was speechless .....
I could feel the pain,the resentment but above all i felt u still have the courage to be hopeful and that's what matters at the end.