Saturday, May 9, 2009


Ranish Hangloo
Childhood Blues continue to haunt

January 1990, I had just started to crawl when communal forces broke legend long relations and compelled one of the oldest civilized communities to leave the saffron valley.

Along with my parents, I traveled 350 kilometers in a fiat car from south Kashmir to city of temples, Jammu. A deafening silence kept filling each passing kilometer. Moving towards south of Jawahar tunnel, nature started adjusting its color for an undesirable change. Slowly the chinars turned into pines and then finally eucalyptus. Mercury started expanding. As soon as we reached Hari palace, I woke up in my mothers lap saying “mummy tresh” (Mother I am thirsty, give me water).

Months passed on and my growing steps saw the lines stretch on my father’s forehead. Finances started bothering us on each day of the calendar. Everyone around was searching for any possible keyholes of survival. I remember, each morning some or the other fellow being used to come to the door shouting- ‘paksa relief commisionery’ (‘let’s go to Relief commissioner’s office’). No one realized that this relief commisionary would become a parliament for minority section of Kashmir.

As men tried their luck with such authorities, the women too fought their share of struggle. Forced to bargain for vegetables everyday, the female folk tried to adjust a home budget that had inadequate amount in the first place. Monj – Haakh (Knol Khol), a leafy vegetable was in maximum demand. What started with one rupee is today sold at Rs 30 at vendor price. Refusing to alter at least this cultural attachment, we as a community still purchase it with equal charm. Monj-haakh is served hot on our plates daily.

The climate has never been friendly to Jammu especially the summer season. But at times it became as good as spring to me. Every year my Delhi based aunt would get me toys during the vacations. Though summer in Jammu is synonymous to a hot tandoor (hand made oven) but that anticipation for toys, at least for a few moments overshadowed our natural calamity. Today as I reminisce of my childhood days, toys remind me of Sharma Ji- our landlord- who never allowed me to play in the house he owned. He often complained to my parents about me, considering me a noisy child. That b*****d never understood that kids play at this age and when they play they are supposed to make noise. Like my childhood rights snatched in Kashmir, Jammu too did not allow me to celebrate my innocence.

Spending such a shackled childhood left undesirable remarks in my mind. I started believing this is the best that a human being deserves. Perhaps this is the kind of life for all of us. Until, my mother started narrating me stories that I should have faced myself, but fate had other plans. She was, rather relieving her bolted memories upon me. She used to (she still does) start with ‘Kasheri aous ase…’ (In Kashmir we used to have…). Those real life happy incidents of valley were hard to vision in my mind. I deemed them as any other fairy tale I knew about. I still try and force myself to imagine my mother being served by 3 servants. Her references to the past are authentic, but today my mother is pushing herself, beyond her physical strength to serve all of us without any help.

When I entered into my teens, the financial troubles began to fade away to a certain extent, but those luxurious aspirations were only at an imagination stage. Due to my hard work and family’s support, I was selected in two of the best schools of Jammu; in fact I topped the entrance examinations. However I could not enroll myself in neither as a huge fee was not affordable.

As time rolled by, memories got sliced into the good and bad. The bad memories have now forced me into an unshapely adulthood, making me feel that neither did the past bring us anything healthy nor has the future anything good to hold.

A desire to relive those innocent days is increasing every day. I know that this is no possibility and I hope it’s not because of material treasures that now I have begun to acquire. I hope this article is not a sudden burst of emotions. I guess it is only an incomplete childhood….

Well, whatever it may be but “yem fir gindha beiti” (This time I want to play)

The writer Ranish Hangloo is studying journalism at the AJK MCRC, Jamia. He can be reached at


amitmagazine said...

Dear ranish

Ur thoughts touch my soul and make me fell the incomleteness within my self.
Keep up the good work , never stop ....


Aditya Raj Kaul said...

Great Ranish. Comes direct from the heart. It is a feeling of loss and longing. I've been experiencing the same for days, months and since the exodus.

We'll reclaim our homeland. Soon. Very Soon brother.

God Bless Kashmir of Kashmiri Pandits.

sandhya mahajan said...

nice writeup! It surely reflects the torn,mutilated and reshaped childhood of many a kids who had to travel along unknown roads, without a slight hint where they were heading for, and finally halt at a place that in many ways was alien.
Though most of kashmiri pandits settled in jammu take it as an obligation to thank jammuists for their benevolence and open arm welcome to KP's ( may be coz they have to stay with them now and be a part of them), still the author gets thumbs up from me, a jammuist herself for telling a spade a spade. I have witnessed that phase when ppl in jammu inexorbitantly raised the house rents, commodity prices for squeezing off whatever money these displaced ppl had with them.
I do agree with the writer in many ways. still,and i will never endorse what his landlord or most of the ppl in jammu did to this suffering community and exploited it to the core. Yet, I have 1 Question bothering me... what would have been the reaction of kashmiri folks if the ppl in jammu had to land in their city some day, driven by circumstances. i suppose, it would have been identical if not worse!!! But, i still remember a comment to my best friend Nita ganjoo whom i met after this displacement..." I thank God that He made you migrate,otherwise how could have I found you". I was v young at that time and dint know the pain of leaving home. This displacement may have affected many aspects of life but the most important in my view is that it uprooted a culture and replanted it in a place that was hostile to it in many ways and yet it survived and sustained

Joydeep said...

Great writeup bro! It really touched my heart. Kashmir belongs to Kashmiri Pandits. And they will go back there. This is a promise which all us self-respecting Indians should make to ourselves!

surabhi said...

dear ranish...
no words to say about this fine piece of write up,which actually reflects every sentiment n emotion that we as the gen next of kps,who do have root in kashmir but have never been blessed enough to be there for most of our lives..
blood shed,emotional turmoils,financial constrains,identity crisis,grief of losing dear ones n exodus from our homeland,we have faced it all..
and i dont see any great change in the situation after nearly two decades of this...
kudos to young kp s like u who have taken up this matter with dedication and commitment..
with such zeal and enthusiasm i do hope future might hold something better for us..
keep doing the good work..

ReaLiDealist said...

it touched my soul .. we all have suffered the same fate !! I so relate to every single thought you have pinned out here ..

Anonymous said...

rona aa gaya of the most emotional write ups by a young Kashmiri Pandit on this blog..

No scope for Politics...

God Bless you Ranish Hangloo. You will be soon in your Panun Kashmir.

Shahid Ali

nerd said...

A very touching and real piece of a childhood, the comparison between what should have been and what it actually became is very real.

zooni said...

a refreshing write-up from you! :)
rather from somewhere deep within you.

For me, and as for many kashmiri migrant kids, it was almost like going thru our own life account that of painful separation from the motherland!

no wonder m impressed at such apt use of words emphasizing aspects like monj hakh, the chinars, the beautiful climate, the long lost childhood that grows into a scarred adult wanting to relive again the moments of innocence ! though i was pleasantly surprised to find no sign of craving hateful vengeance of a communal color.

keep the emotions flowing. let them never die!
really wanting to read more such stuff from ur pen!

take care :)

Anoop said...

Dear Ranish
I was also of the same age like yours at that time . I have a lesser memory power but your aapbeeti was a flashback for me.......

Our efforts will be fruitful.

Excellent write-up .. keep it up..

Anoop Bhat

Anoop said...

Dear Ranish
I was also of the same age like yours at that time . I have a lesser memory power but your aapbeeti was a flashback for me.......

Our efforts will be fruitful.

Excellent write-up .. keep it up..

Anoop Bhat

Anonymous said...

I went through a post at RIK website...

Some kid Hangloo was relieving himself... I felt he relieved very well but his another Hangloo ( May be his Father ) had relieved us all by doing door to doos campaigning for Farooq Abdullah in Jammu.. on May 6 DAILY EXCELSIOR

" Meanwhile, campaigning also ended in migrant bastis here this evening and leaders of NC led by MLC, Vijay Bakaya and other activists of the Party including ex MLC, B L Bhat, M L Munshi, Ashok Hangloo and others held door to door meetings in Durganagar, Roop Nagar, Udaywala, Bohri, Muthi and other migrant bastis to seek the vote for Dr Abdullah. "

Are our Kids against the Family order or are our Older folks become Mad.... Has the relieving reached the doors of Home for fighting an internal battles

Sagar Raina said...

Ranish Bhai...
badiyan hain..
going through ur writeup every one must have gone back into 90's.
But don't worry, that was our last exodus...No more exodus now.we will never wish our children to become another Ranish Hangloo and their desire to relive.

Take Care...

NItesh Bhat said...

Ranish, This Really is a great write up for ur age group.
As u are a Student and in ur age a guy wants to have too many girl friends and wants to hang out outside in pubs and disco's, but u have just made me delighted and now I feel that our younger generation too much willing to get there homeland back.And now I can bet that we are have ur kind of people in our community that nobody can stop us to go back to our ROOTS.
Nitesh Bhat

gurkha said...

Dear Mr.Ranish,

The write up has touched me, and is a true account of what we have been subjected to,
I was 13-14 years old and could understand things but unable to do anything,
each one of us who landed at Jammu has felt the cruelty of Jammuities in one way or other in your case it was Mr. Sharma in our care it was Kauls (non-migrants),
The discrimination at Jammu broke the faith that Hindus/Indians are supportive.
We all lost our childhood and the migrant word attached to us further pushed us to corner.

Dear Bro we must always remind ourselves of sufferings, discrimination and pain we underwent,
So that when we decide to settle scores and remove our scars we should be able to return the same to our adversaries with same intensity.

Great write up keep the flame alive.

Zagat Amba Bless Us All

Rakesh Gurkha

manish said...

Well my friend ... so much so far.. it's been a long 18+ years but STILL this HORROR haunts many .. and this is something that will remain forever in our minds.. I can understand the melancholia in your write-up coz i connect with it.

This is a story that is common to a huge mass of people.

Despite all this ,by the grace of lord shiva , KASHMIRIS have fougt back the misfortune that had hit.

I am really happy that KASHMIRIYAT is still alive and protected in our hearts and let's take this vow of pasing this on gracefully to our next generation.

You keep going , keep up this good work .. you have milestones to reach and new one to set.. all the best dude.

For Kashmir...

Aditya Raj Kaul said...

@ Anonymous

I think we should avoid such 'in the air' shooting of comments; with no backbone. Such comments are not healthy. It should be understood that a post doesn't remain 'Anonymous' after it is posted on RIK Blog. It gets tracked, through its IP Address. We can track the village, the media house or even the identity of the person who has posted it.

This is a final warning to this 'Anonymous' person, who seems to be frustrated by his own name clearly so. What a pity!

If the language of the article is not clearly understood, it doesn't give you the right to malign the author for your own shortcoming. We can always translate the post into 'Hindi' for the illetrate person who has sent this comment.

Wonder if that person is hunting badly for RIK platform and maybe he alone is related to some Ashok Handoo and trying to further his own personal interets? Things are hazy to most, but now becoming clearer by the second.

We have nailed the frustrated person responsible for posting this equally mentally sick and senseless comment. Warning to him, avoid such childish behaviour or face the consequences, which will follow soon for these ill actions.
RIK never takes such crap.

Comments are on moderation now.

Praver said...

ranish!! ur emotions r ripening..liked what u hav written...mainly d way, d emotions u hav potrayed...good use of language or i shld say good use of words...lots of improvements frm ur previous writings...keep thinking nd let ur emotions flow nd try to capture dos flowing emotions in ur writings..


Sanjay Peshin said...

Heart Touching Ranish..You really took me in my childhood memories..which haunts me everyday..We ll not let our kashmiyath dowm & will difinitely go back to our motherland..That is our land which we would definitely take.

Regarding these anonymous creature,u dont hv to really think bout those as they are the most sick people who cant do anything in life & always look an excuse to malign upon others..He is most in-secure personality within us..

Keep up the good work..!

God Bless

Radhika said...

I think i liked your piece because of its sheer simplicity and truth. It is a recollection almost every kashmiri pandit can identify with... You talk of the fundamental differences brought onto our lives that we feel, hear and talk every moment...... And so, 'moksar' i liked it!

mayur said...

Dear brother just read your write up i am smiling but i don't know why my eyes are a bit moist.good work not only u introduced me to this blog but also revealed the reality which despite knowing you for years i didn't knew.god bless and take care...

aar kay said...

Bete Ranish

Excellent writing, it straightway touched my heart, I was trying to read the blog but could not because of the tears in my eyes.

May Maej Sharika bless you & all the members of RIK, you have made us proud.

Ravi Kilam

SHINEY said...

Nice post.It descibes reality.
it descibes all circumstances we have to face.


Neelam R Wali said...

Nice work, seems there is still lot inside you and i can see what shape is it taking to craft your future, which will allow you to create enough space to play around and cherish your life to the fullest.

hope you will keep on lending your services to your community in great faith.


Anonymous said...

I have just read your article "A desire to relive " and i would like to thank you for giving an insight into your world. It has told me more in one article than anything i have read.It was a very well written piece and i am sure your family are proud of you, keep up the good work .

Best wishes
Patricia Collison

pallavi said...

great ya!!! tats something which almost every one of us must have experienced when we had to leave our mother land!!! we will surely fight and get back our rightss!!

theobserver said...

If you sincerely believe in what has been said, well it's sth that deserves much more than mere attention. India and Indians must rise to the occasion. Today it happened in Kashmir, tomorrow it might be Assam. Humanity would be doomed to deny it's hollowness in the name of Kashmiriyat. But what you say, should be visible, otherwise it will remain just another good piece of writing to generate Ads fr ur account.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bro we must always remind ourselves of sufferings, discrimination and pain we underwent,
So that when we decide to settle scores and remove our scars we should be able to return the same to our adversaries with same intensity.

very nice article...keep it up...all the best for ur bright future.

Biney said...

Dear Ranish,
The magnonmity of emotions in these simple lines have revived the harshness of my past.
Our common desire to return back to where we belong has haunted us throughout our growing years.
I could feel a part of me in the soil there during my stay there for few days.
I congratulate you for your work and reminding us of our duty to strive for our 'Maej Kashir'.

Biney Kaul.

Ashwani Bhat said...

Dear brother,
what ever you have written is story of every kashmiri pandits story. It may be time is testing us and our kashmiriyat but days are not so far when we will be back.
This is not first time when this type of situation is faced by us but in history this happened many times. But we remain same and we servived from every critical and non favourable situation. This time too we will come out of this mess. We will again see our kashmir.
But one thing i know is that these muslims will end soon and kashmiri pandits will become the resone behind that. Process is started and exicution is left, which will happen soon.

we will go back.

Ricky said...

I am completely touched by the inhuman experience which all the KPs had to go through in their own country. Silent sufferers with no support from their motherland. Your experience in such little words has opened the floodgates.

My eyes are in tears as I see the heart rendering picture of the innocent child.
I had heard about the brutalities done on KP through a dear friend long time ago but didnt know the extent of such genocide.
I express my grief to the whole KP community. I empathize with your cause and do pray that you get your motherland back.
Though not a KP, I am a human too.