Sheher-e-khaas or Sheher-e-khasta

In an interview for a post in Government College, I was asked where I was from. When I named a place in so called Sheher-e-khaas, the interviewer (a Kashmiri Pandit) turned to another one(a non-Kashmiri) in the panel and remarked that the place in Kashmir is what Gaza is in Palestine.


Subsequently, he asked me what the reason was that the people of Sheher-e-khaas were a continuous trouble. Why was it that the youth were always out on the roads pelting stones while as the uptown areas were peaceful or relatively peaceful? At that time, I could tell him that they have not read histories from your prescribed history books but they have lived them out.


They had seen their loved ones being murdered in cold blood by the men in the uniform, and then watched the calm and composed news readers on Doordarshan announcing them being killed in encounter, labeling  them as militants. The rage at the helplessness had been infused in the very red of their blood. If you let them, they may learn to forgive but they cannot forget. These were perhaps the abstract and complicated reasons that would have need him interlocutors, commissions, probes and what not to be verified.


But had the interview been today, I could have just asked him to have a cursory look on the Sheher-e-khaas and he would have found reasons engraved on the very substance of the Sheher-e-khaas turned to Sheher-e-khasta(ruined city). Sheher-e-khaas turned into a piss pot by the khaas people of the Sheher (city) would have revealed all.


The stones scattered on the dug-out roads would tell him where they guide the hands of youth to pelt them. The foetid air would guide his nose to the odor of inefficiency that needs to be pelted upon. The closed windows and heaps of garbage would tell him who it needed to be thrown on. And I am sure the fountains on dangerously wide four-ways would give him no aesthetic pleasure. And he too would be enraged at the shrieking entourage of white and black cars ordering him to make way for the caravan of  overflowing incapability.