Sunday, 10 October 2010


I knew instinctively that it would be unbearable to watch 'Rizwaan' at night. So I went for a matinee presentation by Indian Ensemble of 'Rizwaan' a play written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar based on Agha Shahid Ali's collection of poems 'The country without a post office'. And.. I let the play sledge hammer away at my heart, breaking it into pieces of individual pain at what the collective 'I' had caused to the whole region of people in Kashmir - mothers, fathers, sons, friends - with innocence and hopes, lives and dreams. I know the Indian I have caused this - and I prefer to bury this deep inside to continue with the act of living I. Yet today, I faced my pain, guilt, suffering with an unblinking eye, unshed tears. I know that only by act of confronting my sins and seeking penance can I salve my Kashmir conscience. I now no longer talk of Kashmir 'separatists' or 'extremists' - and I understand that India occupies Kashmir, forcefully, brutally and unforgivably. I also understand that their seeking Azadi is the only unavoidable choice we left them by treating them so....

And therefore I will seek penance, by keeping Kashmir alive in my conscious conscience, speaking about Kashmir, and allowing it to lament to me...I know that I must at least hear Kashmir before I find strength to fight for its right. And do this only to absolve my sins and seek forgiveness.


  1. Deepak Srinivasan11 October 2010 at 12:00

    Rizwan reinforces the stereotypes of Kashmir while trying to find its way out...and doesnt ever address the actual politics and figure the culprits.
    in speaking the language of poetry and philosophy, Rizwan again trivialises death (probably seeing it as useful a technique in evoking emotion from the people) but that very thing reduces the killings to ludicrous dimensions. Before it puts soldiers and civilians as victims together, it needs to ask some tough questions on citizenship and the politics.

  2. I actually think that we, as society, have anesthetized ourselves to a numbness that lacks imagination to feel death, loss of the 'other'. The questionable citizenship and politics would end if we are able to crack our hard shells and feel the human loss inflicted when we rationalize the grabbing of territories or resources. Rizwaan hits hard with terror thats played out on lives far away - and personalises it sufficiently to hurt - and maybe even enough for a few to act upon it?