Disclaimer: The following article is a work of literary fiction based on the political, social realities of present-day Kashmir.
“Can you hear my voice from Delhi?” asks Roohi from her postpaid connection.
“Go ahead. Delhi isn’t far away” says Democracy.
“Is Humanity lost in that thick smog that you can’t see injustice on us?”
“Why are you politicizing the already painful memories my Kashmiri Pandit brothers and sisters carry? They lost their homes and loved ones. We lost a generation in this conflict. We bond over pain. Why do you open raw wounds when you know it hurts?”
“I haven’t spoken to my brother in ages. Will you let me speak today?”
“Faiz is missing, and I have my board exam. We both didn’t prepare for this. When will my Ammi find her noor?”
“When will my Ammi return from custody?”
“When will you abate the restriction?”
“When will you treat us as humans?”
“What happened to you? Why aren’t you listening to our voice when you told us that you would listen to the voice of even the last man standing?”
“Roohi there’s something I need to tell you: I am taking a Demerol overdose every day without the consultation of my physician, the constitution. I am dying a slow death. Even Naloxone can’t save me now. My eyes are blurred from the dust of autocracy, and my hands are tied because of a mandate. I can sense my reduced heartbeat now. My breathing is getting heavier, and it’s difficult to speak. My end is near…”
“What happens to our life after you die?”