The excerpt from diary dips into colours of love and concern of the author who is starstruck by beauty and innocence of Kashmir Valley and its beautiful people.
I had given my best guess- it must be someone’s wedding and my curiosity was slowly lulled to sleep. The next day again, the entire valley was humming, no ! no ! singing and singing at its grandest ! My best guess was wrong. The melodious sound of music is seesawing from one end to the other end. When one group of women is reaching the crescendo, other group have begun fresh renditions of melodies. It is automatically conducted, as if some force is stage – managing this valley long fiesta of land preparation – digging and softening of the soil for sturdier roots – for their ten/ fourteen days old corn saplings !
The day is 15 Jun 20. The platform is the Bodnambal valley. Nature is always at her best here ! and it, not yet being well – connected, perhaps is blessing only, you see her in all her mudras in one single day – cloudy, rainy, pouring, then sunny ! I seem to discover in Kashmir what I lost in Mithilanchal (somewhere in Bihar) twenty- twenty – five years ago! There too, songs were sung while planting paddy saplings, while harvesting, while boiling paddies..! Filled with curiosity to the brim, I asked the visitor who happened to be one of the sons of one of the most influential persons of the hamlet – “What are they crooning?” “ Mostly, it’s about love, reminiscing of lovers! ” ….. and then that songbird has also chimed in… Whether it is taking all the credit for this outpouring of music in mud !! Might it well be the lone inspirer! The indescribable concert goes on punctuated with giggles of some girls, perhaps, choosing which song to sing next!
Even while the chorus is in full sway, an occasional giggle pops out… perhaps the perfect kaleidoscopic setting you would see in any old bollywood movies, especially shot in the valley … reminiscent of those halcyon days … or symbolic of the return of the same or better days ahead ! Is it that the first such bollywood song was inspired by such free of cost, free flowing, soul-soothing symphonies !
A fortnight ago the whirring of tractors whole day long had become too irritating. I, such as for about last last two months, had been endeavoring to rise early at around four so as to have some quiet time, some me time…. But these machines and their masters too wanted to catch as many worms as they could, and I prayed to God for some respite ! Seems the respite has been granted !!! for every whirr, more and melodious, almost seamless symphony !
Already mulling over organising, if ever feasible, a gala evening or day of such folk- singing ! But, would that too would be taken as one more stunt by the security forces to encroach upon the cultural limits of the local brethren and sisters ! The sun was still shining bright at 1614 ; but the brightness which the wafting sounds of symphonies transferred to the valley men, to the hammock, to the sentries hearts on guard (heart at least the nearest sentry hum along the same time…) would perhaps never dim !
It seems to have pervaded everything in the ham mocked solitary mountain village, it seems to have won over little worries, woes and grind they were undergoing ! The grind ! Oh ! What labour of love they have, turned it into – perhaps the best lesson on effectiveness, efficiency and productivity too ! I was just wondering if at this fateful moment, the same symphony was sweeping over the entire swath of salubrious Kashmir ! Over last two and half years, it was only this singular occasion when such mass crooning I could listen to, and let myself dissolve into it! This was the first sowing season after Article 370 which now, for sure, seemed a matter of past !
I want to lay my pen to rest but hearty bursts of laughters seem to challenge it- defies description uncapturable ! Will these defy their sugarcoated enemies’ schemes too? Will their soulful rendition overcome the quagmire of the negative propaganda of the very clandestine, super cruel, utterly sophisticated, faceless – to – the – point – of – invisible foes of humanity ? Hope our awaam sees the truth, identifies the true friend, and appreciates the eternal joy of folksongs – passed on to them from generations – preserves, no ! no !! May Allah render them them the requisite strength to spread these far and wide! and let the world know ” How green is our valley!”
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