Will you love me still?

When I am not Kashmir

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Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash

ना आज़ादी मिली और ना मोहब्बत

I did not find freedom, nor did I find love.

Will you love me still
In my ruin
In my slavery
When my mountains
Have been split
In half
My rivers burnt

When my face
Once of paradise
Is scarred
For forever

Will you love me still
When I am neither free
Nor in love
When I am neither जन्नत
nor Kashmir
Neither a ग़ज़ल
Nor a song

Will you love me still?

~

Vaishali Paliwal

As the destiny of Kashmir, the place, continues to be written by who knows what and who knows whom, as it continues to become a distant memory of the memory that it has been for long, as it becomes something other than Kashmir, the dream, in front of our eyes, this is a slow song from perhaps her evolving eyes as a physical place. But ones who want to conquer her and dream to possess her are in for their disappointment because if they knew Kashmir they would know she is not a place, she is not a piece of earth. She is in everyone and everything that is beautiful and free, beyond any labels, forms and words. Most of all, she must remember this today.

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