Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remaining Pandits of Kashmir

“Waliyu, waliyu (come, come).” Little Aadesh welcomes this writer at his house on the edges of the forlorn village Haal, about 30 km south of Srinagar.

It is a typical home with a wooden door in this village of 3,000 people and their burnt-out, collapsing brick-and-timber structures, once inhabited by 150 Kashmiri pandit families.

Adeesh’s family is the last.

The three-year-old is the grandson of Omkar Nath Bhat, 72, the only Kashmiri pandit to have decided to stay back in this once-vibrant village of friendly people and views of snow-clad mountains and forests.

The other pandits, Kashmiri Hindus, of Haal left in the winter of 1989, the year militancy exploded across the valley.

- A piece on 'Remaining Pandits of Kashmir' by Arun Joshi for Hindustan Times (September 14, 2009)


It's not 'Waliyu, waliyu'. It's 'Wal'yuur, Wal'yuur'.

6 comments:

  1. "Wal'yuur, Wal'yuur" -- maybe... but not necessarily.

    Maybe he just meant Waliv waliv...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have visited Hall on my visit to AharBal water fall on 02.10.2009. The cluster of Pandit houses on left side of the road present a pathetic story. Nowhere was i moved to see the abondment of of living habitats as in Hall. Some structures are collapsing and some have collapsed . Some are Majestic , Still erect but weeping . The houses tell that the inhabitants lived good life . Big rooms , Huge foundations , Enormous wood work and old heritage doors confront you in some of the houses . Firewood used during winters and stored on Breir Kaani is still there in some houses . Hall village especially near the Two Temples looks a Ghost Locality . Fear engulfs you . stray dogs sleep in most of the gropund floors . Even elderly local muslims sigh when they look at these houses.Abdul Qayoom a villager told that every day he visits this area , he gets some ache in his heart .The words sprang from his heart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seeing these structures does sometimes stir terrible sadness. Thanks for sharing your experience, Autarji!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why don't you write a book on Kashmir?

    ReplyDelete

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