A horde of galloping horses, this is what my brain seems to be sheltering right now. I've a book in my lap, while my legs are stretched over this poor coffee table, whose glass may give a cracking noise any day soon, such is the misery my legs put it to, every evening.
While I fiddle with every paragraph of Unaccustomed Earth, of this story of Ruma and her old Bengali father- who seems to have found love in old age while traveling in Italy, my mind wanders to Sahir Ludhianvi's unfinished documentary that I left paused on one of the many browser tabs. I'm imagining how the commentator in the documentary, who in the few minutes before I paused the video looked fairly boring, must be stirring up Sahir's affair with Amrita Pritam, a writer herself, and whose unrequited love for Sahir resulted in many tempestuous poems. While the love story of the two writers is winding up its way over me, like clouds hover those mountains in Lidder Valley after a bright sunny morning, I veer towards a write-up I'd read sometime back.
In fact, a series of write-ups from the 'Marxist of Safa Kadal'- I just loved that story- perhaps anything and everything remotely related to Marxism gives me unexplainable joy- to today's more 60s story, 'The Saga of Aziz'. The writer of these stories is a Kashmiri doctor based in Dublin. The beauty about his writing and perhaps why it appeals to me more, lies in his huge Srinagar downtown overtone. Without blazing any sloganeering, the writer solely concentrates on subtlety of every day events. Having grown up in its alleys and labyrinths that entwine story at every nook and intersection, where long lazy wintry afternoons were spent on the pyaend, turning a discourse from polity to Pakistan's new tearaway fast bowler in a matter of flipping seconds, I , at times wish to write a memoir for Srinagar. The ancient city has seen so much over its history, plagued with conflicts that a deep sad melancholy has hemorrhaged deep into its many abandoned homes, homes that were filled with warmth once, like my own- but now left by families who have shifted to more prosperous parts of the city, while some left on that cold January '90 morning never to return again. The stories are restless, fidgety, a bundle of nerves. Srinagar deserves a glowing tribute like Orhan Pamuk gave to Istanbul. Some day!
Horses I had told you.
Horses I had told you.