Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah
Aiman and Ali always have me flirting with them all day, but I’m old, and I couldn’t compete with them. Occasionally, I tell them to stand there and talk to me in a thousand different ways.
I know, they are here for the time being, and then they will make their way back to Russia. They may not be functional for my next birthday, or I may not be available for their observation.
Getting past the 80-year mark is not a joke, either, in such uncomfortable catastrophes. I wanted them to be with me and to sing with me the songs of Alan Walker, my all-time favourite. I never missed her concerts, her live broadcasts and her soul-filled songs. Nowadays, we don’t see those kinds of singers singing. I listened to the songs of B Praak and Satinder Sartaj.
Their songs could bring life even to the dead, and they are all favourites of the time. I’ll never be able to forget them—they were with me when nobody was. Aiman and Ali do not know Kashmiri, Punjabi, and Hindi. If they do know anything, it is French, Spanish, and English. One day, they would attempt to know—they would set out to read books and articles by their parents about Kashmir, but I don’t want them to let themselves go to meaningless ends.
When I was their age, I used to play with earthenware, terracotta toys and hopscotch. We have seen drastic changes in the theatre of electronic operations, which is why Aiman and Ali are now taking full advantage of it. They possess exceptional and progressive video games, indoor games, etc., they are now capable of filming and applying jerky and unexpected VFX to their films.
In ancient times, people used to spend a lot of time learning filmmaking courses, simply in their case, the whole scenario is different. In Russia, there are no schools, no colleges, no universities, and they have no idea what a professor looks like. They are schools and teachers themselves.
The Internet speed is surprisingly higher these days and in just a few microseconds they can obtain admission to the entire universe. I’m very frightened if they learn about Kashmir. They may not be able to do that. Their creation is different from our world, I’m uncertain whether they exist or not (Kashmir).
I remember the multi-coloured boats on the edge of the famous Dal Lake, Ghats with numbers, houseboats flooded with foreign tourists, streets filled with barbeque shops and that endless incense. I even remember my trip on Royal Enfield, along the boulevard road with my allies and my camera.
Ah, the first love I ever had, from Anantnag. You know what, I fell in love in 2013 with a girl who wasn’t in the cosmos and the odd thing is, we never met. Our relationship lasted for five years, but we never attempted to come across it. It is not my intention to draw a comparison, but she was a goddess to me. I don’t know whether she is well patched up or not. We do not detect this kind of love in 2075, at that time, these people were incredible, symmetrical, and well-formed.
It’s not fiction; it’s just a harsh reality that we face in this modern, experimental artistic world. One has to live with that reality if one belongs to the same world. This is not an advanced adventure, it’s merely an absurd concept people are living with. Our house has wireless electricity—it means there is no solar attached, or any type of electrical pole erected. I don’t need to walk out.
I’m equipped with high-quality, high-tone machinery and other electrical devices that transmit or alter high-level energy to perform human tasks. Did you find it better? I’m more like a robot than a human. Our government thinks to hire us to Mars, but I might not be able to get there, because I have suffered many disquieting nights and days, that too, followed by monsters.
I am safe in this place and I feel it would be better not to be in another place because it takes a long time to get nailed down. Switzerland, for me, is the best place. Here, people still have human feelings, despite much progress and warm modernization. What do you recollect, how would I be writing this volume? You got to guess about a pencil, pen, etc., no, would be the answer. Such things do not survive these days, we use speech, and it is typed on a big sieve.
We can inspect, manipulate and control the screen even remotely. If your screen is ever suspended or destroyed, then you don’t have to call an electrician because you hold every kind of robot in the house that holds different wallets.
Within minutes, they can repair your devices, and you don’t need to pay for them, they are free to use. These miracles are not seen in other expanding countries like India and Pakistan they were in good shape decades ago, but their ideologies led them to get involved in warfare and sabotage.
Every time I switch on my Internet, the same thing appears on my sieve. Who’s taking over whom? Who murdered who and why? Doesn’t that sound foolish? And the masses are still battling for meaningless ends. These rural areas continue to be plagued by war. Their terrain, frontiers and small areas meet with soldiers or high-profile weapons to kill each other. This is pure nonsense, and such countries will never live in peace.
Since 1947, they have been involved in warfare. The people of both countries did not breathe a sigh of relief. They are being bombed by mass shells and chemical weapons on the borders of India and Pakistan. They like it, but not the people.
Furthermore, they torture and people suffer. The greenery and humility of both countries can no longer be seen on the map. Their passion is war, and war is the only option for them. They never cared for the depressed public, and for their advantage, they destroyed the values of culture and customs.
When I was 25 years old, I witnessed it every single day. At the same time, other countries have focused on development. They have broadened and reinforced their relations with neighbouring and overseas countries. They expand their commercial relationships and trust each other.
Nonetheless, these countries (India and Pakistan) have spread their hatred towards one another. Every day on the borders of India and Pakistan we see the smoke of hatred, bitterness, and ignominy.
We can never be good citizens, men and, most of all, philanthropists. I have never been to India since 2029, at that time or before, many unpleasant and obscene events took place in Kashmir. Kashmir was a holy place for saints and there were numerous shrines for famous and spiritual saints.
The whole valley was full of such beautiful and holy places, where each day people from different parts come and attain blessings. Isn’t the place great? Of course, it’s true! So, I sometimes feel proud to be a resident of Kashmir. Kashmir today is different from old Kashmir. People from different parts of the world had the habit of visiting Kashmir during the summer and winter.
These rolling mountains teemed with skiers and skaters, wearing protective gear to fight any avalanche. They spent months and months wandering through every nook and cranny of Kashmir. Kashmir was famous for everything, but I know nothing of Kashmir so far.
My memory of Kashmir is gradually disappearing. Do not call me Kashmiri because Kashmir is, for me, a blank page, the ink of which has been erased out. It takes courage and time to build a nation, but it takes just one chemical weapon to destroy it. If there was no weapon on Earth, things would have been different, Let’s not get into that, but I can’t control myself dumping this reality. I have no idea if Kashmir is still accessible. At this point, there is no hint, not even a glimpse. All I can find are old photos of Kashmir. It is cruel, though!
(The author is a research scholar)