KV Network

Pashmina of Sahid Ali

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Madhuchhanda Chakraborty
Sitting alone, on a snowy winter night,
In his wooden cottage, in the dim light,
Of oil lamp, Sahid Ali caresses his Pashmina gently,
With his toiling hands that break stones daily.
Tiny fibers cling to his rough hand, Sahid plucks
Like full bloomed rose-petals, falling from stalks.
The Pashmina still emits the pungent body odour,
Of the goats, who on the peaceful valley, wander
To get their touch, Sahid brings Pashmina closer
But alas! it gives out the smell of gunpowder.
Sahid suffocates, tears roll down and wets Pashmina,
Like the raindrops, from the shikara, drip on the lakes.
The Pashmina was woven by Sahid’s father,
His work of art, with the threads, multicolour.
The Pine forest, Chinar leaves needled on woolly canvas,
Touching those, the wood becomes sonorous.
History whispers, strings of santoor are tingling with sweet notes
But they get drowned under the thud of Army boots.
The Pashmina cherishes many old memories —
Ayesha’s warmth, touch of Nur’s apple red chins.
But all these fade out, leaving only the blood spot
Caused either by pelted stones or by gun shot.
The streaks of blood from human wounds, get dried
Smeared on the Pashmina, with its red thread.
Beneath the blue sky across the frontier
Sahid Ali’s Pashmina stuck on barbed wire.
To pull it off, his body streamed with blood
Still he clings to the Pashmina, with his hand.
Sahid Ali struggles, to free it from the nailed fence,
As, it is his father’s gift, his inheritance.
Times on, life rounds on the wheel
Like threads of Pashmina spinning on the reel.
Now, Sahid Ali is resting in peace, in the tomb
Cuddled by the Pashmina like mother’s womb
Sahid is in deep sleep, holding not only the seamless Pashmina on his chest,
But also the undivided Kashmir, his motherland, embraced.

KV Network

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