Son: “Father, how old is the civilisation of Pandits?”
Father: “Twenty-seven years.”


“Who was Sherwani?”
“A martyr.”
“Who was Wanchoo?”
“A martyr.”
“Who are you?”
“A martyr.”


Don’t call me migrant any more. This is insulting. I am externally displaced and internally misplaced.


“Ban Barsat.”
“Because an Indian boy loves a Kashmiri girl.”
“You are right, sir. Indians need not love Kashmiris.”


I am a courageous man. I supported these people without understanding the land issue. I even joined a procession in my locality.


This is the martyr-land of martyred people who produced martyrs to opposing ideologies.


“Doctor, how many wounds did you stitch all these years?”
“Thirty thousand minus forty.”


Give us your blood and we will give you azadi. We guide you because somebody else who is guided by somebody else guides us.

Family Friends

Pandit (81) and his wife (78):
“How are you, Krishenlal and Radhamal? Do you need anything?”
“Yes. The spoken word.”
(After one week)
Krishen Lal (79) and Radhamal (77): “How are you Ramchander and Sitawati? Do you need anything?”
(After that they never met.)


“Who wrote the popular national song of India?”
“The creator of Pakistan.”
“Who wrote the national song of Pakistan?”
“The Indian migrant to Pakistan.”


Our superiority over the Pandits living in Jammu is that we don’t live in Jammu.


Down with The Ten Commandments. Show us Omar Mukhtar.

Tourist Guide

“What temple is this?”
“What fort is this?”
“Koh-i- Maran.”
“What place is this?”
“What is it famous for?”
“The slaughter of a ram.”


The simple villagers living in the metropolis hate the crafty city-dwellers because the crafty villagers living in the metropolis hate the simple city-dwellers.


“Man, I don’t know you.”
“Everybody knew me there.”
(The wages of separation is loss.)

Slain Leader

Soldier 1: ‘This is the funeral procession of some slain leader.’
Solider 2: ‘Kill him.’
And they killed the killed.


If there is a place on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.


Suddenly there was scarcity of small locks and small keys for the big gates and big doors.


“What did you do during the terrible times?”
“I paid.”

Operation Green

“Paint all the signboards green.”
“Because we want to live in the green-land.”


Those who fought for the country remained in the country.
Those who did not ght for the country migrated to the country.
“Like us.”

Hockey Match

The un-uniformed soldiers came with the hockey sticks and treated the people as balls.
Years after the un-uniformed boys reminded them of the match.


Student: “Sir, what does the abbreviation PoK stand for?”
Teacher: “Pandit Offered Kashmir!”


Some academicians compared the works of some exiled writers to those of Tennyson, Browning, Swift, T S Eliot, Herbert, Donne, Dryden, Orwell, Auden, Blake, Tagore, Lal Ded, Ruskin, Marlowe, Prem Chand, Chekov, Francis Thompson, Kahlil Gibran, Hardy, Tolstoy, O Henry, Chaucer, Maupassant, Saki, Thackeray, Agha Shahid Ali... Even Rambrandt, Vincent van Gogh and Picasso were mentioned.
They are the critics of The Postmodernist Migrants School.


There our village was a large family. Here the rule is:
“Your life is your life; my life is my life.”

Nature Verses Man

“Mr. Poet, what did you write all these years?”
“Verses about the weeping chinar and the bleeding river.”
“Anything about man?”
“I am still afraid of that man. That is why I please him.”


Don’t love your neighbour. Suspect him.
Love the distant enemy of your country.


People hooting, belching, spitting and beating tin cans were following the man clothed in a sack of jute. Nobody wanted to know who he was.

Two Days

19 January 1990: Cows Bridge, Srinagar, Kashmir.
21 January 1990: Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar, Kashmir.

The Only Solution

Young married couples:
First it was “we two and our two.”
Now it is “we two and our one.”
It should be “we two and our four.”
Certificates of Merit and mementos will be given to the deserving mothers.


They lost everything including their chains.

Akanandun (A folk tale)

Sage (After twelve years): “Get me Akanandun, woman.”
Mother of Akanandun (Smiling): “Jogi, they killed him.”
The sage left in rage. There was a gunshot.
Courtesy: Maharaj Krishen Santoshi


Our ingenuity at coining nicknames was affected.
Our ingenuity at coining nicknames was sharpened.

Record Player

My record player always plays my favourite song:
watan hamara azad kashmir


“What will be the symbol on the flag of independent Kashmir?”
“A round peg in a holey square.”

Symbol II

“What will be the symbol on the flag of Pandit Occupied Kashmir?”
“A hand pulling a leg.”


When the country defeated the country in the hockey match he ung a stone that smashed the windowpane.
When the country lost to the country in the cricket match he ung a stone that smashed the windowpane.
Moral: We lose, you are the target; we win, you are the target.


The intelligentsia, politicians, media personalities and think tank appear on the various channels. Their understanding of the Kashmir problem is amazing, brilliant and breathtaking. Their knowledge is amazing. It is brilliant. Knowledgeable geniuses!

Excerpted with permission from Gulliver in Kashmir: A Book Of Cameos, Arvind Gigoo, Notion Press.