Kashmir. A mention of this name evokes visions of green valleys and lofty mountains. A place where the tranquility of the lakes makes the traveler a poet, and the song of a bubbling stream is the cure for a heavy heart. Paradise, they call it.
Kashmiris call it Kasheer. This is the name that rolls off our tongues effortlessly and lovingly.
While as the dominant narrative about Kashmir tends to be either reductive or polemic, Kasheer is a heady brew of our complex realities and experiences. It is immensely captivating in its nurturing of an ethos that gives us life, but it is also profoundly tragic in its own invisibility and in the disempowerment of those it nourishes.
It is Kasheer that I represent here, and the beauty it has retained in spite of the oppression and bloodshed that only occasionally makes the headlines. Here you will find a glimpse of this beauty - in all its forms - that we Kashmiris know and love.
Fozia Sanober Qazi