Unwoven Dreams: A Conversation with a Pashmina Salesman
I remember when Sohail told our interviewer (Anuskha) how he was pleased to talk to her as ‘they do not meet many people like her’. What is so amusing in this occurrence? It is that we’ve failed to listen, we’ve failed to recognize our friends and brothers, we’ve failed to look around us, to sit and talk, to pay attention, to empathize and to understand someone’s story, their perspective, their grief and aspirations. Our failure is not with our intellectual understanding of the situation and the cause, our failure lies in the ignorance to even make such an attempt.
“chār-sū hai baḌī vahshat kā samāñ
kisī aaseb kā saaya hai yahāñ
koī āvāz sī hai marsiyāñ-ḳhvāñ
shahr kā shahr banā goristāñ”
– Fahmida Riaz
(There’s fear and frenzy in all directionsfor some evil spirit seems to linger upon usAnd only lament singers can be heard hereall these cities which have turned cemetery)
You can choose to be a bigot, choose to not believe news reports, international declarations, local leaders, intellectuals and experts. You can choose to deny everything. But you will know the truth when you’re with them, you’ll know it in your bones and you will be left with no other option than to trust your own nerves.
But Kashmir will survive you just like it has survived thousand nights of despair.
All views, perspectives and opinions in the Acquaintance section belong to the author(s).