Kashmir is dead

Kashmir is dead
*Anjali Pandita

The lake was calm and still,

the colourful boats tied to the sill.

I stepped into the boat without a word,

frightened like a migratory bird.

The oar roared and splashed,

ripples of old memories flashed.

After decades of separation I am here,

the pain of rejoining I could not bear.

With tears in my eyes,

I tried to connect to old ties.

The lake, the hill and the mountains,

beautiful gardens with crystal fountains.

The fresh air that awakened the heavens,

with the fragrance of brews and blossoms.

The joyous chatter of men and women,

and the clamour of happy, playful children.

The land of brotherhood, love and peace,

where the sects enjoyed their own space.

But the fierce west wind blew across the land,

bringing hatred, death and misery to mankind.

The lake, the hill and the mountain, stood witness,

to the murder, distress and excruciating exodus.

Today the air is smokey,thick and tense,

and chatter is mostly for condolence.

Here hardly any child plays and runs,

as he fears the bloody flash of guns.

In this air it was difficult to breathe,

my mind the boatman could read.

Parting his parched dry lips he said,

Kashmir is dead..Kashmir is dead.

*Anjali wrote this poem when she visited Kashmir in 2009 after a gap of 20 years. Born and brought up on Kashmir and migrated to Delhi in 1990. Working as a teacher for past15 years. Presently teacher at DPS-Modern Indian school, Doha, Qatar.

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Beautiful poem...purely nostaligic.
Added By Chander M. Bhat
Simple but touching.
Added By Vinod Pandita
very touching Anjali.I can feel each and every word u had written.very emotional toooooo.........
Added By jyoti pandita
Very close to heart, I felt like my feelings have got words. Wonderful expressions!!
Added By Kalpana Koul