On a gloomy day such as this one, Aadil Hussain Bhat brings us this poem like a postcard from heartbreak, all the way from Oointpoar, Pulwoam (known as Awantipora, Pulwama in the books by those who control the letters).
To Lost Kashmir
It wakes me often now, the midnight rain,
as light songs from a bird at the break of dawn.
As I, from the window, hold out my hand
to droplets running the trails of visible dark.
A cascade of memories inundates my sight:
a firm relief to the agonies of this enslaved life.
I shall tell you, if in any undefiled remains I find you;
tell you how terror knocks continually at our door:
grins of white-faced rumours at our helplessness,
cries of dying innocence from these modern Auschwitzes
or desertion of homes in fear of nocturnal raids.
And this encroachment of harmless lives
by the hunger for land.
Nature mourns since your departure:
the flowers, with their horror-struck wide petal mouths,
sob in hiccups beneath the swords held by the spying air.
A scarlet now lies drenched on your earth
from clouds weeping out of their bloodshot eyes.
Never can the sun shine to draw days away from this gloom,
a never-ending night, if you still refuse to return.
Return, O lost Kashmir; Oh the lost Kashmir!