Poem: Is this the land of Paradise?

Mountains moan, valleys cry,

the Dal is filled with tears.

The sky burns, red with fire

blazing over the years.

Birds are dumb, blossoms dead,

the air echoes with screams.

Childhood wails, age weeps,

the youth is devoid of dreams.

Innocence is sacrificed on the ice,

blood mixes with snow.

Is this the land of Paradise?

Will no Snow White now grow?

I wrote the above poem in 2000. Perhaps it was some terror attack that pulled it out of my heart then. In the Snow White’s tale, when blood falls on snow, it leads to a story of love, beauty, and goodness. But in our Kashmir, blood on snow only means misery.

God blessed Kashmir with so much spleandour. Demons have been ravaging it mercilessly since decades. Reducing the land of beauty to land of sadness and heartbreak.

The poem that I have copied above feels sadder to me now. So many years have passed. So many lives lost. Yet, where are we? Still caught between bloodshed and selfish politics.

Once again, the demons have wrecked havoc in our Paradise. Once again, bravehearts have been martyred. Once again, we stand shocked and saddened. ‘Enough! Enough!’ We cry. ‘Put an end to this!’ So many lives have already been lost. So many families ruined. So many dreams broken.

Cries of retaliation will now rise. Leaders will thump their breast promising the same. Political parties will perform a fake show of unity. News channels will go hoarse dramatizing the terror attack.

Then, they will all forget and move on. Only the jawans maimed for life will remember. Only the families of martyred will remember.

Till there is another attack, more people killed, more misery unleashed on innocent people.

Will peace ever return to our Paradise?

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