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iKoshur

I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches.

Introduction.

Ahh, So I have finally been able to sit my ass down. Now I can begin to write my first proper post. Proper, because I have already done it twice, but my posts were hodgepodge, ill-formed pieces of text and after a while I honestly could not find enough Chakra (read motivation) to carry on. But times have changed. Now I’m serious. DEAD SERIOUS.

I will be writing and writing and writing till they put me in the grave. Considering my motivation level, I might not even stop at that. I am pretty darn excited to say the least.

Now to set the ball rolling down, I’ll quickly introduce myself.

My name is Muarij Masoodi. I am a Kashmiri boy, 19 years old at the time of writing. You can read more about me here. I’ll be scribbling down pretty random stuff here. Articles. Opinions. Poems. Commentaries. Passing Judgments. Well you get the idea…

This is all I have to say.

But let me first wish myself (Because nobody else does 😦 )

Muarij! You are a great man. You have to embark upon a journey to discover the seeds of greatness within yourself, That journey begins now. Bon Voyage!

P.S. Kashmir is a Himalayan region and definitely not the Led Zeppelin song.

Featured post

Black Mind

I grope in the dark alleys of my mind.
Incarcerated fears start taking shapes,
But I cannot be free until he wakes.
I am standing naked and true and blind.

As I feel the coarse texture of my fears,
Too rough and brazen just like a dry bread,
Burning inwards in the want of being said,
Little crumbs are melting away like tears.

I drown in the deep insidious lake.
Black waters are washing over my soul.
Alas, it was itself that my mind stole.
And it was stolen for the thinking’s sake.

The thinking monstrosity slumbers deep.
Be sure, in its corner is an abyss:
A secluded temple of catharsis,
Where my blackest notions secretly weep.

~Muarij Masoodi.

This poem shall not be republished, copied in any form whatsoever without the permission of the poet of this poem.

Rage. (Explicit)

Sometimes, oh how I frantically wish,
that some people were better dead.

But their high decibel existence is
a fucking reality instead.

~Prophet of Rage
(Muarij Masoodi)

Deactivated Existence.

Melancholia has infected the folder of my heart.
It is replicating incessantly.
Soon, the process will consummate-
obliterating my memories.

I pick up from the whispers:
formatting the baggage from my past,
rebooting my life anew,
is the only way to keep the system
up and running.

~Muarij Masoodi

This poem shall not be republished, copied in any form whatsoever without the permission of the poet of this poem.

 

The Selective Humanist.

Innocents!
Cry me a River of Blood.

For if you are someone from my tribe.
My religion or my divide.
I’ll raise my voice.

So High. It’ll break into the sky.

Meet me.
I’m the new breed in the town.
They call me ‘Selective Humanist’

~Muarij Masoodi

*Many of our identities trump or even negate the unconditional love we should have had for humanity: A sad reality in this part of the world

 

Mad Hope.

*Thus spoke nobody.

The tyrant has unleashed tyranny in all its nakedness. But we, sons of the soil, we will continue to move on, we will continue to march on till we achieve the cherished goals of liberty, dignity, and freedom. Though we know well that the road is long, the journey is hard, and the terrain is treacherous.

But we swear, by the blood of our brothers and sisters, who have paid the price, with their blood and sweat; who remained unwavering, in their lives and in the face of death; that we will, in true spirit of their memory, never stop, never relent in our march to victory.

History tells us that the tyranny of the tyrant, the hubris of the mighty, the madness of the ruler can only last, till we the people give them the license and legitimize their actions, by being silent when we should speak up, by sitting down when we should rise up, by being lambs forgetting we are the lions.

But brothers, this sin, we’ll not commit twice. For I see, the spark has turned into a raging fire; and no one can stop, this fire from turning into an inferno that will devour the Pharaohs of today like Red Sea devoured the enemies of Moses thousands of years ago.

And soon in front of our roar, the tyranny of the tyrant will crumble, the hubris of the mighty will vanish, the madness of the ruler will be gone forever along with him.

And we’ll rise as free people owning our land, tending our fields, breathing from the air that was forever ours. And we will give a thought to all those who could not make it to the end of the rainbow, who lost their lives, braving the tyranny, who chose death, over betrayal, who paid the ultimate price. Hail the fallen.

Kashmir Lessons: Book by Book

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”–Vera Nazarian

As prime-time debates have replaced serious research, too many people are too eager to furnish their own solutions to the ‘K’ problem. Often these solutions are nothing more than exotic opinions, featuring macho-militaristic adventures, seen as panacea for everything that afflicts the Valley. This feigned air of expertise, comes in the backdrop of complete lack of perspective of the ensuing Conflict.

But, at the same time, it is heartening to see signs of soberness in the print media. And in the print media, it is the books, bereft of snobbery, that remain last vanguards of true quality and enlighten us to what really lies at the heart of the matter.

And it is in this very spirit, we present to you, notable excerpts and quotations from some exceptional books on Kashmir:

1) The Meadow by Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark.

The overarching strategy of the Game, the detective said, was to use any means necessary to sow confusion, hatred and suspicion between the different religions, races and competing militant outfits in Kashmir, so that no one group dominated, and all remained weaker than India’s security forces. But the Game went far beyond the age-old tactic of divide and rule: ‘We slandered and manipulated. We placed words into someone else’s mouth to poison friendships. We created false fronts, fictitious outfits, to commit unthinkable crimes. We tapped phones, listened in to illicit lovers and blackmailed them. There was no moral compass. The Game had absolutely no boundaries, and this was something you only came to realize once you were no longer in it. And then you would stand back, sickened by what you have done’.

2) Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects by Mridu Rai.

The language of religion in which their demands for rights are made has given the Indian nation, espousing a secularist credo, the ideological handle it needs to delegitimize and repress popularly backed insurgency. However, this clearly is a misconceived reading of the problem. Under the Dogra rulers, as much as today, the protest of Kashmiri Muslims represents not so much a defense of Islam but of the rights of a community defined as Muslims……

…. This duality in nationalist terms is born, in the ultimate analysis, of the fact that Kashmiri Muslims have, by and large, chosen to tread a path all their own and certainly one that leads them neither to Delhi nor to Islamabad.

3) Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer.

Srinagar is a medieval city dying in a modern war. It is empty streets, locked shops, angry soldiers and boys with stones. It is several thousand military bunkers, four golf courses, and three book-shops. It is wily politicians repeating their lies about war and peace to television cameras and small crowds gathered by the promise of an elusive job or a daily fee of a few hundred rupees. It is stopping at sidewalks and traffic lights when the convoys of rulers and their patrons in armored cars, secured by machine guns, rumble on broken roads. It is staring back or looking away, resigned. Srinagar is never winning and never being defeated…

Kashmiri teenagers in the early 90s did not imitate Che Guevera and Malcolm X; militants walking the ramp of war determined the fashion trend.

4) Our Moon has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita.

For most of us, Kashmir means a calendar hanging in our parents’ bedroom, or a mutton dish cooked in the traditional way on Shivratri, or a cousin’s marriage that the elders insist must be solemnized in Jammu….

Over the years, I have often thought about displaced Pandit families. I began to worry that the story of our community would be lost in the few decades. It was only because of the previous generation that our customs and traditions were being kept alive. It is my father’s generation who knew how to keep track of festivals. They created mini Kashmirs wherever they settled. But after them, there will be nobody left to remember…

5) Kashmir: The Vajpayee years by A.S. Dulat.

One day during my tenure in PMO- where I unexpectedly landed, after my time at heading the R&AW was up- I was as usual discussing Kashmir with Brajesh Mishra, the principal secretary to PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. ‘Do you know, Dulat, the only thing straight in Kashmir are the poplars?’ he said…

The Kashmiri is a most complex character, and not easy to fathom or engage with. He is the nicest, gentlest, kindest, most sensitive of human beings. Yet he can also be devious and prone to exaggeration…. The Kashmiri rarely speaks the truth to you because he feels that you are lying to him… The problem with Delhi has been that it sees everything in black and white whereas Kashmir’s favourite colour is grey.

6) The Many Faces of Kashmir Nationalism by Nandita Haksar.

I say I don’t now. The Hindus are dreaming of a Hindu Rashtra and the Muslims of a Caliphate—How can country unite to face challenges, not only in Kashmir but across India?

Sampat says it is not true that all Hindus and all Muslims are dreaming such dangerous dreams; the vast majority of them are just dreaming of peace.

I ask him what could be the path to this elusive peace, especially when official India is celebrating war.

Sampat says it can only be Kashmiriyat.

I say it can only be Insaniyat.

I know we are still a long way from defining Insaniyat or humanism. But, like Sampat, I refuse to stop hoping….

7) Lost in Terror by Nayeema Mehjoor.

‘If freedom requires truth, justice and humanity to be wiped away from society, let us prefer slavery instead. The people who had dreamt of Azadi would not want us to die a death of shame and disgrace. We did not object to the gun when it was forced in our society, but we never believed that it would be used against us,’ Tahira burst out, crying and wailing.

‘How could they be so cruel? To torture her by ironing her private parts? Who says they are liberators? They are criminals and barbarians, more dreadful than soldiers!’

I wanted to prevent them from making inciteful statements, but I couldn’t. The least I could do was close the heavy door to the studio to prevent anyone from eavesdropping…..

8) My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light by Wajahat Habibullah.

‘My conviction is that the people of Kashmir can no longer be ignored, that Kashmiris will not allow others to ignore them. If anybody in Kashmir was not a Kashmiri in 1989, they all are now. Too much has happened. If any agreement or process denies this reality, it will fail. Today, each and every Kashmiri is faced with an existential problem having to do with the yearning of their homeland, with being part of a culture, with winning a battle to remain themselves, as Kashmiris belonging to a people with a distinctly Kashmiri consciousness…

Much of Kashmir has been reduced to desolation and ashes… My conviction is that all of us in generation next, in our humble ways must hope, pray, search and work so that, from these mountain of ashes in Kashmir, a phoenix will rise, not phantoms.’

9) Secrets of The Kashmir Valley by Farhana Qazi.

In their “day of rage”, Kashmiris shared their stories, reimagined and retold, to honour their sacred past and shaky present. Together, they could survive the cruelties of conflict.

Tethered by history, this new generation of Kashmiris proved they would not be forgotten. Nor discredited forever. It was, in the words of an American novelist William Faulkner: “ The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

10) Kashmir: The Untold Story by Humra Qureshi.

Srinagar is a city under siege. It has been under siege, every single day, for nearly a decade and a half. People outside Kashmir read or hear reports of spectacular sorrows— half a village gunned down, bus passengers blown up, young men disappearing from home and often being found as disfigured corpses days or months later— and soon reach the inevitable stage where the news barely registers before they move on to the next page, a different channel. Horror fatigue has prevented any real understanding of what ordinary Kashmiris go through on a daily basis: fear, uncertainty, humiliation.

The journey of understanding begins with a single book. Godspeed.

 

Pink-Cheeks Fallacy: A case of bipolar racism.

‘We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us.’ -Pravinee Hurbungs

It all started with one major on Arnab Gowsami debate, passing his laughable commentary on Kashmir. The major confidently announced his conviction that foreign hands lay behind seditious rosy cheeks of Kashmiris. “Why don’t Kashmiris die or starve, like they do in other parts of India,” he thundered shamelessly. It couldn’t get more moronic.

While enough can be said about racist culture of Indian media and their so called experts beaming proudly under the facade of fake erudition, I am not here to make that point.

My point is totally different. And closer to the heart. It is the affliction of the other pole. Our pole. I am talking about this deadly malaise of racism that has entrenched deep into the bones of the Kashmiri people.

In the backdrop of Pink-Cheek incident, initial responses to Major Gaurav Arya seemed to be good-natured and measured. But things soon degenerated to shameless bigotry and xenophobia. As I scrolled down my twitter timeline, I could see certain segments of our society calling Indians choicest of racist slurs like Moonh-kala, blackfaces, niggers.

People were dealing with racism by only taking the game one step higher – Countering one extreme by pandering to the other.

If you really look at it, the Kashmiri response to the Pink-Cheeks episode wasn’t a one off incident. Kashmiris are racists by rule rather than by exception. If you have to make a list of most racist societies of South-Asia, Kashmir has got to be up there, at the top, basking in shameless glory.

Bihari, Bengali, Madrasi are quasi-invectives in Kashmir. People constantly use these terms to shame others who are deemed ugly, unhygienic or not fair. Our society has never made an effort to treat this regressive mindset. For all I know, most people don’t even accept the diagnosis, at the first place. To them, Kashmiris cannot possibly be racist. To them also, sun rises in the west.

And all I ever wonder is how does this racism gel with our more well known attribute – Kashmiri hospitality. This paradox befuddles me every time.

Achievement has no colour,” said Abe Lincoln during American civil war. “Our true nationality is mankind,” wrote brilliant novelist H.G. Wells. But our attitude as a Kashmiri stands true to neither.

Remember, resistance stems from moral superiority of the oppressed. It never does, never has, derived its strength from racism. But if it does, it isn’t resistance any more, it is bigotry.

P.S. Kashmiris aren’t exactly white, anyway. We are reasonably fair, that is about it. Even our bigotry is based on a lie. Being fair is not necessarily fair. Don’t fall for Pink-Cheeks fallacy.

The Wheels of Time.

My past embodied in a single glance,
is refracted through melancholic tears.
Rust never sets deep in the wheels of time.
Centuries quietly wilt away in years….

Not a thing was left too long on the shore,
Nor will anything eternally stay;
For comes in the coldest hour of the night,
The tide of time to take all things away…

It is the inexorable decay,
that consumes mortals and ceases never.
While above unhindered and by himself,
God throws in the dice and plays forever.

~Muarij Masoodi.

This poem shall not be republished, copied in any form whatsoever without the permission of the poet of this poem.

Too Bright.

*The cost of being too bright in the crowd eventually distances you from it.

Night sky was poetically alight, freckled
by merry existences of light.
Small hopes were simmering.

Until, lighting up the world with wild arrogance.
the sacred orb seared the tender sky,
muffling the modest stars .

The most heartbreaking loneliness, the stars replied,
is to be alone in the multitude.
Our Sun burns just too bright.

~Muarij Masoodi.

This poem shall not be republished, copied in any form whatsoever without the permission of the poet of this poem..

 

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