June 16: Kashmiris and humour remains inseparable; expressing anguish through folk dance was the norm in the past. Presently when life is marred by daily violence, Kashmiris still carry their funny bone but this time it is dark.
People in the state and particularly in the trouble-torn valley have now resorted to black humour. Recently a teenage boy threatened his beloved by sending a message, “Talk to me or my heart will blow like a grenade.”
For many, IIT might signify Indian Institute of Technology but for common valley going boys it stands for, “International Institute of Terrorism”.
“If I will move to Afghanistan I have a good chance of getting admission in an IIT. Only the subjects would be different. I just require to shun dreams of becoming an engineer and guns and grenades would replace my rafters and compasses,” a short SMS is still in use among the engineering aspirants in the State from last many years.
In the media fraternity brevity is the name of the game. They not only apply the rule while writing their copies but with their colleagues also. When colleagues inquire what top stories they submitted, they cut on words. If someone files a news story on a Fidayeen attack, the answer is simple, “I did the Fidayeen attack.” Likewise and like forth for the grenade attack.
“Who did the grenade attack?” is who covered the grenade attack. Poor respondent has no option but to confess: “I did it”.
When mercury crosses the wrong side of 40 in the city of temples, Jammu, a second home to thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, the members of the minority community curse not the weather gods but the separatists and the militants whom they hold responsible for their displacement.
An elderly Kashmiri Hindu lady unaccustomed to soaring heat of planes as green meadows of Kupwara was her habitat prior to early nineties sees the hand of separatists in everything wrong in her life including the inadequate water supply in Jammu.
Most of time it remains within the limits but coincidence can spoil everything as happened when a Jammu based journalist, a year and half back, in the dead of the night messaged his colleagues “CM house attacked, firing going on”. Most of them moved out of their beds started ringing their sources only to find themselves on the wrong side of a joke. Two days later on April 3, 2006 one of the CRPF personnel opened fire on his colleagues in the CM house.
Anything is possible here, known to be the paradise on the river of hell and besides meadows and scenic beauty its inhabitants make it invincible; proved by history time and again.
(Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. This is the second part of the series about Jammu and Kashmir were thousands of locals perished during last 18 years of insurgency. Official records put death toll around 40,000 but unofficially it is round about 75000 and separatist leaders claim it to be more than one Lakh.
Both India and Pakistan claim Jammu and Kashmir and this tussle has been going on since Indian independence and creation of Pakistan in 1947. Kashmir issue remains unresolved.
During a recent visit to the area, Newstrack India correspondent Sadiq Ali reported various facets of the Valley.)
AhmedJune 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM