The Kashmir University experience was one that made each one of us think, think in different ways. So did it make me. I wrote a letter to the Literature professor at the University. It should be on its way, reaching her any day now. This is what went into it:
The people of Kashmir,
All these years I have lived in illusion. An illusion that Kashmir, the Valley of my dreams, is very much a part of my country. I took great pride in it, and I believed you did too. But, a few days ago, I had raw exposure to your lives, much troubled lives.
I might never be able to think by, what they say, stepping into your shoes. I might never be able to empathise entirely with your tears. I will never be able to comperehend the torture you face, the wars you wage every day and night - to rise and to sleep, to step out of your homes into your own "motherland", and then to step back in.
I will never understand the terror that grips you, even in the shelter of your humble abodes. I shall never possess such lack of faith in my protectors, lawmakers and administrators. I will never realise how it feels to be questioned at every breath taken, dictated at every step taken. I cannot fathom the countless defeats that greet you, everyday, at the hands of "authority". And then, rise up boisterously again at the taste of despiritedness. I shall never discover what your hearts are made of.
I will never feel the depth of angst in your voices which cry for freedom or "Azadi". But, I only wish to lend my feeble yet determined voice to join yours. I only wish to make the people of my country feel the way I do.