YOUR OPINION IS NOT MY REALITY
By: Sumer B. Reshi
Somewhere I read Steve Maroboli quote, “Your Opinion is not my Reality”. Somehow I liked this quote, thus locked it in my mind, unaware of its meaning, I moved on with my routine life struggles. I was cheerful and a bubbly person not that I never felt sad. I had my encounter with the miseries of life, its bitter realities and harshness a la others have. But I often hid the harsh part of my life behind my smile. I always greeted people and so far as I know I never cheated anyone.
Now came 4th August 2019, a year which shall be written with black ink in the history of Kashmir. I was in my office when the news about the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir flashed on web portals. Not just this but the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A as well. For a while, I felt numb and frozen. I couldn’t believe my ears. How can that be? How can a country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy take a one-sided decision, caging political or social activists and their stooges who have a Kashmiri flesh but blood of my oppressors? I quizzed myself.
I thought I might have heard something wrong or my vision has gone blurry. I just brushed off the news and started working once again. As the day inched toward evening, my heart rate increased just like a balloon is being filled with Helium gas. In my entire life, I didn’t feel such turbulence in my heart but that day was mournful. I don’t know that could be perception based on my psychological disturbance, I felt the sun is dim and the life has come to a full stop.
During the night, I couldn’t sleep. I was as restless as a tempestuous sea. The news is true. Fascists at the helm of affairs in India took away my identity. Therefore, the morning of 5th August changed me forever. I am no more bubby. My smile is gone. Now I hardly smile. My smile was taken away by my colonizers. They laughed loud on my imprisonment, they cheered ay my plight. They had a reason to laugh at me. Like a herd of cattle, they put us inside of homes, imposed an indefinite curfew, snapped all the means of communication and barricaded us with 900,000 armed personnel. See the hypocrisy of the decent world. It criticizes ‘Zionists’ but it exempts ‘Bakhts’. It kills human rights defenders but it confers awards on mass murderers. What a pity?
Social media was abuzz with celebrations. They were happy to turn Kashmir another Rapistan. There were tweets from businessmen to buy land in Kashmir and form a film industry. They played with all types of weird ideas. Since 4th August majority of Bakhts tried to browbeat us and the messages were “Wait, more is in the offing” and “You can’t change anything”.
No doubt, we are helpless people of the world, landlocked and none on our side. We are an emerging economy like my colonizers nor have our women won beauty pageants. We are innocent, grilled and hapless people under the draconian rule of who have faced 200 years under Great Britain.
As the days passed by and no contact with my kith and kin, my hatred grew tenfold. I could no longer suppress my disrespect for my oppressors nor my mental state of mind. The only catharsis was my tears. While I was leafing through the pages of my diary, crying out loud, I came across the same quote, “Your opinion is not my reality”. My eyes catch the gaze. I continuous looked at the quotes preserved in my diary with a critical eye and quizzed my intellect once more, yes my inclusion is their opinion and not the reality. On the piece of paper, they can snatch my rights or my identity but I am and I never was my colonizer. I am and I was a proud Kashmiri with my own flag, my constitution, my anthem and my identity. I have my unique culture, unmatched and not resemblance with India or Pakistan. I am and I shall have my freedom like a blade of grass.