By Ibreez Ajaz
The industry in Kashmir is booming. Sales have thrived for one sector in particular – cloth. More specifically, cotton. Cotton for wounds, cotton for kahfans, and cotton for handkerchiefs. Cotton for the factories, for textiles – millions of cogs turning in rhythm to gunfire, increasing proportionately with each blast. The looms creak to the beat of every fist pounded against the chests of anguished relatives. The thin fibers twine with the last sighs of the mauled souls who’ve suffered at the hands of an irrepressible force. And who to thank more for these great economical boosts than beloved Mother India, for whom no praise is sufficient.
On behalf of the people of Kashmir, dear Mata, I give the following accolades:
First and foremost, our sincere thanks for the many injuries that have been sustained these past months – the lacerations, amputations, and mutilations. We cannot begin to appreciate the aid You have given us by means of torn arteries that refuse to yield unless constant compression is applied, the gashes that mar many a face and the youth trapped in an endless coma. Do You not see the smiling faces (albeit gaping due to missing teeth) who happily wrap layer upon layer of gauze to hide their red badges? Every night they pray for Your well-being and longevity. Some collapse at Your feet, awaiting your blessing. Don’t deny them that much, for they give their lives in devotion and dedication to only You.
All credit goes to You, Blessed and Mighty, for giving work to the malkosh of our society, who had fallen on hard times. We are equally indebted to Your Majesty for heightening the activity of our lazy bodies by allowing us to follow many a procession to the marked lands of our ancestors. Our grounds have become nourished and supple, bringing forth a variety of produce, only because of the nutrition You regularly provide it. We now see the fruit of Your fertilizer, aged from as young as nine and upwards! Truly, Your generosity knows no bounds. With this gift, every mouth stays fed, and every stomach remains full. Indeed, You are Great.
Once more, it is You we recognize as the provider of rain, streaming in rivets down the lanes of folded flesh. Though salty in nature, You give them to us as sweets, which we eagerly receive, rewarding us for our behavior. Our eyes never remain dry because of Your love. Compassion is Thy name. For all these things, honored Ma, we implement cotton to its fullest extent, and almost wholly in our daily lives. Words alone do nothing to express our gratitude.
But now, distinguished One (having not asked anything of you up until now) we have one humble request, one which we implore You to fulfill. We realize that real estate is on the rise, thanks to Your benevolence, as more is needed for final resting grounds, but there is a shortage on our end for earthly residences. Please, sweet Protector, do us a favor in providing more land. Expand our horizons and give us rolling plains to live upon. Can You not do so little for a people who know nothing beyond Your kindness?
You so graciously assure us safety at the hands of brutes, for which we are ever grateful. Sincere is our thanks, for due to Your works, the deficit of men to women has allowed a sense of emancipation for the fairer sex. Girls are quickly showing their agility in sports such as cricket and football, and their ingenuity in a variety of previously male-dominated careers. Jobs that had before been reserved only for husbands are now being offered to their wives when they become invalids. Our tears continually flow with joy, O Benevolent One. This shall strengthen our infrastructure and put the women of this fine nation in high regards with the rest of the free world. Indeed, we will revolutionize trade and commerce.
Regardless of the fact that we have been immobilized, Kashmir’s GDP continues to multiply and who should earn the credit but the Ministry of Defense and Internal Affairs. They have made it a point to starve the weak of India by ensuring that the morale and financial expenditure of the armed forces remains a deterrent for their want. This is necessary to break free of the mental torture, and give an answer to their tormented consciences. Their willingness to uphold the flag and honor of Your country takes root in their laden pockets. Your philanthropy outshines all!
Hopefully, You have noticed the blooming flora and lively fauna that sing your praises of late. By effectively limiting travel and leisure, littering has hit an all-time low, smog is a fuzzy dream, and the Valley’s waters ripple clear and true. Bees exult in the fragranced air and birds tweet with excitement. Glaciers capped with radiant snow, blades of grass embraced by dewy drops, all bow in gratitude. But no child offers so much as a dimpled grin, fruits and vegetables rot in the mid-day sun, and another father wonders what to fill his empty till with.
Our only fear is that from all the love and tender care You have given us,You may exhaust yourself to the point of destruction. And what would we do then, Mother India, without your guidance and virtues? How would we proceed? If that were to happen, we’d be left with nothing but the shackles of our former enslavement. And God forbid that seeds of freedom were finally to take root! What a concept that would be, oh Ma. Freedom! Fresh air in our iron lungs for the first time! What a world that would be.
Author can be contacted at www.koshur.weebly.com