the dream merchants- a satire on the confusion in Kashmir polity
THE DREAM MERCHANTS
(A satire on the confusion that exists in Kashmir polity)
Having had sent my children to school, seen off my husband to work and finished my morning chores, I heaved a sigh of relief and had just settled down for a cup of ‘keva’ when I heard a knock on the door. I was surprised because we don’t get many visitors and even our relatives too don’t visit us very often. (Moving about through the maze of check posts is dangerous- you never know where and when you may get detained for questioning merely since you appear to be ‘behaving’ suspiciously or ‘resembling’ some wanted militant). So guessing who it could be, I opened the door to find a smartly dressed person who told me that he was a door to door salesman.
Now, I have always held salesmen and politicians in very low esteem -one peddles his product while the other his party and both make false promises. So, I told him that that I was not interested in whatever he was selling. The salesman told me that his product would transform my miserable existence into a heavenly experience. Manufactured by the famous company called Hurriyat (M) and headed by the renowned Umar Farook, the product was being offered under the brand name ‘azadi.’ The salesman told me that this was the ‘real’ thing and that I should be cautious of spurious products being sold by others which made false claims of providing the same results. I thanked him for his advice and shutting the door, went back to my ‘keva’ only to find that I had misplaced my cup.
As I was searching for the same, there was again a knock and on opening the door and I found another salesman. I was really annoyed and so I told him to just get out. The salesman not only refused to leave but embarked upon a fiery introduction of his product. Telling me that I was myself fully responsible for my miserable existence due to my indifferent and submissive attitude, the salesman offered me a way out. He told me that since there were thousands and thousands of people suffering on this account, a patriarch called Geelani along with some others had formed a company called Hurriyat (G) and devoted his entire life to the amelioration of our woes. He had finally come out with a unique product which would get us out of the hell in which we were presently living.
Since the name of the company mentioned by both the salesmen was the same while the names of proprietors differed, I out of sheer curiosity, asked the salesman to clarify the same. The salesman told me that the product offered by the Hurriyat Company of Geelani was not only the best but also ‘the only cure.’ The other firm by the same name was that of an upstart whose only claim to fame was his lineage and that his product was classified as ‘moderate’- so how could it deliver? On the other hand, the Geelani product was internationally accepted as ‘hard line’ and that is what made it the best! Intrigued by the conflicting claims I asked the salesman to tell me as to what his product was? To this he replied that his product was called ‘merger’ since the only way to convert our land into heaven was not through ‘azadi’ but by becoming the subjects of another neighbor. I asked him that if our deliverance lay in this, then what was wrong with the present arrangement. How could our fortunes change for the better under a neighbor who was always looking westwards for his own succor? I promised him that I would most certainly go in for this product at the earliest.
Closing the door, I once again embarked upon the search for my elusive cup of ‘keva’ but was again interrupted by a knock on the door. Reluctantly I opened the door for the salesman. He told me that he represented the famous firm ‘NC’ run by Farookh & Son which were in this business for three generations and offered a unique product called ‘autonomy,’ which guaranteed to make my future a bed of roses. While we were talking, another salesman arrived and started contesting every point the ‘NC ‘salesman would make. Soon both the salesmen were blaming each other for the sorry state of affairs. I asked the new comer to introduce himself and he told me that he represented a firm called ‘PDP’ which too was a family business run by a father and daughter duo who had invented the ultimate cure for all the present ills and was being marketed under the product name of ‘self rule.’
I showed the two warring salesmen the door. I thought that a diversion would do me some good, so I put on the TV. You can imagine my plight when the first thing I saw on the TV was an advertisement- a lady covered from head to toe was promoting her product created by the famous ‘Dukhtaraan-e-Millat’, which too was being touted by her as ‘the only’ cure for bringing heaven on earth in our land. This product promised deliverance through the reintroduction of antiquated laws and customs which our forefathers had abandoned centuries ago. I was luckily saved the agony of seeing this commercial through by a loud pounding on the door.
Before I could open the door, a bearded man with a gun held in his hands barged into the room. He introduced himself as the salesman of a firm which had been created solely to improve the lot of oppressed people like me. He said that the product of his firm was called ‘jehad’ and waging war was the only way to a better life. I promised him that I would seriously consider his product. Thanking me, he jumped out of the window and left.
I felt really elated at the thought that so many famous identities were so concerned about a ‘nobody’ like me. I was almost reduced to tears as I imagined as to how much pains these ‘selfless’ people were taking and the privations they must be undergoing just to improve not only my present but the future of my children too. However, there is one thing which I have not been able to understand till date- while making products for my wellbeing and betterment, why did they not consider to at least ask me as to what exactly did I want?
Tags: Kashmir , Azadi , Self Rule , Autonomy , Jehad , Hurriyat , Syed Ali Shah Geelani , Mirwaiz Umar Farookh , Faroukh Abdullah , Omar Abdullah
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