Time may eventually come for Kashmir to find its list of countless blessings significantly depleted, but it could be a long while before its divinely-sanctioned grant begins to be rationed though an Executive Ordinance issued by the Most High displeased by His earth-bound vicegerents’ incorrigible habit of burning candles at both ends. A succession of seraphic downloads (food for thought for Narendra Modi) surviving in hard copy, errors and omissions accepted, bear ample witness to the unease Infinite Wisdom has had with a remission-less system of retributive justice, and therefore drafted in a variety of ifs and buts to facilitate reform here and rehabilitation hereafter, even while leaving no room for doubt of the Reckoning which, like Caesar reminded a visiting delegation, will come when it will come.
The Ides of March have come, and gone, and as ZGM would tell anyone turned to hear, April Is (Was?) the Cruellest Month, measuring 7.8 or thereabouts on the Richter scale towards its end – a classic example, perhaps, of Spring coming in with a whimper and leaving with a roar? Seamless and devoid of its usual diversity though the march of the seasons has become, in tribute to the ruling political flavour, or hue, of the times, time in the Valley has been digitised into a blur, as with distinctions between chilla-e-kalan and mausam-e-bahar, and all eyes, inward as well as outward, too focussed on the tughyan patt at Ram Munshi Bagh to worry about quakes of any size, unless it is quacks, be they of the medicinal variety, of whom there is no dearth in the Vale, or the tremulous and timorous defiance of sitting ducks squealing with foreknowledge of their fate in a shooting gallery.
A dramatic rise in the incidence of incidents of natural origin has also had the unsalutary effect of blurring other lines as well, for people are as liable to mutter ‘quack’ twice in quick succession nowadays when the most apt expostulation would have been a single ‘quake,’ as in ‘cower and tremble’ – such are the results of terminological coalitions and conjugations where meanings slip over each other, or get so overlapped in syrupy rendition as to lose all identity. But was that not the object from the very beginning – a homogeneity brooking no variety, a flattening, a steamrolling, to generate a same uniqueness and uniformity, for which a deluge will do as well as an earthquake.