August 1, 2015

A history buried unrecorded.

Our Moon Has Blood Clots: A Memoir of a Lost Home in Kashmir - A Review

The Memoir by Rahul Pandita, is a tale less told, that deserves much telling!

It needs much telling, in fact, to complete a picture, one aspect of which we have all (well, most of us) missed, or sought for and not found. The aspect none in the valley lets you in on...the tale there's none in the valley to tell - The tale of the mass exodus and genocide of the Pandits from Kashmir valley. One million Kashmiri Pandits!

The story as told by a boy in a refugee camp, brings forth glimpses of how the race that left its homes and hearths and riches all behind, fends for its daily sustenance, in the paucity, rather absence even of the basic necessities of cleanliness and cover. His 'sharing of half a tomato with another boy, from their share of vegetable distribution for the day for these 'refugees' to bring home and cook for the family is heart breaking!
Pandita's deeply personal observation and unforgettable accounts of the scattered dreams and families, of lost identities and homes...and families; and the still alive slivers of hopes of rehabilitation and being reconciled to the homeland and the identities, are no less heart wrenching than the brutal murders and rapes and kidnappings and treachery meted out to this race for its 'brethren' of yore sought ethnic cleansing. Their hearts icier than the snow they colored in gore!

25 years since, and this receding of an entire 'people' into oblivion in the name of Jihad, still seeks to come out into the light of the day, garbed as is with its faran (robe) still reeking fresh of the communal stain that has oft been blanketed under mantles ranging from ignorance to complacence (deliberate or unconscious) to conspiracy theories, on the part of the intellectuals, the media, the intelligentsia...the country!

Rahul Pandita's was one among thousands of Kashmiri Pandit families forced to leave their homes in Srinagar, in 1990, when he was 14 years old. His first hand account of the travails of his family and his kin is a window into the annals of the history of Kashmiri Pandits.