The memories of a present long gone

​As I read about the ceasefire violations along the LoC, militant infiltration, army retaliation, thoughts ran wild. I had just finished reading Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer.

The average Kasmiri days are filled with events of civilians getting killed, pellet wounds. The ‘heaven on earth’ where normalcy is crippled and loses all meaning with curfewed days and nights, where tomorrow is uncertain, and the normalcy kids know of consists of soldiers, AK-47s, grenades, India- Kashmir- Pakistan, stories of loss, stories of sadness, and points of no return.

As I think about all this, I remember this photograph taken at the Madras War Cemetery.

Where strife is a mere memory that you don’t even relate to, the graveyard of soldiers young and old becomes a place of selfies and chatter, where war knows no other meaning than being a monument of the past long gone.

Most of the Kashmir deaths- not only the soldiers- might never get justified. Most will remain a mystery. Most without a burial or a cremation, let alone a memorial.