Women in Kashmir symbolize the tragedy of this place. The pain, agony and separation from the children are the worst of all the misfortunes to bear when she becomes Mother. With the world celebrating Mother’s day on May 11, Kashmir has a different story to tell. Bilal Bahadur over the years captured through his lenses the sufferings and longing of Mother’s in Kashmir.
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers” is famous quote, but when it comes to Kashmir, the worst victims of this conflict are the Mother’s of this place. The wrinkled face is testimony of the fact that how tears dried while mourning the death of beloved child.
There is no pain worse than the Pain of giving birth to a child. But this makes a Mother to smile as she has hope to see her child and re-live every moment of her childhood again. The story of this place is different. Here Mother;s have felt the pain of separation and there is no hope to see them smiling again.
This scene is similar to every place of this valley. AS they say, this is the ‘signature collection’ of Kashmir where things are reversed. Mother in Kaashmir is witness to burial of her children.
What come to an eye of mother is when her son was a little kid and she used to feed him with spoon in the garden. He always had new ways to protest against eating meals but Mother kept on narrating him the tales of fairies for hours so that he would not remain hungry. Now they ask question that nobody could perhaps answer. “Wouldn’t he be hungry in the grave where he is sleeping now?”
The dead fattened the graveyards across the valley. But where to find disappeared? The list is long and pain excrutiating.
The pain of longing mother to see her beloved son cannot be explained through words. Nothing can really soothe her blighted heart.
Who would speak for them. Who would listen to them. Come 10 of every month, they come, sit and protest. Seven mothers have died from the past 5 years- waiting for their sons who left home and never returned.
Wailing Mother. She has a right to mourn. Her hope has dashed forever.