TM Krishna Recites Agha Shahid Ali's Poem 'Postcard from Kashmir' to Protest Communication Blackout

TM Krishna Recites Agha Shahid Ali's Poem 'Postcard from Kashmir' to Protest Communication Blackout

“This is home, this is the closest I will ever get to home, when I return the colors won’t be so brilliant.”


Raka Mukherjee

From the night of 4th of August, Jammu and Kashmir has been plunged into radio silence. The Internet doesn't work, the phone lines are dead, and Section 144 has been imposed.

On Monday, 5th August, Amit Shah moved the resolution on Kashmir in Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 that granted special status to Kashmir, adding that he was sure that abrogation of Article 370 would end the "bloody war" in Kashmir.

While the bill has sparked debates and protests from Indian nationals as well as from foreign counterparts, the Valley still remains in a blackout situation. There are barricades and military personnel on the road.

At a time when thousands of Kashmiris, who are away from home, can't reach their families, Carnatic singer, T.M Krishna, posted a video of his rendition of Agha Shahid Ali's poem, 'Postcard from Kashmir.'

"A postcard to phones in Kashmir which do not ring," he captioned the video.

The picture for the video shows the lyrics of the poem.

'Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,

my home a neat four by six inches.

I always loved neatness. Now I hold

the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.

This is home. And this the closest

I'll ever be to home. When I return,

the colors won't be so brilliant,

the Jhelum's waters so clean,

so ultramarine. My love

so overexposed.

And my memory will be a little

out of focus, in it

a giant negative, black

and white, still undeveloped.'

The video starts with a phone beeping. The background music to the words is the sound of the pre-recorded voice of telephone companies reciting what must now be the familiar message if you're trying to reach someone in the Valley - 'This number is not currently available.'

The video ends with a few lines from the iconic song, "Ishwar Allah tero naam" from the Hindi movie Hum Dono, originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar.

The video has ushered in a wave of support from people who lauded Krishna's simple, yet effective way, to protest.

Krishna has also been very vocal about his thoughts on the issue. “I was feeling terribly gutted over the last two days. Something very fundamental about the beauty of this country seemed taken away," he said in an interview to Indian Express.

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