Monday, January 2, 2017

IN KASHMIR, THE WINTER HAS TURNED DRY



                                                                                 



DRY WINTER 



( Photo Autar Mota )

Kashmir Valley experiences a Dry winter spell presently . No rains and No snow. The river that turned furious in September 2014 and flooded the city , is almost dry now. Dry below Amira Kadal Bridge . Dry below Sangam Bridge (Near Bijbehara town ) and also at Asham Bandipora ( Just 1.25 Feet ).

But than the cold winds are biting. If the sun god is visible during daytime, Evenings are intensely chilly and nights freeze at minus 4.5 degrees . No time to gossip on roads , Walk Briskly and Keep Your One hand in the Pheran’s Pocket. Hold the kangri inside with the Other hand. Look just two feet ahead . You can’t look beyond that . It is all foggy and chilly. Move with a bowing head to avoid chilly winds.

Silence rules everywhere like a dictator. Doors and Windows are closed lest the warmth saved may slip out. The heap of Cut wood lying in the open tries to squeeze sun’s warmth as much as it can. What can it do if the wind turns restless ?

Colds , coughs . chills and fevers are here to stay till it snows. Ahmed sold shoes and sleepers in summer but now sells caps , Hand Gloves , Mufflers and Socks . We saw Qadir selling fruits in summer but now he sells old and used woolen stuff. He sells cardigans, coats , overcoats and Jackets on footpath . Crazy people call it “ Bangla Deshi Mall “ or " Items from Bangla Desh ". May be due to the fact that immediately after Bangla Desh war , used Clothes arranged by Red Cross through public donations mostly from Europe , were diverted to Footpath markets in the sub-continent by unscrupulous Traders , Middlemen and smugglers. These were actually meant for poor sufferers of that Country ravaged by War .

Let them call this stuff as " BANGLA DESHI MALL " . Who bothers when it comes to saving yourself from harsh winters?

A poor man from downtown has bought an old overcoat . And he bought this " Made in USA " Tweed stuff from Lal Chowk Footpath Market. Aha ! Now he looks smarter than Dustin Hoffman .


How could poor people in this subcontinent fight harsh winters if Americans did not discard their old woolen clothes ?

A stark Contrast of colours , ambiance and activity at noon and midnight. A contrast of silence, hope and loneliness.

Who will clothe these naked trees that look like silent Faqeers? Will the earth be green again? How far is the spring? Will life ever return to these Ghost lanes and desolate structures ?May be some day; Not sure .

Take care.Touch not those old wounds. Surprisingly , they bleed in night's warmth .The sun hides them at day time.

If you Exhale a thin cloud of white pain , it tries to maintain individual identity for a brief period as it rises up. Alas! It is also devoured by the invisible ghost of ice cold Fog . A fog that restricts vision and hides paths.

The language of heart may bring more pain in this season. Better travel through mind in this shiver. The heart knows emotions while the minds seeks a path or a way out from this freeze..

Someone at the Door. Desperate to enter. Yes the known one .Why did he come at this moment? If I open the door , the Freezing wind may step in and deprive me of this little warmth.

But let us listen to what Iranian Poet Mehdi Akhavan Saless has to say on this issue . I quote lines from his celebrated poem ZEMESTAN or WINTER …

" O My Honest Saviour!
O My Old Virtuous Companion!
I hail you with reverence and respect!
Welcome me back!
Open me your door!
It is me, it’s me: Your visitor of all nights!
It is me, it’s me: The sorrowful errant!
It is me: The discarded, The beaten stone!
It is me: The injury to Creation; The song out of tune!
Recall? Not the black, not the white: The colourless buffoon!
Come and open me the door!
I am freezing; open the door before!
*****
O Counterpart! O Generous Host!
Your usual guest is trembling in the icy outside!
And if you have ever heard a sound:
It is not raining and in this lane there is not even a soul!
The noise is from the encounter of my teeth
with this overwhelming cold.'

( Autar Mota.........02.01.2017 )

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CHINAR SHADE
by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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