A Shriek about Kashmir—A Ghazal

To Abir Bazaz, Javaid Iqbal Bhat, Hamzah, and all my Kashmiri brothers


How do I see, think, dream, or speak about Kashmir?

One more ghazal shall I tweak about Kashmir?


Another bloody summer looms over the Dal,

Wani’s died and been deified this week, about Kashmir.


Vani is also voice in Hindi and Sanskrit,

There’s a roar now, not a creak, about Kashmir.


Thirty killed or martyred in only three days,

What vengeance is this that we seek about Kashmir?


Pandits were driven out, and Muslims are curfewed in,

Of raw flesh and fury—a reek about Kashmir.


A green land of saffron, of rishis and shairs,

What is Indian, what is unique about Kashmir?


Courting bullets on streets are those sons of the soil,

Swaraj, their birthright, kindles the pique about Kashmir.


A mighty pretty valley, its people’s mighty will,

What is strong, and what is weak about Kashmir?


Relentless calls for azadi, will it ever come?

Is there debate, any critique about Kashmir?


A handsome boy died, which a nation defied,

Beauty, power, what is the mystique about Kashmir?


Here is no space for a maqta this time, Maaz,

Humiliation, pain wreak (havoc) about Kashmir.


This summer, snows have melted into tears of rage,

Burhan’s voice has become a shriek about Kashmir.


July 2016

Maaz Bin Bilal is Assistant Professor at Jindal School of Liberal Humanities. He earned his PhD in English from Queen’s University Belfast in 2015 for his dissertation on the politics of friendship in E. M. Forster’s work.


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