Bollywood’s new Kashmir discovery is currently becoming the talk of the town. In the forthcoming flick Fitoor, an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations, 10-year-old Abrar from Nawakadal neighbourhood features as younger Pip—whose adult version is played by actor Aditya Raj Kapoor. Abrar secured the berth after the film crew conducted a marathon audition. In Mumbai, media lauded him for his stark resemblance with Aditya. But before stepping into the skin of his reel character, Abrar sat in formal acting class. And now when the results are out, everyone seems to be in awe with his character. Now, that’s called, acting personified!
So, the eleven-year-old Kashmiri pandit girl is smarter than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking! Yes, you heard it right! The revelation of sorts unfolded after Kashmea Wahi, daughter of Kashmiri Pandit banker, Pooja-Gadoo Wahi scored 162 in prestigious Mensa IQ test. She became the youngest person to achieve that feat. Post-feat, she has been feeding media with her inspirational bytes: It’s all about using logic, common sense. Assertions of this 2004-born Mumbai girl now living in London did make it sound like a cakewalk. But hang on a second! Only those scoring in the 98th percentile on an IQ test can sit for the test. So, yes, that sounds a feat, girl!
It just takes an impressive marksheet in Kashmir to stir up a floodgate of admiration. And, savour this: If you happen to be Indian Parliament attack convict’s son, then you are enough to trigger some wild broadcasts from Delhi studios. But the prodigal son’s feat apart, the manner brouhaha was created made many to conclude: Why to see the son’s achievement through the prism of his father? Maybe the loaded report card must be blamed for this media mania. And then those ‘brainy’ queries—“So, how much your father contributed to your success?”, “Was your father’s cause a just cause?”, “Do you also believe in Azadi?”, “Would you like to step into his shoes?”… Really? Are you asking a kid Ghalib all this! Seriously, guys, get some life!
Another canine attack in valley, and another flash of gory images of a mauled kid made masses to mourn over the dogged state of affairs in Kashmir. The only fault of this six-year-old boy was: he stepped out of his Boniyar home to play, but ended up being pounced by a stray pack of dogs. Inside SKIMS’s ICU, while the kid is battling for his life, a ritualistic lip-service has restarted in Kashmir—calling for radical reforms to combat the canine threat. But then, it always boils down to words, and sadly, ends there. So, the next time—wordplay would play again, know something: Somewhere, someone, anyone has been relished by a stray pack. Period.
Ever since – as security apparatus would like us to believe – the pendulum of dissent has shifted to Pulwama, the town is only getting audacious with each clock tick. Out of this audacity, perhaps, one can find the roots of present fearless campaign for Martyrs Memorial. The town has paralysed everything – schools, trade, transport…only to achieve what is being brazenly denied by the authorities. In the governor-ruled state, the officials remain in denial mode, believing—what Pulwama is rallying for might set off an inspirational campaign in other parts of Kashmir, too. An ounce of thought to spare for is on Pulwama’s unfading public posture. Perhaps, yes, the pendulum has indeed shifted.