Glass Houses

Sumayya Syed


A Kashmiri woman throwing rocks at the Indian troops [photo credit: Tehelka  magazine]
“Nikita is again on a date tonight,” he types into WhatsApp

From his lonely South Delhi bachelor pad

On what is a thinly-veiled moonlit spring night in Kashmir

Where loneliness is an A

Almost an invitation

To Resistance,

Because what is Resistance

If not the thyme and the garlic and the asafoetida

Of every conversation

The seasoning

Of seasons

When in Kashmir, do as the Kashmiris do:

Salt your tea.


But when in Delhi,

That megalo-monstro-city of smog and noise,

“I have had a crush on Nikita for quite some time now and she’s going on a date tonight,”

The epicenter of the urban Indian nightmare

All one can do is buy a counterfeit currency of freedom


But in Freedom’s hometown, Kashmir,

The counterfeit and the genuine embrace

In multiple languages of loss,

A Tower of Babel


Wedding songs,

Pre-dawn prayers,

“Youth workshops”,


Chants of azadi,


Dissolves into the memoried void of silence


Another notification:

“Prof Siras: How can you millennials reduce an analog feeling like love to a digital yes/no question?

Millennial: Semiconductors.”

It’s not rocket science, love

Throw a stone at it

If it breaks, it’s a heart

If it explodes, it’s an Occupation.


We at Kashmir Lit suspect Summayya Syed is based in Kashmir; ask her and she says she has no clue [Editor]


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