Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief

Kashmir is struggling in its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic due to its poor healthcare infrastructure. The resources aren't enough to combat the rise in cases and the system in place is overwhelmed. Kashmir has just 59 beds per 100K population. The only two tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir are located in the capital city of Srinagar.
Kashmir-based non-profit Athrout Kashmir is on the ground and responding to the crisis. It is acquiring concentrators, therapeutics and oxygen cylinders while continuing its mission to get food and basic supplies to those in need.
Finally, put this link in your social media bios to spread the word:

From My Memory to Her Heart – A Poem by Khawar Khan Achakzai

Mar 18, 2021

On August 5, 2019, Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution were revoked to enforce the status of Union Territory on the state of Jammu and Kashmir without democratic consent from the Kashmiri people. As a measure to quell expected upheaval, the internet, TV channels, mobile telephony, landlines, press, public transport and air travel were taken out of circulation by government order while more Indian troops were moved into the Himalayan territory. In the pitch drop silence of indefinite siege, a poet wrote from his memory to “her heart” not knowing when his message would get across, while even houses from adjacent neighborhoods were left without communication with one another. This poem by Khawar Khan Achakzai is a reminder-in-verse of that time still fresh in the collective memory of Kashmir and its peoples, and a testament to the fact that no lockdown, siege or territory-wide curfew can keep a longing Kashmiri heart from beating.

From My Memory to Her Heart


My country has a telephone number,
it starts with a K and ends with grief.
The peaceful soldiers stay on guard by the gates
of the telephone exchange,
not a heartbeat escapes their curfew.

They check the identity cards
and love letters,
written when the phone lines
have been drowned
in the static of marching jackboots.

While waiting,
I wrote out of a fading memory:

soldiers built papier-mâché coffins
of applewood, that smelled of orchards
and fumes of gunpowder.

While waiting,
I wrote out of a fading memory:

ambulances carried turquoise jars
of “missed calls”
their number plates read JK01-K-GENOCIDE.

I wrote out of a fading memory:

poems with no meanings
captioned on the walls of army camps
with torn flesh and broken bones.

Not a heartbeat escapes the curfew,
the envelopes stuck in the grooves
of barbed wire;
from my memory to her heart
her mail remains guarded by the peaceful soldiers.

Share This!

About the Contributor

Khawar Khan Achakzai is a doctor and researcher by profession with a specialisation in Internal Medicine. He is a student of Kashmir history, philosophy and post–colonialism, with works published in various local and international magazines. He is the founder of Aagosh; a forum that is active against child sexual abuse in Kashmir.

“Remember, remember
13th of July,
Martyrs of Kashmir
and their sacrifice
who bore witness
with the crimson skies
Heroes of Kashmir
who paid the price.
Remember, remember
13th of July
Remember, remember
13th of July.”

—from: 13th of July, MC Kash