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The Cashmere: A Desire

By Takbeer Salati

The Mountains lie suspended in air,
Crying over a beloved
The heart of Mouji[1] is a stream of poison
Running through the bloody streets
Of yours and mine.

The sun sets on Srinagar
Where the silhouettes chain themselves
Of the light from Dilbar[2]
The eagle sits waiting for the beloved,
On the concertina wires between muted lovers?
In the vale, to be sung at the gates of daak[3]
Where they took the Chinar [4]and the constitution.

We remember the streets
Cordoned till Eidgah
Marched towards Lal Chowk
Do you see
How we had built 370?[5]
The night, the footsteps,
The march, the resistance
But, now
The valley shrinks again in the poet’s mailbox. [6]

The year was fresh,
Breathing its last lilacs or defiled tulips
Of occupation
I was thus born out of
The dead long ago,
From the snow,
The blood and the elegies.

[1] Mother.

[2] Lover/ Beloved.

[3] TheMail. Here refers to the Post Office.

[4] Name of a tree found in Kashmir.

[5] Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a region located in the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent which was administered by India as a state from 1954 to 31 October 2019, conferring it with the power to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.

[6] A reference to Agha Shahid Ali’s poem Postcard From Kashmir.

Photo: Pipa News

Takbeer Salati
was born and raised in Srinagar, Kashmir. She moved to Delhi for her Bachelors and Masters degree of Arts in English. She is currently pursuing a PhD. Her short stories and research articles have been published in Mountain Ink, Akademos, etc.


For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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