Nazir Ul Islam
After the unusual dry spell of winter, spring has arrived in Kashmir with blood-drenched colorful bosoms and the melancholia of loss. Once known as the paradise on earth, the vale of tears has been virtually morphed into a paradise of grief and sorrow. The aspirations of people and their immortal romance with a generations-old desire in the beautiful seasons of Kashmir remained deprived.
All the incredible four seasons of Kashmir play a very crucial role in the struggle for existence. The symbolism found in its seasons has a classical relationship with the life and literature of Kashmir. They serve as alchemy of unity and hope among the agrarian population who see it as a way of life. To plough, to grow and in the harvest, the weather in Kashmir sets the tone and warmth to overcome the hard battles of life. Allah has bestowed Kashmir with four seasons and among them spring is the most important one because it gives life to the dead landscape as well as to consciousness. In spring, the withered meadows and gardens of winter turn exuding green with the colourful alluring flowers. The green leaves of Chinar trees and the noise of rivulets coming down from the woods personify the common resurgence and resolve to struggle.
Nature never betrayed the people of Kashmir but due to the political betrayals, they have suffered immensely both politically, socially and economically since 1931 when the first mass rebellion against oppression began. Not only the hapless people stood against the injustice but nature also aided and abetted in their just cause. There is something in nature that doesn’t like the fetters of oppression. Historically, nature has always sided with the oppressed people who are denied justice and the right to live in peace.
Spring symbolizes rebirth and rejuvenation of hope after the dark spell of winter squelches life in Kashmir. The three-month lifespan of spring reaches the summit of beauty in April. But, violence of a structural nature has created a blood stained patina over the vale.
T.S. Eliot long time ago in his magnum opus poem, ‘Wasteland’ echoed the same expression regarding the month of April. He didn’t mean that April was the cruelest month, nor does it apply to Kashmir. He just wanted to stir the dead conscience of his people who has become waste lands because of their countless follies. For Kashmir, April reconnects the people to their memories of loss and longing. Here, death and destruction play a horrific game with the people in all the seasons since decades but the spring keeps breeding the flowers of their memories and desires from the dull roots.
April is the only month which springs hope and joy on the gloomy faces who continued to endure the chilling seasons of mayhem and the forgetful snow in winter. The return of feeling (blood) after remaining numb in the harsh winter (chains) reminds the people of old promises and unredeemed pledges.
—The author is a research scholar and an independent blogger. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org