Who remembers those lanes?
The old lanes where children played
where I ran and danced when I was a child,
Mother lost her blue pashmina
some even their life,
when the men fired bullets in the air,
then at people in those lanes.
Sometimes the snow would cover those lanes
like a silk Kashmir carpet woven over them,
Children would eat that snow as if it was ice-cream,
I did that too when I was a child and so did he;
But I stopped after that day,
the day when I heard him scream in those lanes.
Sun shines over the dark city,
people trying to find what is now left.
Knowing he will not return,
A mother still waits for her son.
A tragedy struck my land,
there's no garden left, none,
only graveyards in those lanes.
My memory haunts me, at nights
it takes me back to Jhelum,
where he sits under the chinar.
He calls me, his hands are bruised,
I see blood dripping off his finger tips
like the drops of rain falling silently in Jhelum
Nothing else but his only wish is
to return to those lanes.
To me, talks the fallen chinar,
the bloodied rivers, burnt garden of Shalimar,
Like Kashmir, they too want to be heard,
So, listen! Before the winter arrives and
all that lives, save it from death.
You imprison me, thinking you imprisoned a thought,
You see it's not that easy,
For I still write poetry in those lanes.
Photo and text by @kashmirthroughmylens
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