No Place for Good in Kashmir

Inside the mind of a 12-year-old poet.


For Abdullah, peace, unity, freedom, truth is a vanishing dream. He, at this tender age, recognizes that the rulers aren’t worthy of praises. He can identify that they are communal and they are animals.


He can see that Kashmir is burning, and no one is doing anything. He can detect the guns of violence and do nothing about it but listen to suffering silence, watch the scary darkness, smell the political odor. All he can do is to speak the reality and feel the blood of Kashmiris.


At the stage of life, when he should be playing and enjoying his boyhood, Abdullah feels the claws of despotism and oppression screeching through our bodies and concludes that this is all they want.


In one of his poems, Abdullah does not add Mahatma with Gandhi, saying something: he is aware.


He takes notice of the guns that fire across our eyes. He is aware that what is about to come will be a holocaust of the minority.


For this boy, paradise is no longer alive. It is changing. He sees boats roving in blood and says that we are so immersed in our summering that no one wants to see it.


Children suffer

and people can’t see.


Because it is not something that happens in Kashmir once in a while, but every day a mortal falls.


We can’t live happily in here,

this is not the paradise on the earth.

It’s no longer alive.


During his twelve years of life, he might not have been able to go to school for many years because of the unending turmoil in his homeland. He explains that it is:


not a matter of words

it’s a matter of knowledge.

It’s not described in words,

it’s described in silence.


And he wonders:

In Kashmir, I wonder, is education a frustration?


And this no communication, no medication, no education, and frustration leads him to conclude:


… nonsense games

No education, just a time pass


In another poem about silence, he says: The silence of sparrows lives within. As he can see no solution to the misery of his people, he laments:

waiting is divine.


We, wait till our last breath,

And that’s all I know.


He tries but can’t just hold his anger, and there is a river of blood in front of him. The mass destruction, the game of politics, is ruining his identification. By watching the dead bodies, the lies, the flood all over, the death all over, and by watching the civilians killed brutally and the kids blinded from the pellets, he interprets it as:


A real brief history

of truth

Written on the wall


There are thousands of confusions and questions in the heart and mind of his little soul. But:


To answer these questions

It is like in the sea, a burning hell


One of the questions he asks is: Is it fun to be salient in the violence?

But there are some questions about whose answers he has no doubt left; accordingly, he writes:


A tale of death

Barbaric people

Killing the innocent

A tale

Of lies

Politics and propaganda


And these images of oppression and subjugation disturbs the peace of his mind:


It is a nightmare

It’s a tale of Kashmir


He can’t help but notice that we are all being mocked, pushed to the wall, and we can’t even talk.


Such a shame!

Walking over the blood of people.


There are infinite things a child should be thankful to his mother. While, among other things, he primarily thanks his mother for:


the beautiful treasure

found in the books.


A part of the solution to a problem is to recognize it. Regardless of the age, Abdullah makes known to his readers some of the most significant issues Kashmiris face:


It was wartime, and all had died.

No one lived, and no one cried.

No one speaks up, so here’s the reality.

Everyone’s locked up; everyone’s dying.

No place for good, …

It’s a game, a mad one.

The world of blood

the world of violence

no place for good


When all hope is lost, and all dreams turned into dust, the little poet turns to the One Who never disappoints His slaves. And that is the most beautiful thing about this book.


People don’t admit their sins and their faults.

People don’t open the eyes of truth.

People don’t believe in truth.

People have left their faith in God.

reciting the Holy Quran,

with a ray of hope that Allah

will give me happiness

Now God is our only way


Some poems make it hard for a reader to believe these poems are written by a twelve-year-old. Few verses could have been made better or left out or molded into a better shape.


Despite that, this book is a hopeful act. For one, being published by a reputed traditional publisher of Kashmir might give hope to many young writers who choose their books to be self-published without even trying.