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Quiet Kashmir!

The cry of the cock,

The ripple of the Dal,

The hum of the breeze,

The muezzin’s call,

The laughter of two girls,

Playing with their pony tails,

Somewhere, a fakir sang hymns,

Somewhere, a goat wails,

A singing but broken radio set,

Struggles on one porch,

The electrician’s young boy,

Playing with his father’s torch,

A group of kids engaged in fight,

Over a game of marbles,

A small girl looks on, amused,

An old man doing gargles,

And then out of thin air,

An atheist bullet is shot,

The shooter unknown to all,

And as strange his god,

All sounds, all play, all ceased,

Even the breeze quiet and,

All joyful faces now sad,

Their small children frightened,

Quiet Kashmir! Be quiet dear,

Frail hearts enveloped by fear,

Morning comes and evening goes,

It’s the same, each day out here.


(First published in Kritya Poetry Journal)


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