And here lived, beneath the receding waters of Mangla, my people, once upon a time.
As her waters recede, and the green grass shimmers in the full glory of the sun,
we are taken back to the memories of our forebears, only just buried in our minds.
If you pay attention, amidst the eerie silence of her hills, you can hear children play,
enthralled by the smiles of elders, whose sons and daughters ploughed the fields.
If you close your eyes, you might just see them breaking bread as nightfall falls,
in homage to the labours of pious sustenance, they share memories of a past long gone.
And then they go to sleep, another night, another dawn, to repeat yesterday’s morrow.

Oh Mangla, what have you done to those vibrant villages and bustling market towns?
Panjab has her electricity; her Plains have their fertility, Officialdom has its royalties.
But we, the orphans of Mangla, scions of the soil, have dispersed, our hearts broken;
from the hills and mountains of our ancestral homeland, the breeze continues to flow.
As we wake up in the land of plenty, in the land of the free, we feel the easterly winds,
Mangla calls her dispersed children, she whispers in the Pahari tongue, hearts beat again.
From the loins of a forgotten people, of an age long passed, a seed now grows again.
From the old mill towns of England, to the offices of the South, the journey home begins

17 June 2018

A poem dedicated to the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir; to our elders and forebears, whose ancestral graveyards lie buried deep under the waters of Mangla.  

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Equality & Human Rights Campaigner, Researcher, Content Copywriter and Traveller. Blogger at Portmir Foundation. Liberal by values, a centrist of sorts, opposed to authoritarianism – States must exist for the welfare of people, all of them, whatever their beliefs or lifestyles. People are not “things” to be owned, exploited, manipulated and casually ignored. Political propaganda is not history, ethnicity, geography or religion.

I love languages and cultures – want to study as many as I can; proficient in some. Opposed to social and political injustice anywhere in the world.

I believe ‘life’ is a work in progress, nothing is fixed even our thoughts! Feel free to contact me – always prepared to widen my intellectual horizons and stand corrected – don’t insult me though. Be grown up. Tell me why you think I’m wrong. If you make sense, I’ll change my views.

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