Dear Diary, It Has Been a Month Since Article 370 Was Abrogated
A student from Kashmir chronicles life for a month after Article 370 was abrogated.
A student from Kashmir chronicles life for a month after Article 370 was abrogated.(Photo: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

Dear Diary, It Has Been a Month Since Article 370 Was Abrogated

Friday, 6 September, marked one month since Article 370 was abrogated and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was shut to the rest of the world. Tourists, students and others from outside Kashmir were told to leave because of an ‘apparent terror threat’.

Kashmiris, however, knew something more was going on. That something unexpected was going to happen. And so it did.

What has this past month been like in Kashmir? I stay in Rajouri and decided to chronicle everything that happened since the fated day.

Day 1

Everyone is glued to news channels. At 11:00 am, we find out that Article 370 has been scrapped.

(Photo: The Quint)

By that time, there were barricades along all roads and the Internet had already been barred. Phones had stopped working and a curfew was implemented.

Also Read : Our Orchards Weep in Silence in Kashmir 

Day 2

My family is gathered around the TV. Everyone is making assumptions and wondering 'What’s next?'.

The men in my family are engaged in political discussions, mostly about the consequences of the decision.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 3

I was supposed to go to Delhi for educational counselling, which was scheduled for 9 August.

Unfortunately, I lost my seat in the college because there was no way I could I have reached Delhi. Couldn’t help but just sit back and see all this happening.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 4

No more vegetables available at home.

We are managing somehow, but it's getting difficult as Papa is supposed to eat only fresh vegetables and fruits given his illness.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 5

Little sister's surgery was scheduled for today.

There is no contact with my family members in Jammu. The communication blackout feels like torture.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 6

There is not even a slight change in the situation. It has been a week but it feels like forever now.

(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : A Strange Call From Kashmir Gave Me Information About my Parents

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Day 7

I can't believe its Eid tomorrow. In my entire lifetime, I haven't seen any festival as numb as this one.

I couldn't get my Eid outfit. Mamma couldn't buy sweets and other eatables.

(Photo: The Quint)

Thankfully, my sister and other family members arrived today. Her surgery was successful. But, it's disgusting to know that the forces were not allowing them to travel further than the checkpost. That too, when they had reached Rajouri.

How could it not matter to them that a patient was being taken home?

Day 8

It was Eid-ul-Zuha today but it didn't feel like that. It feels so incomplete without getting wished by loved ones or wishing them. Mamma didn't make all the Eid dishes that she always makes.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 9

Bhai was going to Mamu's house, 1.5 km away from ours. He was sent back for not having an identity card on him.

Why is the Indian media lying by suggesting that people are happily celebrating Eid and that there are no restrictions?

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 10

Tomorrow is 15 August, the historic day of Independence. We have already been warned to not go out. I can't believe it's been 10 days since I went out.

(Photo: The Quint)

There has been no milk for the last three days. I miss having chai at noon with lots of cream.

Also Read : To My Beloved Fiancee in Kashmir, When Will I Hear from You Again?

Day 11

A very happy Independence Day to us for being freed on 15 August 1947. But on 15 August 2019, we are still caged and unable to speak out.

Today is Raksha Bandhan as well. I couldn't wish my brothers.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 12

Unfortunately, an aunty in the neighborhood died yesterday, but we came to know of it today.

My sister and I went to my Uncle's house to tell him about the incident. I feel restricted because of the communication blackout.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 13

There is a total information blackout, still. I can't receive any information regarding my admission results.

If I lose my seat for a second time, even after preparing for three continuous years, what am I supposed to do? Sit at home and wait till the government is in the mood to normalise the situation?

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 14

Doesn't matter if it's Sunday or Monday. Every day feels the same. I feel sick for not being able to talk to any of my friends. I don't know if they are fine or not.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 15

As usual, my day revolves around sitting in front of the TV, flipping through news channels, waiting hopelessly for any news about things getting better. When will that day come?

(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : Media Says Kashmir Is Normal, My Family’s Suffering Says Otherwise

Day 16

It's been so many days now.

There is an urge to fight this injustice, yet there is a fear of being detained.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 17

Am I getting used to this? Little changes have been seen so far. It's torturous to listen to the same lies over and again from the media.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 18

Today, I have come to Jammu with my Uncle, who had a curfew pass. Feels good to breathe in the air of ‘normalcy’. Shops are open and I can spot people here and there.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 19

I finally have Internet after 20 days.

Mobile Internet hasn't been restored yet, but at least the broadband is working, no matter how slow.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 20

Some people are celebrating Janmashtami. Feels really good to know that at least another festival didn't just pass away in numbness.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 21

It's been 21 days. Can't deny the fact that things are fine in Jammu, but not being able to contact my parents back home is disheartening.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 22

It was a good day today. Felt good to be able to go outside without being asked for identification proof.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 23

Things are getting smoother, but the Internet blockade has caused a great loss to students like me, who are directly or indirectly dependent on the Internet for every possible thing, studying being the most important.

(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : Hanging onto Hope, Like My Kashmiri Friends Have Taught Me

Day 24

I am getting back to my daily routine. Hopes are high but can't mistake this as trust for the government and its decisions.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 25

It's an extremely happy day for me. Phone networks have been restored in Rajouri. I could finally talk to Mamma and Papa after so many days. My heart feels so light; I slept well too.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 26

Communication has been partly restored and being in contact with my parents is such a relaxing feeling.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 27

Knowing that the heavy number of forces that were deployed earlier are reducing is reassuring.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 28

I can't believe it started in August and is still continuing in September.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 29

I'm so happy today. I talked to few of my friends on the phone after a really long time.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 30

Mobile and broadband services have been restored, but mobile Internet is still not working. A sense of fear and anger prevails in people.

(Photo: The Quint)

Day 31

(Photo: The Quint)

It’s already been a month of misery and pain. It feels like forever.

Also Read : From the Spirited to a Heart-Broken Kashmir, How I Endured it All

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