My Story

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A protest against beef ban in India. Photograph courtesy MediaOne TV. That those eat now, who never ate before, And those who always ate, now eat the more. Beef or buff, Cow or bull, was never political to me. Heck, it wasn’t even meat. It was food. I grew up in a multi-faith household in Mumbai of the 1990s. My parents — a Roman Catholic from Mangalore and a Tamilian Brahmin — fell in love during college, got married soon after, and had two boys. While my mother was, and continues to be, a vegetarian, she soon started cooking meat

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Chulbul Pandeys in Gulmarg. Photographs by Parikshit Jhunjhunwala A tourist’s apathy and Kashmir’s reality run in close parallels. Any preliminary research for traveling to the troubled territory will tell you the land is safe for tourists. A summary of the eloquent reviews will be: ‘nothing that happens in Kashmir will bother you, you can have a good time’. The imagery this line evokes is of flashy baraatis on their ghodis dancing away in a roped in space alongside frustrating, hardly moving traffic. The whole tourism system is designed to leave you chanting hami asto hami asto, unless you listen closely

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Rajendra Tiwari While traveling from Jammu to Srinagar via road, I must say, every atom changes after Banihal town. Years ago, on a same trip, when I stopped for tea at Banihal, I saw gloomy faces. On all my road trips to Srinagar, I would always think – Iss shahar mei har shakhis pareshaan sa kyu hai? (Why is every person worried in this city?) You will find this gloom spread all over after crossing mighty Pir Panjal mountain range. Air changes and gloominess keeps on deepening as you proceed in any direction – towards Srinagar, Uri-Kupwara, Pahalgam, Kangan, or

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Nathan Aharonovich Let me begin by laying my cards on the table; History, Geography and Politics are absolutely alien to me. My ignorance is without boundaries in these fields. Despite the fact that I was born in Tel Aviv in 1980 and lived there until 8 months ago, when I left the country with the intention to travel the world, I had no knowledge that as an Israeli there would be limitations for me –an Israeli. I hate the Israel-Arab conflict. It is beyond my understanding how intelligent adults from the both sides think in terms of laying blame. It

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Benedetta Segala I’m a painter, pelukis, as Malays say in Malaysian. I recently moved to Malaysia, though I have lived in Italy and France for the last thirty-five years of my life. During my academic time in Fine Arts in Bologna, I began to reflect on the meaning of art in contemporary society. I wanted to discover the dark side, the gap between content and its exploitation, in a system that promotes the latter. In 1999, I attended a blatantly rigged painting competition, where the winners were those who had no interest in the meaning and reflection of contemporary art

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Sigrid with children in Cambodia. When I decided for myself that “Live your dreams” would be the motto for my life I had no idea where my journey would take me. At the age of fourteen, I made a decision to become a receptionist one day, travel the world and explore different cultures. A plan which my parents weren’t happy with as they had already drafted my accounting career. So, I found myself attending a college for business administration instead of hotel management. For five years, I told myself that the day would come to live my hospitality dream if

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It felt good to be back, and I thought, “Wow, I have reached home, allegedly.” Our teacher was very angry that day. “Mye ha basaan, yemis chhu zehryah garyi gaes cylinder moklyomut (I think her household has run out of cooking gas)”, a friend said.  “Naa, mye ha basaan, yemm chhe panni derqaaqni syeeth aaker kermich (No, I think she has had a fight with her sister-in-law)”, said another.  As we were busy with our Sherlockian deductions, the teacher announced that there was going to be a quiz, so as to prepare us better for the geography exam. As I

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I think I write simply to be; as an affirmation of my witness. Period.   Ather Zia is a journalist turned anthropologist. She is currently finishing her research based on Kashmir at UC Irvine. She has published her first collection of poems, “The Frame,” and her work has appeared in Convergence Journal, Blazevox, Cerebrations, Samar and other journals. She also edits Kashmir Lit at www.kashmirlit.org.

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It’s like asking me why I breathe.  It’s something inborn. Like the instincts. I write because it feeds my soul. It keeps it living. My pen speaks all my heart wants to pour out. I started writing poems when I was in class III. I always felt that my pen loses all the friction when it interacts with the paper. Later in my teens, I started reading poetry in Urdu, Kashmiri and English. I realized poetry is the mirror of all the emotions a human can feel. So, I tried to portray all my feelings through my poem. I started

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I was born when Kashmir’s struggle took a new direction, when the conscience of people of Kashmir told them that “enough is enough”. Enough of suppression and enough of deluding talkative measures to settle the Kashmir conflict, and instead, people choose to make the world to listen to them. Yes, it was the same year when the Kashmiris took to gun that I was born in down-town Srinagar. The neo-resistance movement that began in the Valley had set the alarm bells ringing in Delhi and the response to that message was clear: crush it hard, so it can’t stand. And

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