Arshid Malik

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I had been at peace, resting for a long time in my own charismatic world of opinionated dialectics, away from the humdrum of life around me and all that for a purpose which is that I am disturbed enough to be disturbed anymore, till something unusual happened. All the time I refer to I would sleep dreamlessly or perhaps there was no recall of my dreams when I woke up but I am more certain on the previous axiom that I did not have dreams at all. All this dreamlessness was quite painful for I always would wonder why I don’t have any dreams but then the acute tensions existent between my inner and outer self, the man inside and the world outside would mince my concerns to a point of non-existence.

The something unusual that happened, which I mentioned in the previous paragraph of this post-anecdotal sub-chapter of self-issued historical account of my biographical self is that somehow and someway my peacefulness is over somehow, my rest has turned into a dark and gory restlessness. I have started to dream again. And the dreams I have are terrifying, not nightmares by any chance but somewhat actual representation of repressed events that I have witnessed in my lifetime, rather the latter part of it.

I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely, terrified at the recall of my dream, the figures, the blood, the spilled out brains and what not. I am concerned about my sanity and at the same time about the sanity of the entire population of Kashmir, which has stood firm witness to this blood and gore. Sometimes I think I am going mad and by every standard I believe that I should have gone mad a long time back, but I did not which implies, in a cacophonic manner, that I have retained all that was gory in the recess of my mind and now these images, these scenes are letting themselves out like hungry monsters. I am so afraid and meek right now.

What I dream about is something which I figure I can never shape into an entire sentence or a paragraph. But what I might be able to do is symbolically reinvent my dreams into meaningful characteristic para-phrases.

I dream about people being tortured in torture chambers of the Indian security forces. Men are stripped stark naked and are beaten with batons till they bleed through their noses. Electricity is being passed through their private parts till they are practically numbed out. All kinds of abuse is being hurled at them and they are being kicked incessantly with dark hued military boots. I dream about women who have been raped and they weep and wail in the dingy corners of their homes, helpless and struck by the thought that the only thing they can do is kill themselves. There are images of women who cut their throats and some strangle themselves. There are dreams about people standing on the roadside and inside shops and suddenly the foreign mind decides to kill most of them. There is blood on the streets and brains clinging to the walls of now desolate streets. There is a corpse of a child lying out there on which crows are feeding. There are carcasses, thousands of them, which are being buried every living moment of my dream. There is more blood on the streets and there is blood on my hands and when I try to wash it with water more blood oozes out till the point that I pass out. Then I wake up, terrified.

This is my past and the past of every Kashmiri and yes, every Kashmiri has the right to go mad. And people do go mad, when the pour out on the streets and start chanting slogans against the Indian security forces. How long can the Empire force us to conceal ourselves from ourselves?


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