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  • Category: Competition Entries

    This is no longer their home

    [Refugee Camp, Jammu city (Summer,1990)]

    The heat is unbearable. There is no electricity. In a small room, the young girl lives with her old grandparents, parents and her three-year-old brother. The grandfather is very ill. He coughs throughout the day. He can't manage the harsh summer of Jammu. The father of the little girl, who is a senior officer in J&K Government, has got posting in Jammu Secretariat, but without any work. Her mother has been managing the household work in the very dingy neighbourhood of the refugee colony of Kashmiri Pandits.

    After long last, the girl falls asleep. She starts dreaming.

    The air is pleasantly cool. She is playing just outside their white single-storeyed bungalow with her friends. Her grandparents are watching them. Her young brother is learning to walk. The family is visiting Kheer Bhavani Temple. She takes the 'prasad' from the priest. The priest is blessing the family members. They are sitting on the bank of River Jheelum.

    Suddenly she hears noise. Noise of gunfire... People are shouting. Others are crying. Fire engulfs the surroundings...


    [25 years later: Summer, 2015 (Srinagar)]

    The Air India plane touches the runway. The thirty-something lady executive comes down. Her aged mother accompanies her. Both of them come out of the airport and hire a taxi. The taxi reaches the outskirt of the city in twenty minutes.

    The young lady gets down from the taxi. The single-storeyed bungalow is still there. But the walnut-wood doors have vanished. The pristine white colour of the bungalow has been replaced by dirty green. There is no sign of the apple orchard beside the bungalow. The manicured lawn has vanished. The present inhabitants of the bungalow are not welcoming her or her mother. She notes the sign of hostility in their eyes.

    The young girl of 1990s, now a young lady executive, realizes that this is no longer their home.

    [Competition entry: Topic based monthly TOW contest]
  • #637708
    A moving narration of changes that happen in the disputed area of Kashmir and how a girl despite suffering, is drawn back to her true home only to meet hostile people. Visiting homes or villages where we have spent our childhood many years ago, is always emotional and nostalgic experience.

  • #637710
    A very well written write up by the author. The author tried to bring out the emotional relationship the people will have with the places where they lived in the yesteryears. Whenever I visit the place where I have spent my holidays during those days ( My grandfather's Place) I get emotionally moved. I use every chance I get to visit that place even though none of the present era people I know or the people whom I know are no more there.
    always confident

  • #637718
    This story takes us to some real life happenings in this country.
    Many were persecuted and evicted from their homes, and homeland state.
    I wish every one thus evicted gets a chance to be back in their home land state and homes .

  • #637729
    Really moved with this write up connecting to the Kashmir and the plight the refugees undergone was well narrated. For the author such mentions are a cake walk writing to the tow topic. Good work.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #637733
    I am grateful to the Members who are going through this small story, which is written partly on the basis of my personal visits to such camps and my discussion with some Kashmiri Pandits. Maybe I am also somehow connected to this story, because my previous generation has also spent a considerable number of years in different refugee colonies in Bengal, Assam and Tripura.

    Mr. Natarajan: Entire Jammu & Kashmir (including PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan) is not a 'disputed area' simply because as per Radcliffe formula, Maharaja Hari Singh, the last ruler of the princely state, signed the treaty of accession in India's favour.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

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