It was sometime in September 2014, that i purchased Rahul Pandita’s book — Our moon has blood clots. It’s been more than six years and i finally managed to read the book, last week.
When i did, i read it in almost one go, powering through the page that i had stopped at before.
Many parts left me in a cold sweat as images of the hordes rushed through my head, accompanied by the chants; could almost feel the blood lust in the air. The part of losing a brother reminded me of my own brother all surrounded by tubes, as the doctor explained the futility of even the ventilator. i choked at the part when he goes back to what was once his home. And i marvelled at his beating down that general by saying “I have lost my home, not my humanity”.
To him and to all the people who lost their homes and their way of life, I say “Sorry”. Especially to my friend who had narrated long ago, about this loss. We did not do enough and i believe we are still not doing enough.
No one should become a refugee in their own country — actually anywhere. No one should ever feel alone and ignored; that no one is willing to speak for them or even engage with them. The process of rebuilding trust has to start by accepting that there is a deficit at the moment, denial does not bode well for a solution. We have waited 30 years too long. We cannot waste more time.
I hope like Rahul and my friend, all those who say in their head “i will return permanently” do make it back home. I do hope they can savour the spring, in their front yards. And as the the poet Agha Shahid Ali once wrote — i hope “we can all live in those days of peace when we were all in love and the rain was in our hands, wherever we went”.