On Eid, I Couldn’t Even Speak to My Family in Kashmir
Now imagine, from last Sunday evening (4 August) it’s been 9 days that there is no communication.
Now imagine, from last Sunday evening (4 August) it’s been 9 days that there is no communication. (Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

On Eid, I Couldn’t Even Speak to My Family in Kashmir

My son is six years old and is usually not comfortable talking over the phone. He is a nature-loving, adorable boy and perhaps does not like this form of mundane, virtual contact. But sometimes, perhaps when he misses me, he takes the phone and talks to me for long. He asks questions, usually about the universe and its existence. His world is vast and he deserves the best.

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My mother always enquires about my well-being. If a day passes without her talking to me, she gets worried. In fact, same is the case with every other member of my family.

My wife, who is the love of my life, is my constant support. Talking on the phone is the only thing that keeps us going when we are away from each other. She and my son together give my life some meaning.

Now, imagine, from last Sunday evening (4 August), I’ve had no communication with my family. It’s been nine days! I have no news about my family, thanks to the clampdown by the world’s biggest democracy. I don’t know how they are, how are they managing things, if they have anything to eat.

My fingers ache as I try to reach out to every possible number I have of my family. Every 10 minutes, I redial, hoping that I’ll get through.

I’ve tried each and every possible way to contact them, but all in vain. Kashmiris living outside the Valley are tense because they cannot reach out to their family members, friends, etc. There is no support from the administration also.

Honestly, I am not convinced with the news I hear. I feel that 99 percent of the claims made by the administration about the situation in Valley are untrue and based on majoritarian hectoring.

I wanted to wish my family and friends in the Valley a happy Eid. But I couldn’t.

There is a complete lockdown in Kashmir, with the presence of security forces. How is this supposed to win hearts, or maybe they don’t want to?

For outsiders, it is easy to say that it is just a phase and it will pass. But for us, it’s another chapter of dark history being engraved on our hearts, minds and body, for the generations to come to see.

To my dear son, I want to say that I love him and I miss him. That I want to hear from him. I want to tell my mother, my wife, my family members, my friends and all the people of Kashmir that I’m extremely sorry for what’s happening and what’s being imposed on them.

I hope for peace and dignity.

–Waseem

(The author is an architect currently residing in Saudi Arabia.)

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. ThoughThe Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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