Kashmiri students in New Delhi observe Bakri Eid away from home: 'Suffering has become our normal'

Text by Anvisha Manral | Photographs by Akshay Kapoor

A group of Kashmiri students observed Bakrid festivities on 12 August at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, away from home. Organised by Faiq Faizan, the gathering saw a band of authors, journalists, and artists come together as a mark of support and solidarity with students who could not be with their families in Jammu and Kashmir for the festival in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370. As the valley struggles to return to normalcy in the face of a massive security and communication lockdown, young Kashmiris, some of whom have not spoken to their parents in more than a week, stepped out with their boxes of food.

Here are the accounts of some people who were part of the gathering:

 Kashmiri students in New Delhi observe Bakri Eid away from home: Suffering has become our normal

Mannat Shuja

"A mass protest organised at Jantar Mantar against the atrocities happening in Jammu and Kashmir left a big impact, and the message was clear: people are extremely hurt and carry in themselves a feeling of betrayal, shocked by the revocation of article 370 and the trauma that has followed. Surrounded by people with a similar story, Kashmiris also gained support from a lot of non-Kashmiris that came out. Not being able to talk to their family for more than a week brought loneliness and tears. Amidst this, people shared food which was being provided with the intention to fill their hearts with happiness instead of fear, and to create a sense of belongingness. Trying to find happiness during Eid when you don't know about (the well being of) your family and friends is certainly baffling. A quest to find answers to our questions and a democratic way to peace was paved yesterday."

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"My mother’s retirement is scheduled for 30 August, 2019. We had a huge celebration planned back home but now I don't know how they are or how they celebrated Eid. For the first time in my life, I was unable to wish my parents on this day. Leave the Eid and retirement celebrations aside, I am worried how my parents are managing as they are both BP patients. I have no idea how they're keeping up."

Faiq Faizan

Faiq Faizan

"Let them feel it's Eid."

Sharika Amin

Sharika Amin

"Eid is [all about] family, long hugs, sweets, feasting all day long and lots of love. And this Eid, we had nothing. This was not Eid! We feel deprived, to communicate, to consent, to dissent, to celebrate and hence we mourn. We mourn the undemocratic and inhumane state of things. Kashmir is more than a piece of land; it is made of people who have families. I have a family. And that should not be forgotten."



"It's always difficult to spend Eid alone but to spend it under tyranny makes it torturous. To imagine that you cannot even wish your people Eid without the permission and approval of the State is frightening because it makes one reflect on the nature of the State we are living under and the amount of power it holds, uses and abuses in ways that makes life distressful for people. I don't know what lies ahead but I'm sure the consequences of everything, every move and every reaction will have to be faced by an ordinary Kashmiri, by the ones who have been rendered invisible in this entire fiasco. And when we talk about Eid after the meddling of 370, we should also remember that Eids before this have also not been celebrated with convenience and utmost happiness with the state of affairs by the Kashmiris. But unease and difficulty have slipped themselves into our daily routine in a way that suffering has become our normal. We should look at this Eid in the context of the history of our struggle and recognise that this is only one more injustice added to the accounts of our history. If this doesn't make people realise how we have been repeatedly failed and how it has always been a handful of people who have always decided for us, then I don't know what will."

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Saba Dewan

"There was sadness and anguish at Jantar Mantar. It was a sombre gathering of people who wanted to reach out to young Kashmiri students who were grieving. In many ways, it reminded me of another gathering of people which too was suffused with sadness, when in 2017 people had got together to protest mob lynchings in the immediate aftermath of the killing of young Junaid. What is happening with Kashmiris is also #NotInMyName."

Masood Ahmed, one of the attendees.

Abu Sufiyan

"Last year I devoted three days of Eid to those affected by the floods in Kerala. This year I want to express my support and solidarity for Kashmiri youth who are away from their families. I was in Srinagar for three days during the blackout and was unable to contact my family. I can understand their pain."


Qamar Choudhary

Muqamal nahi hui Eid meri
Eidi mein tera milna baaki hai Maa
Tere sang baatein karna, hasna, khilna, baaqi hai Maa
Baaqi hai tere godh mein sar rakh ke rona abhi
Tujhe dekhna, kuch na kehna, honthon ka silna, baaqi hai Maa.

Tera phone karke mujhko jagana
Ghar ki baatein batana
Apne hathon se Eid ka khana khilana
Mujhe dukh mein hasana, baaqi hai Maa.

Behnon ka mujhse pyar karna
Iss din ko mera intezaar karna
Abke jo na honge saath toh Eid kaisi
Par tum dukhon ka na izhaar karna.

Mubarak din hai dua dena
Main dard mein hoon dawa dena
Main hoon bohot dara hua
Maa aake galey laga le na.

Mujhe pakwaan shahi nahi chahiye
Ye dehshat o tabahi nahi chahiye
Tum rakh lo sari daulatein
Mujhe ghar se judai nahi chahiye.

Meri Maa se baat kara de koi
Mujhe maut se jaga de koi
Hain wo zinda bhi ya nahi
Mujhe itna bas bata de koi.

Youn toh na zindagi mera imtehaan le
Ya mila mujhe apno se, ya meri aake jaan le.

Koi mile toh meri Maa se kehna
Theek hoon Main
Mujhe yaad aate hain aap, rota hoon main
Aapko hi har pal sochte hota hoon main
Mujhe nahi hai yaad shab o subah ka rishta
Jab thak haar jaun toh kabhi sota houn main.
Kehna mujhe waqt pe khana khana yaad nahi rehta
Kahin aana jana yaad nahi rehta
Maine chhorh di hai zidd aur roothna bhi,
Mujhe kisi ka manana yaad nahi rehta (ke ab koi manane wala nahi,
paas bithane, khilane wala nahi)
Par theek hoon main.

Abba se kehna
Main ab jawab nahi mangta
Koi bade khwaab nahi mangta
Bas ek nazar aapko dekh loon
Koi dost o ehbaab nahi mangta.

Ki ab koi rahaat nahi rahi
Koi justju, koi chahat nahi rahi
Par theek houn main.

Mere chhote se bateje Rumi se kehna
Ki haan mujhse wadakhilafi hui
Ke main tere liye naye kapde lata, sajata tujhe
Godh mein utha ke sang ghumata tujhe
Mera tujhe chumna baaqi hai, tera mujhe chumna baaqi hai.

Muqammal nahi hui Eid meri
Eidi mein tera milna baaqi hai Maa.

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2019 11:41:18 IST