Azhar Wani introduces a timely poem that takes a famous couplet known to every Kashmiri and inverts its meaning through the poetic verse. Such inversion confronts the idealization of Kashmir as a paradisaical site that over the ages has become a well of horrors, pain and trauma for its residents, particularly in contemporary times. In his own words, the poet explains, “the poem traverses distance and time as Emperor Jahangir’s words about Kashmir are echoed as a lacerated cry. Set in sometime that appears to be a looming catastrophe, one that hasn’t stopped prophesying itself for decades in Kashmir, the poem seeks a moment of recognition of the growing ‘otherness’ and forced identities. In that, all it seeks from the reader is a moment of wide thought.”

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