Sign of blessed tidings, water is milky at Kheer Bhawani…/ Rashmi Talwar

Photo & Caption  by Ravinder Kaul: Taken at a Tea Shop, at Mata Kheer Bhawani, two elderly gentlemen deeply immersed in an intimate chat, completely oblivious of the Mela or the world. I returned to the shop after two hours and found them sitting exactly in the same posture. I clicked their pictures but they did not come to know of it until I told them. One a Kashmiri Pandit another a Kashmiri Muslim were former colleagues and neighbors and were meeting after 25 years. Looking at them I felt-“There’s still hope in this world”.

Photo & Caption by Ravinder Kaul: Taken at a Tea Shop, at Mata Kheer Bhawani, two elderly gentlemen deeply immersed in an intimate chat, completely oblivious of the Mela or the world. I returned to the shop after two hours and found them sitting exactly in the same posture. I clicked their pictures but they did not come to know of it until I told them. One a Kashmiri Pandit another a Kashmiri Muslim were former colleagues and neighbors and were meeting after 25 years. Looking at them I felt-“There’s still hope in this world”.



Sign of blessed tidings, water is milky: Kheer Bhawani

Rashmi Talwar

‘Naabad rang Poenye’! ‘Naabad rang Poenye’! (The color of water is Mishri- crystallized sugar) Kashmiri Pandits exclaimed in subdued glee. Kashmiris are hardly boisterous unlike Punjabis who would break into a Bhangra or Buraaaah, Jhappis and Pappis to express their delight. Yet their sense of bonhomie is apparent.

It is a different matter that on this very day, swords came out and lathis were freely used, blood spilled, amongst Sikhs in the premises of Amritsar’s revered Golden Temple- the seat of Sikhism, in the presence of Holy Book- Guru Granth Sahib, while observing a mourning for those who died in Op Bluestar, 30 years ago.

Coming back to Kashmir, the color of water of the sacred spring of Kheer Bhawani on this day, is symbolic, the milky tint, signifying good tidings for the year ahead. Mata Kheer Bhawani bestows her blessings, was the cheer, seen in the smiles of thousands of Kashmiris. Kashmiri Pandits from all parts of the world converge to this sacred spot, 27 Kms from Srinagar, every year to celebrate Jyeshtha Ashtami, the eighth day of the Jyeshtha month of Hindu lunar calendar.

It wasn’t as if the Pandits alone felt blessed by the water’s light tinge, Kashmiris in general, especially the older generation, too seemed to have prayed for pastel colors for the spring waters. Kashmiris can hardly forget the reddish and blackish hue of the holy waters in early 90’s that left them tattered and shattered, destroying almost everything they possessed, even the cravings for grasses and greenery, fruits and hills, scents and fragrances, home and hearth as well as trust and faith. They talked amongst their own, but weary eyes looked fervently in search for someone familiar from their happy past.

Elderly Kashmiri Muslims too come here with the same searching eyes, looking for their neighbors, friends or childhood buddies who had migrated in the early 1990s. Since migration, many cried a million tears over the tearing separation from friends, from beloved homes, the elixir waters, scented winds, fragrant flowers, juicy fruits and chirping birds while those left behind cried the same for lost warmth, friendship, kinship, sharing, camaraderie, heart to heart and especially Kashmiri Pandit Master Jees and Behan Jees, in schools.

Ganderbal District’s Tulamulla Mela reverberates with temple bells, beckoning Muslim neighborhoods to take a peek. Fascinated children, gather around the cooling shades of dozens of Chinar trees and muster up the courage to talk to Pandits, to ask them about their rituals, customs, their whereabouts and even why they don’t come back. Mostly they are too timid and would run away even with mere aim of cameras, but someone from them does come forward and the rest giggle.

Red ‘chunaris’ take on the wind and fly with their ends tied to the bark of a tree, reminding the reigning deity ‘Ragnya Bhagwati’ of a promise made by a devotee or a gift pledge to another. The scents of agarbatti or incense, dhoop, colorful Puja thalis with flowers, milk, ‘kandh’(bar of sugar), Kheer- rice pudding offered as Prasad, the thali also consisting of mauli- sacred thread, tilak- anointing saffron sandal paste, fresh water and other pooja saamagri or worship kit, that flows easily from devotee to devotee at stalls and shops owned and run exclusively by Kashmiri Muslims outside the shrine. Thousands of ‘Ratandeep’ (ghee-filled diyas), glitter bringing with them hope and cheer for devotees wherever they dwell.

Interestingly, Jai Gopal, a Pandit, conducting rituals at Kheer Bhawani says, “The Puja thalis are paid for only after the thali is returned to the shop keeper”. “This is tradition and has continued for eons and there has never been a chance when a devotee made off with a thali or evaded payment thus”, the shrine Pandit adds. This is indeed true, when I last visited the Kheer Bhawani shrine during an off season detour, I was surprised about this matter of faith and trust of post payments, that is perhaps seen no where in the world.

Fragrance of Hawan ‘saamagri’ or fire-offerings consisting of dried flowers, leaves, stems and roots collected from surrounding forests and other assorted material has a mandatory inclusion of lotus seeds (Pambuch) known to ward off evil spirits. At 32 degree centigrade, the holy environs here remain cool with the canopy of Chinars, some of whose branches touch the cooling waters nearby.

Ravinder Kaul, a freelance journalist, clicked a photograph of a Kashmiri Pandit and Kashmiri Muslim engrossed in conversation for hours at the Mela, unconcerned about the colorful revelry and melodious ‘Bhajans’ that soothed the air. This photograph posted on the FB, received over 1000 likes and comments and more than 245 shares, thereby emerging as a fountain of hope, of ties, of heart strings, impossible to break between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits, despite troubled times of the past.

Governor of the state NN Vohra took a stroll and Yasin Mallik a politician advocating freedom from India, Congress leader Saifuddin Soz as well as PDP’s senior leaders were seen in bear hugs with fellow Kashmiris, urging them to return to the beauteous Valley. No one seemed to be convinced even as stalls by most political parties the PDP, Congress, National Conference dot the venue. Also true to the festive spirit were stalls by Kashmir police for assistance, RBI and J&K Bank for financial awareness programmes, Civil Defense, Traffic Police, Health Services, Tourism, Medical and others. The spirit of brotherhood however lives on with Broadway Hotel, Civil, Secretariat employees and Swami Vivekananda Mission, Nagdandi providing free food for all devotees.

Some reminiscenced about good times when families lived in houseboats for a week to participate in the grand fair. They all join in “puran ahuti” or the final offerings and “saamoohik aarti” or collective prayers, knowing fully well that chances of their return were hardly bright. The fair gives this alienated community, a chance to touch roots. For a day, the spirit soars high and faith keeps its beauteous moorings all through the year,

The writer can be emailed at: rashmitalwarno1@gmail.com
FIRST PUBLISHED IN RISING KASHMIR ON JUNE 11, 2014
URL: http://epaper.risingkashmir.com/PopUp.aspx?RVuQxlx8PdnfpjhWvdz_ppAQ_ep_ep

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40 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bikramdeep Singh Azad on June 11, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Dear first accept my heartiest congratulations on the auspicious occasion of kheer bhawani .i found ur article on rising Kashmir very interesting but failed to understand the need of first few lines of first paragraph and second paragraph which u have incorporated in ur article.Drawing from article sikhs did not took swords when the colour of holy water turned blackish or reddish so drawing comparison was of no need or otherwise i don’t know might be by comparison u r pleasing anybody else.sister i dont really appreciate what happened that day in harmandir sahib because sikhs have always raised their swords to save the depressed which they are doing since inception and raising swords on 6th of june when u assemable to remember martarys is highly condemnable .anyhow i hope i hv not annoyed u and pray to waheguru that every year u people celebrate this festival with religious fervour and return to valley as soon as possible.

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 11, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      Bikram jee, I have not understood what you were trying to say.
      The color of waters of Kheer Bhawani are symbolic to good or bad times ahead for Kashmiri Pandits.
      The sikhs fought in Harmandir Sahib on this very day June 6, 2014 in Amritsar amongst themselves over addressing the gathering on mikes. Since I am from Amritsar I had mentioned the happening in Golden Temple that day when Kheer Bhawani Mela was ongoing in Kashmir. Now tell me what you didnt understand

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  2. Posted by Tanveer Magrey on June 11, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Mam read your todays article Kheer Bhawani again stupendous work like always . Your knack of playing with words and producing such kind of writing pieces is praise worthy.I feel jealous with you i always try my best to write like you sometimes i send them but remain unpublished due to flaws.but you write and write wonderfully.I gave entrance for journalism some months back but failed miserably.what a incredible luck.KEEP IT UP MAM.you are really a dynamic journalist

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  3. Posted by Namrata Wakhloo on June 11, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Will peaceful times return?

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  4. Posted by Autar Mota on June 11, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Nicely written .Optimistic.

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  5. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 11, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Rashmi ji; May be there were tears in some Kashmiri Muslims when Kashmiri Pandits left, we did not see that. Mostly we saw the betrayals from neighbors who pointed out to the militants as to where a Pandit was hiding. We also some some tears when they came to plains to locate pandits so that they can strike a good bargain for their properties.

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 11, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Ravindra Nath Kaul … I completely understand the pain of betrayals when greed , propoganda, rhetoric, sensationalism played a cruel game… but now when minds have cooled they are trying to analyse and bond. Shd we carry the bloody grievances of past on our shoulders forever or let them go … and rebond dear. Think about it. The mischief makers played their role ..Are we gonna carry the residues of the bloody game or Are we ready to shed the burdens, defeat their designs and move on ? The choice is ours

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      • Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 11, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        Rashmi Ji, The point I was making is not that we should carry the the “Bloody Grievances” along. You won’t find that in what I have written above. However to paint the picture that Muslims cried when Hindus left Kashmir, is an exercise in false portrayal of state that was in Kashmir. I lived in Kashmir from my childhood till I left for Engineering. The living was a second class citizens living. There were systematic pieces put in place by the Govt. so that Kashmiri Hindus left on their on volition, when reservation systems was put against them. That history one cannot forget. This was our 6th exodus from Kashmir under similar circumstances. Each time Kashmir Hindus had a habit of forgetting the past. One can forgive, bu t one should not forget. The history has a tendency to repeat itself on forgetful societies. And sends them to dustbins of history. That is the concern, dear.

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  6. Posted by Bhupinder Singh on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    wao that is good news….

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  7. Wow. That’s a very nice article. You’ve really made this picture special by carrying it with your piece. Thanks a lot

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    • Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 13, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      This was the most amazing picture emerging from Kashmir in a long long time. How could I just let it go. Thanks Ravi for making my piece sunnier than it would have been without the Pixs

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  8. Posted by Kuldeep Pandita on June 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Every word written in the post is a prediction. I endorse the gist . The time is right to discuss pat each other cracking a joke about the stupidity of the events and merge again .

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  9. Posted by Mohammad Farooq Wani on June 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Honestly writing that KP,s return to valley will mitigate sufferings of both communities. Apart from other demands by the majority community i am desirous to see pre 1989 position. This is their homeland and i look for their return so eagerly. Let us not use social networking for harsh statements from either side. Let not tears roll down from eyes who suffered for one or the other reason. We have seen lot of bloodshed and hope for a new beginning…

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  10. Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on June 13, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Kudos Rashmi
    Wish every Kashmiri Hindu or Muslim or anyone belonging to any other community share the same feelings, love and affection as we had seen between two long time separated old friends as is apparent in the photograph on the wall.
    Rashmi
    Your writeup on this small but very meaningful episode is commendable.
    Every word inscribed speaks volumes of emotions and tells a very deep saga of the separation of two communities who had lived like a family.
    The opportunist too had their axe to grind, so they were always trying to grab/bargain
    for their property.
    The narration itself is like storytelling packed with emotions as the storyteller herself was involved.

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  11. Posted by Rauf Tramboo on June 13, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Mr.Kaul you will appreciate the fact that in 1984 in Delhi within hours thousands of poor Sikhs unfortunately became victims of mob violence and same is true with Gujrat where thousands faced the wrath of majority and other dirty things which I shudder to go in detail here fortunately thank God nothing of that sort happened here, I think exodus happened more because of fear psychosis created by some vested interests.

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  12. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Rauf Tramboo ji; Your last name reminds me about the origins of your last name. But leaving that aside, and coming to the point you raised, must I say anti-sikh riots were stage managed and orchestrated by the Congress goons, and they were involved in it as even Rahul has admitted it in his interview. Gujarat riots occurred as an aftermath of what happened in Godhara. That is not to justify Gujarat, but showing the causes that triggered these. In the case of Kashmiri Hindus, they did not initiate or kill anyone. They did not then, not prior to that, and not after that. So the second example is not an example at all but your far fetched attempt to draw parallel, in order to justify, where there is no parallel. I was there when it happened and I remember the night it started and what were the slogans that were played from Mosques and how Kashmiri Hindus were targeted for killing. And that is why it is called ethnic cleansing and not genocide. So it is not question of your thinking. You can deny it all, but that only shows that there is no recognition of the guilt and remorse.

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  13. Posted by Pran Kishore Hangloo on June 13, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Rashmi,V.N.Koul,V.K.Sharma,M.A.Wani K.Pandita have written well and expressed their views righty.Thank to all of you.

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  14. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Mr Wani ji, I find your note more reassuring than the note followed by Mr. Rauf. I too have had friends from Muslim community who I have not see since long. and individually I am sure we will still act friendly and perhaps kindly towards each other. But the character of the 1990 is not one of individuals, but of collective. it is in the collective where ideologies get exercised, and not at individual levels. So one should not mistake, trees for the forest. Dangers are in forest and not in the trees

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  15. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Moderate voices were suppressed by vested interests from both sides. Then the fanatics orchestrated the exodus. Fanatics of all hues, mind hue. Even now the fanatics are vociferous, verbal diarrhea they call it.

    Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris. Thats it.

    Fear psychosis, rouge elements and agencies were responsible for the unfortunate migration.

    Common kashmiri misses the pandit brother. Believe it? Good. We shall be together again. You dont? You have fallen pray to politics of hatred.

    Please just visit kashmir as a tourist first and feel yhe pulse. … dont mix militant ideology with the common sentiments.

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  16. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Ravindra Nath Kaul ji the calls from the masjids were not by the common man but by separatist elements.. nizame mustafa and Kashmir banega pakistan sort….

    In ganderbal we I did hear that a pandit brothers TV set was stolen.. can imagine what rogue elements can do.. but ethnic cleansing? No one will buy this in Kashmir. Not the common kashmiri.
    I can feel the pain of the KP family living in pathetic conditions and away from home. I have been fighting some property cases of some kp brothers. .. two of them not so long ago, but the moment I tell them to come over they wont. That made me realise the intensity of fear and mistrust that had creaped in….

    Dont carry the burden of grievances. .. just come over as a tourist and try to interact with us… that would help.

    The civil society was impotent under the fear of the gun… not any more…

    Come over. Be my guest.

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  17. Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on June 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris
    Very true
    Very rightly said
    The pain I feel, when issues involving Kashmiris or KPs and their exudes are raised and different opinions are expressed is the same when during the eighties Hindus had left Punjab leaving behind their home and hearth to save not only their honour and dignity but lives also.
    The situation was identical in Punjab with a difference that political system had collapsed and the diktat of terrorist or (anti- social elements with full connivance of Police)were the order of the day.
    But good sense prevailed and an elected government was put on the job to bring peace and with the massive support of people the peace was restored in Punjab.
    It is the masses who have to rise to the occasion and create an atmosphere of mutual trust and make sincere efforts to bring their KP brethren back.
    If Kashmiris unite and take an imitative in this direction the J&K Govt.and Govt. Of India will have to follow the suit.

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  18. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    The kashmiri have taken a step forward. Thats by participating in panchayat , assembly and parliamentary elections defying boycott calls…

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  19. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Atif Ji; Why this urge to distribute the blame equally on all sides. There was only one side, who were in control and the other side who were on the receiving end. I can accept the moderate voices out of Muslim community were suppressed. But what was the oppressing force on Kashmiri hindu side. they all had to leave. Or are you saying those small few left in villages were the oppressing voices of Hindus who were oppressing moderates among Hindus. That is funny. Kashmir Hindus have had no history of extremism of the suppressing kind. If you can blame them, then it would be extremism of non-violence. That is about out.

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  20. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Atif jI, It is good to know that KAshmiris in Kashmir have taken a turn away from violence and are moving back to the call of their ancestors of Ryeshi Var, what a relief will it be for them and hopefully, also on the ground.

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  21. Posted by Bansi Raina on June 13, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Introspections and autopsies have been going for more than two decades now.The process will continue.Every one has a point according to her or his perception.Rightly so.The suffering actually was undergone by a particular generation.Many of them r no more..There departure has been more painful than the migration.How they craved to go back and left us wishing we would be able to go back and settle there again.U description was flowery and poetic.There is only hope left…..let us hope..hope and hope………

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  22. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    The physical tangible suffering did happen immediately after the ethnic cleansing, not migration since it was not voluntary, even the labels carries message of the history that should not be forgotten. Forgivig is fine and important, but relevant if it is admitted that wrongs were down. Otherwise it is meaningless. It is the intangible suffering that may not meet the eye daily and may not be visible to those who are bussy in daily earning of bread. It is the loss of a cultural heritage, a loss of tradition, a loss of knowledge base, a loss of language and the loss of 5000 years of history. Starting from MahAbhArata times. That will force our descendants to get lost and absorbed in different parts, surviving as individuals but collapse of inherited narrative, knowledge. Those are the losses that no one will eb able to fill again.

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  23. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Ravindra Nath Kaul saheb :
    1) I am a pathan so my link to Rishivar is not possible :~)

    Now what I meant was that KP are critical o the KM community and that is not fair..

    I ws a KM migrant as I myself had a threat perception for my political activities…
    But I was not accounted for anywhere.

    KM say we did nothing wrong please comeback.. now why dont you accept that?

    As for the atmosphere here in the valley. .. Even the CM cant guarantee his own safety… so the uncertainty looms large on all.

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  24. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Each one has his /her own narrative.
    Rauf Tramboo– let us not get sikh riots and godra-gujarat massacres into our perspective …those had been provocatory and mob mentality gone riot.

    Think of it what had the Hindus to do with Punjab’s terrorism. Many Hindus migrated from Punjab and this is not to say only Hindus even Sikhs migrated from Punjab targetted due to their wealth and standing.
    For all those who commented …the tide turns that All in All Terrorist has no religion, no affiliations, no benevolence for anyone or any cause. Even though in Punjab we freely label them as ‘terrorists’ even @navjot Sidhu our former MP did term them as terrorists and many other sensible sikhs do now, whereas it is considered an affront to call them ‘terrorists’ in Kashmir even today. “They are militants not terrorists”, one is rebuked in Kashmir when using the term.
    For a terrorist, whosoever opposes their Diktat is the enemy. He may first be labelled as anti-A,B,C,D religion and then targetted. Mass hyteria is their weapon and motive is to spread fear and terror. Bands of hooligans and small time chor chakas also join the blood thirsty mandlis or organisations . POWER over human lives is their big high. They are not looking for any formidable noble causes for striking. Only their individual aggrandizement.
    Me- The Powerful , Me -The indomitable, Me-The King … is their constitution and money is their mantra.
    In both Punjab and Kashmir it was the outside forces that played plunder and drove a rift between communities that had learned to live harmoniously and peacefully over decades.
    Today one may be in their good books, join them brimming with idealism and a motive carved out by them, tomorrow you are dispensed with, cos you may have charted out your own routes or differed with them on a slight issue. Your lofty dreams come crumbling down when mistreated by those who professed their love for you and drove you to heinous crimes and thats when one realizes “The slogans were just NOISE” for which you entered the arena of battle . Ye Kissi ke saage Nahi . Punjab woke up to their mechanizations, Kashmir too should wake up and become Progressive, Prosperous and Powerful against them. “O Kashmiris ! We urge you ..Write your Destiny once again.”

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  25. Posted by Vee Kay Sharma on June 13, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Rashmi
    Very nicely summed up.

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  26. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Atif Ji; Your last name does tell me that you are a pathan, but if you have settled in Kashmir for long, it would be possible that you adopted the ethos of Ryeshi VaR. But then you have right to protest as not belonging to that.

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  27. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Atiq Yousafzai kudos to ur magnanimity in inviting Ravindra Nath Kaul as your guest

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  28. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    I am a proud pathan
    I am on the path of peace…Islam
    I belong to paradise on earth. I belong to kashmir.
    I have the treasures of Kashmir. I belong to the land of Saptarshi Kashyap Reshi. Alamdare Kashmir sheikh noordin Noorani’s Kashmir.
    Where in school Shiekh Ghulam Mohammad and Pyare lal Pandita taught me ABCD.

    I am the son of Kashmir, where communal harmony was a way of life. Kashmir which is torn apart by “vested interests” and “stakeholders”.

    Ji mein kashmiri hun…. mujhey koi maanta nahin ab. Mujhey koi pehchaanta nahin ab. Mujhey koi manaata nahin ab. Mujhey koi hansaata nahin ab.

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  29. Posted by Ravindra Nath Kaul on June 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I am glad that you said that you belong to Kashmir. But surprised that at the same time you maintain you don’t belong to Reyeshi Var? Only one who does not know Kashmir could say that.

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  30. Posted by Atiq Yousafzai on June 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I love JKL and I cant speak fluent kashmiri. I speak Pashto, persian, hindi, English and tooti footi Kashmiri.. But I do know that kashmiryat is kashmiryat in all the languages.
    1 hr · Unlike · 3

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  31. Posted by Rashmi Talwar on June 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Atiq Yousafzai– commendable

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  32. Posted by Sadaf Munshi on June 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Let optimism win. Look forward to good times.

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  33. Posted by Vivek Kaul on July 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Tul Mul Mahoal celebrated in UK !
    Tul Mul !
    These 2 words evoke a strange lump in the throat response among exiled Kashmiri Pundits.
    A small sleepy village of Tul Mul is home to a Temple devoted to Goddess Ragyna.
    She is placed in centre of a Nag/Pond surrounded by smooth stoned compound which has huge Chinar trees !
    Every generation of Kashmiri pundits have been going to this Shrine , which is situated about 14 miles from Srinagar.
    The distance looks much more when you are a kid as looks the shrine which looks much larger.
    Kashmiri Pundits visit it multiple time a year since their childhood and Tul Mul seems your second home or first spiritual home !
    The journey stories taken by successive generation also become part of your family stories.
    We hear how our parents & Grand parents used to make this Pilgrimage on Horse back , Tongas and even via waterways on a floating house boat like Doonga via Lake Anchar !
    Tul Mul is a gene which gets attached to KP gene n never lets it go away !
    During forced exile Kashmiri Pundits may not have visited their Kashmiri half burnt or abandoned homes but they would have travelled to Tul Mul to relive their past memories.
    The memories are very sweet.
    Every KP family used to have their Khandani Halvai who would make huge diametered Poorees called Luchees. They were consumed with halvah or washed down with badami Kehvah chai !
    The routine was Surgical !
    You arrived took a dip in the stream adjoining the outer perimeter of temple , went to your Khandani Halvai took your thali of Pooja ingredients & in you went to look for your family purohit aka Gore.
    Gore ji had a routine in Pidgin Sanskrit of Sholakas which the elder male of the family with towel covered head had to recite. Rest had to touch the elder with different sided hand for men n women. The elder also used to wear a temporary grass ring on a particular finger. Half way in the prayer all had to get up n throw sugar candy like lolly in the spring !
    Camphor burning in the thali had a peculiar smell
    The Chant of Gauri Amba used to reverberate in our minds for ages n still does !
    When Kashmiri Pundits in Greater London area wanted to celebrate Kheer bhawani mela I was very happy as it evoked childhood memories but was not overjoyed by the fact that Tul Mul was called Kheer Bhawani a word used seldom by Kashmiri Pundits.
    But organisers must have realised that among 1000 average messages generated per day on Whstapp many called it Tul Mul !
    Shakespeare said whats’ in a name -Rose with any other name would sound as sweet ! but he was no Kashmiri Pundit !
    Tul Mul name was restored and Virtual fb n Whstapp friends became the driving force behind this Tul Mul Mela !
    Start to finish took only 8 gruelling weeks for core group of selfless n egoless volunteers!
    Apart from generating 1000 plus messages per day the volunteers were 2/3 times a week on Conference video chat !
    All in all a commendable job !
    You will understand from the photos & videos how so many arrangements were finely choreographed to present an outstanding finished product !
    Enjoy the pics & videos which I will post till next 24 hours !
    Many thanks to the team of super volunteers !
    Rgds
    Vivek
    http://worldhindunews.com/2014063026895/kashmiri-hindu-community-recreate-the-magic-of-kheer-bhawani-puja-in-london/

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  34. A great continuation of this series, Jamie. Your expressed vision has the potential to lead to a sialfiicgntny evolved phase of humanity. I commend your brilliance. With love, Windsor

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