[ blog connection 7 – place to weep ]

Haven’t posted for a while. Sometimes the off line world has more to ask than the online. This blog is 30,000 views old.  For a seven month old blog, I don’t think that is a bad number (to confess to blogmistri’s initial under confidence when he registered the blog, he was willing to bet on 10-15 thousand views by now, and he lost the bet to Sanjay on it). But more than the numbers, the range and quality of conversations is what i feel proud about. In lieu of the long silence, I am posting a poem by Manglesh Dabral, who is probably amongst the best known contemporary poets writing in the Hindi language, and he won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2000 for his collection Hum Jo Dekhte Hain.

Place to Weep

(Dedicated to Rahul Dholakia’s film Parzania & Sanjay Kak’s documentary Jashn-e-Azadi)

Some time ago, places to weep were limited
Showing your tears just anywhere meant demeaning them
Some cried alone at home or in their backyard
Under a tree or on a lonely footpath
A surprise meeting with somebody, would wet our eyes for a moment
Sometimes an ancestor would appear in our dreams wiping his eyes
At the time of mourning, genteel people would hide their eyes behind dark glasses
When something like a lament would churn our insides
It was unnecessary to interpret the meaning of its romance

These days weeping surfaces from just about anywhere
You notice tears in just about every place
Glittering markets banish their darkness to their backyards
While crossing them, it seems that a river flows
Living together as a family
Beggars, lunatics, orphans, helpless animals, homeless dogs multiply
Mother and father keep searching
For their children slaughtered by the rioters
Weeping for them is like a long road
At the end of the day month year few scenes from a film
Best Bakery Gulbarga Naroda Patiya
In Yavatmal a farmer is seen for the last time
Cupping some earth from his field
In Kupwara dilapidated men and women
Are taken to identify their sons
On a narrow track made by army guns
One innocent dead appears in place of another innocent dead
Who is known by the name of a third innocent dead

Injustice continues to feed on the body of this nation, Raghuvir Sahai used to say
Lorca’s guitar like heart – still pierced with five stars
Impossible to silence it
In this happy well fed world
Kabir’s waking and weeping continues
Ghalib’s saaz is full of pain, tears flow out just as it is strummed
There is a place to weep inside poetry
She invites in people wet with tears
Through ever open doors of
Her house, backyard, under a tree, some footpath


1 Response to “[ blog connection 7 – place to weep ]”

  1. 1 فيصل ابن فاروق الكشميرى October 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Second Series, Vol. 4, New Delhi 1986, p.288a

    Cable to C.R. Attlee from Nehru : New Delhi, 28 October 1947.

    We are always ready to discuss any issue in dispute with representatives of Pakistan. We have laid down the principle that accession of every State, whether Junagadh or Kashmir or Hyderabad, should depend on ascertained wishes of the people concerned.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.77.

    Telegram, dated the 31st December 1947, from Foreign, New Delhi, to Indembassy, Washington:

    [On 26 October, 1947] In order to avoid any possible suggestion that India had taken advantage of the State’s immediate peril for her own political advantage, the Dominion Government made it clear that, once the soil of the State had been cleared of the invader and normal conditions restored, its people would be free to decide their future by the recognised democratic method of a plebiscite or referendum, which, in order to ensure complete impartiality, might be held under international auspices.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.3.

    Nevertheless, in accepting the accession, the Government of India made it clear that they would regard it as purely provisional until such time as the will of the people of the State could be ascertained.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.46.

    Telegram, dated the 25th October 1947, from Foreign, New Delhi, to C.R. Attlee, Prime Minister of UK.

    From Prime Minister of India.


    “I should like to make it clear that [the] question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view, which we have repeatedly made public is that [the] question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people and we adhere to this view”.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.55.

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister, in a broadcast from New Delhi on November 2nd said:

    “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given, and the Maharaja has supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not, and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have a referendum held under international auspices like the United Nations. We want it to be a fair and just reference to the people, and we shall accept their verdict. I can imagine no fairer and juster offer.”

    Sheikh Abdullah, Flames of the Chinar, New Delhi 1993, p.97

    While Mehr Chand Mahajan was to continue as Prime Minister, I [Sheikh Abdullah] was appointed Director-General, Administration [on 27 October, 1947]- the first Kashmiri Muslim to hold this post. In my new position I addressed the senior officials of the government, and categorically stated that the future of Kashmir would be decided only by the Kashmiris. Our decision to accede to India was ad hoc, and would ultimately decided by a plebiscite.

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Jashn-e-Azadi is available through various online outlets like amazon

You can now buy a DVD of the film, or Download it and watch
More than two years in the making, Jashn-e-azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom], is a feature length documentary by film-maker Sanjay Kak which explores the implications of the struggle for Azadi, for freedom, in the Kashmir valley.

Click here to watch the Trailer

As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it's Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

And here is a short Interview with the film-maker.

This Jashn-e-Azadi blog is an open forum for conversations about the film, about Kashmir, and about Azadi itself.

For more information about screenings, sales and broadcast write to


For dispatches from the present

Voices of protest can be found here or call you from here

Stone in my hand

In the season of solutions, the late Eqbal Ahmad's wise words have to be remembered

Kashmir blog has the best one line blog take on Kashmir - they call it paradise, I call it home.

Zarafshan is a Kashmiri blogger whose blog (and blogrolls) are "just ways of dispersing news, views and feelings!"

For a considered discussion on the vexed issue of Pandits in Kashmir see Kasheer. And for more on this Ephemeral Existence

And a discovery called Paradise Lost

RSS Kashmir via Greater Kashmir

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Festival screenings

May 26, 2008 / International Video Festival of Kerala
Apr 28, 2008 / Dok.Fest
Feb 10, 2008 / Himalaya Film Festival
Nov 28, 2007 / International Documentary Festival
Oct 12, 2007 / Film South Asia
July 22, 2007 / Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Previous Previews

7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
6 Dec 2007 / Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds
Egham, Surrey
3 Dec 2007 / Royal Holloway, University of London
New Delhi
26 Nov 2007 / Russian Centre of Science & Culture & Magic Lantern Foundation

New Jersey
Oct 5, 2007 / College of New Jersey
New York City
Oct 4, 2007 / Columbia School of Journalism
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
Sep 27, 2007 / University of Pennsylvania
New York State
Sep 26, 2007 / Vassar College
New York City
Sep 25, 2007 / New School for Social Research
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

Aug 10, 2007 / Pure Docs, Prasad Preview, Banjara Hills

interrupted previews!! [[ MUMBAI ...
July 27, 2007 (Fri)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi
July 30, 2007 (Mon)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Prithvi House, Juhu...]]

July 14, 2007 / Institute of Agrl. Technologies, Queens Road
July 13, 2007 / Centre for Film & Drama, Millers Road
June 13, 2007, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Hall
June 12, 2007, National Film Archive of India Auditorium
May 29, 2007, Blue Moon Hotel
May 26, 2007, Assam Club, Laban
May 12, 2007, Hindi Bhavan Hall
March 31, 2007, Tagore Hall
New Delhi
March 23, 2007, Sarai-CSDS
New Delhi
March 13, 2007, India Habitat Center



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