You’re dead; so they are saying. My letter won’t reach to you, I know, but let me hope this flies through the air and find you in the skies. I hope–that’s the least we Kashmiris could do.
It may be insane to write a letter to the dead elsewhere but perhaps not in Kashmir. No one cries over the death of a ‘terrorist’ but my eyes are witness to the mourning when you left. People cried a lot; though soon after a lot of eyes were silenced by blinding them but tears still roll down their cheeks, to which the soil of Kashmir stands witness to this day.
I have read about the greatest of rulers whose rule ended the moment they died. But you were not a ruler but still, your rule began to dominate the moment you died. People say they didn’t bury you rather they sowed you. They have a hope even in your death, for that’s the least we Kashmiris could do.
The men in uniform ultimately were able to kill you. But they failed to kill an idea that you stood for. The bullets pierced through your body to draw out your life but they failed to pierce your idea. They failed to kill it rather it was given a new life, a new birth.
Dear Burhan, after your death many things have changed in Kashmir. Although Kashmiri blood still remains cheaper than water Kashmir has changed. People are hopeful. With your fall, it seems as if an army of rebels has risen. A different Kashmir seems to have come into existence. A Kashmir, where the word ‘fear’ ceases to exist now. Death, destruction, uncertainty, chaos, conflict, pain, sorrow, anger and grief still form the very existence of Kashmir but now there’s no fear in Kashmir. Perhaps people buried it by the side of your grave in the soil of Tral.
The law of this land called you a terrorist but people seem to have refused to obey that law. They call your very hometown “the land of rebels”. A year has passed since your death but people seem reluctant in forgetting you. Kashmir seems reluctant to forget you, your idea.
I hope you’d have met a lot of your friends in the skies by now. If this letter finds you tell them they are remembered by the people. Tell them their blood stains have not yet been washed. Tell them people no longer mourn them rather they are celebrated in this land now. Tell them people see a hope even in their death–for they say they are not buried rather sown in the soil of Kashmir. They say we wait to harvest the fruits of hope for that’s the least Kashmiris could do.
(Kashmir stands witness to the every word in this letter)
(Ideas expressed are author’s own)
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