Diasporic Identity, Original Writing

I See Kashmir Burning (Poem)

What price for those verdant valleys which my mothers traversed for fire logs

What price for those babbling brooks that watered cattle and crops for centuries

What price for the ever-fertile soil, the one they say delivers gold

What price for the land my grandfathers walked away from with moist eyes, tight lips,
even harder hearts…
It hurts.

This Kashmir, this heaven on earth turned to hell, what price for it?

I really want to know, as you sit there and tell me, you British Kashmiris feel nothing for Kashmir,
I want to know, while you paint green and white tattoos on your face and spit how can you? You’re sellouts.
I want to know, when you mock my foreign accented mother tongue firangi
I want to know, just as your pride prickled tongue condescends to reveal the holy meaning of your country’s name la ilaha il Allah

Tell me, what price have you paid for the independence of a still-slave nation?

9 thoughts on “I See Kashmir Burning (Poem)”

  1. Great Poem.
    To be honest, Pakistan has brought itself to near ruin with its Kashmir policy, and that too in a very unintelligent way. And I don’t mean it as a compliment.
    Also, I am unaware of any antagonism between Pakistanis and British Kashmiris. Or have you really played up the divide?

    Like

    1. I don’t understand the first half of your comment (I don’t see how your second sentence can possibly be misconstrued as a compliment in the first place), however I would like to say wars don’t begin with just *one* country making unintelligent policies. I do believe there is antagonism in general for overseas Pakistanis, many do feel this whenever they visit back ‘home. But to answer your question, no I haven’t played up the divide this poem is actually based on real conversations and real insults I’ve recieved over a number of years. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. /Tell me, what price have you paid for the independence of a still-slave nation?/

        I was just countering this point (verse?), and arguing that Pakistan has actually paid a serious price for its Kashmir involvement. Normally the sacrifice must be applauded (or complimented) but Pakistan’s sacrifices seem to have gone in vain because of its foolish policy. And hence not a compliment.

        Sigh!

        Before I piss you off by injecting too much politics in your poetic endeavor, I’ll just pull off and wish your poetic journey all the best. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry, I didn’t realise you were referring the last line as you didn’t say (oops 😂). Yes, Pakistan has paid a huge price but the question is focusing more on the last phrase ‘still-slave nation’ because although the whole subcontintent fought for independence from British Rule, the region was divided and left to continue fighting amongst themselves. And there are that many political, socio-economic problems in Pakistan that I wonder is it really ‘free’ or just a slave in a different way to before (because we live in a different kind of commercial/capitalistic/modern world)? I guess that’s what I was hoping to ask through that line. Now that I understand what you meant, yes I agree with you completely – the sacrifices can’t be complimented at all which makes the sacrifice and huge loss of life seem futile. 💔

        Thank you for clarifying though and for the wishes. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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