02 August, 2021

Camus In Kashmir

The long solitudes of 2020 have given everyone ­occasion to “grow tired of prisons” and see the only hope in fighting for love

Photograph by PTI
Camus In Kashmir

Spring is when Kashmir’s full palette of colours comes to life. White almond, pink cherry blossoms, the yellow of mustard, multi-coloured, state-manicured tulips…after a hibernating, sullen, stark winter, the gates open upon myriad smells, and it’s all colour and bloom. Sitting under an almond tree in full ­blossom at the badamwari (almond orchard) with the sharp sting of sunrays on your face, you tend to forget the bleakness of winters. Hope is renewed and you thank yourself or your creator (whatever may be your calling) for having ­endured the long winter. Of course, this is a ­fictional depiction! The reality is that, in Kashmir, the flowers of spring wilt and fade even before summer can visit. An army check-post on the boulevard intrudes into your tranquil walk along the Dal. Winter announces itself back in the middle of spring. Head bowed, you take a ­solitary walk back home.

This is not the story of only one spring—the spring of 2020. For almost three decades, this is how every spring…or for that matter every...

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