Stop looking for the rabbit hole


Arshid Malik
Having undergone what could be called the most distressful of situations, courtesy, the past more than twenty years of unrest, I am convinced that life is all together a different calling. I represent a generation or perhaps two of people who were stopped dead in their tracks only when we had started to taste the first whiffs of the fresh, misty air of the Valley. Our vision was blurred at the behest of constitutionally motivated security concerns while our voices were gagged at the fair expense of an uncalled and unprovoked predicament. We landed in “hard times” while we landed. Life failed us while we faltered on the fault lines – losing an entirety that would eventually have crafted our courses. Navigation is the key word when it comes to understanding the generations lost to the mildewed mist of our times – navigation applies so very well to the people in Kashmir and conspicuously the very absence of it.
Anyways, by the average life span that a Kashmiri gets to “live”, I am way past my golden jubilee. The moth-eaten directory containing the names of all the people who grew up with me is almost entirely consumed by the worthy prospect of whatever worst could and should happen in the times to come. Having desisted and resisted effectual mortuary fortification that seemed to paint us into a corner all along, I understand, we have died so many deaths that death eventually does not construe much meaning for us. We are dead while we breathe and shut-up while we speak. And, believe me, no prayers were said while we passed into a different and deathly discontinuation of the very phenomenon of life.
We are pass?, is all I have to say about all we could be. Now what worries my heart off all the time is the future our kids have in store for them. After all that is all we have to look forward to. That is all that is in store for us –  the bright, smiling faces of our children blossoming into futuristic motivations to carry it all ahead. “By all means, I would practically do everything possible to ensure a better tomorrow for my child,” I hear each and every parent avow in the mutilated silence of our times but the question is that are we, the parents of all the children in Kashmir, doing anything to ensure just that.
We are not getting anywhere with our “practically unlimited issues”, which is more than obvious, while there is absolutely no let down in practically letting us down every time we make it to the “take off” point. Our governance “sucks” and our economic circumstances are anything but bright. We are stuck, petrified and flummoxed as a people, as a state, as a culture with almost half the hopes of “independence” doomed. When we clear up the mirrors on the walls we can clearly see that we are merely the reflection deflected off another mirror in time. We are so utterly jinxed that we have come to believe that “we still are what we are”. The truth is we are not getting anywhere with ourselves.
Unhinged commitments and buttonholed promises do not entail a better tomorrow for our children. And neither do our efforts at pumping money into educational establishments. The TVs in our living rooms are standing testimony to the fact that we are not our child’s best friend. We need to change our approaches towards our children in the light of the “lives” we have lived. We need to open our eyes and attend to our children, primarily and elementally. Be kind to them; understand them; be their best buddies; eliminate fear from their hearts and minds; help them grow up in the ever-pervading luminescence of the unfettered token of humanity – LOVE. And until and unless you do not love yourself, it is the golden rule, you cannot love anybody else. So let us stop looking for the rabbit hole.

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