I've finished and put away my copy of Curfewed Night. And my mind is clouded with the number of questions it provoked. Alhamdulillah, there has been little pain or grief in my life. The kind of pain when something or someone is irrevocably lost. The closest I came to it was about a year ago and even though it was-to a large extent- vicarious, it was... Too difficult to handle. Too difficult to think about, even.
Basharat Peer writes about how his grandmother once said, 'when the blood of an innocent man is spilled, the sky turns red' and talks about how at least one innocent man has died in Kashmir since 1990. I cannot imagine what that must be like. He talks about militants, soldiers, counter-insurgents and the absurdity of so many lives being lost in vain.
PB refused to read it saying he knew enough stories of army--men who were stationed in Kashmir and their shocking tales about those across the border. I wonder why we forget our common humanity and succumb instead to borders, castes and creed. What remains is either apathy or greed, and in the worst case, both - a most destructive combination.
We need more books like these.