Archive | July 13, 2011

“Death of a Legend”

Dreams are an essence of life. Some are so important that we pledge to live for them and some change into a nightmare so scary that we wish we even never had dreamt about. But what happens when a nightmare turns into a reality haunting you for the rest of your life? That’s an experience shared by a son who saw his father being stabbed in the back in his dream and just like any other human being he shrugged it away thinking it was just a nightmare till that nightmare changed into a shattering dark reality which haunts him till date when on 14th July 2003 he found out that his father has died in mysterious circumstances while on a train journey from Jammu to Delhi. That day not was only a tragedy of magnanimous extent for a son who lost his father to the cruel fate but also for the entire state as they lost a legend. The Legend ‘Ghulam Nabi Sheikh’ still remembered as Mehdi Hassan of Kashmir whose voice echoes in every nook and corner of the valley died leaving behind a mystery still unsolved about his tragic death.


On that fateful night the noted singer was traveling along with his daughter and a friend to Delhi from Jammu via Shalimar Express. In the middle of the night his daughter woke up to find that he was missing from his berth. Worried she woke up her father’s friend and asked about her missing dad. He went around looking for Sheikh but couldn’t find him on the train. They reported the matter to GRP (General Railway Police) and the police assured them that he might have missed a train at a short stop they made as most passengers do. After reaching Delhi his daughter contacted the family back home about Sheikh being missing who in turn shot SOS to all the concerned authorities. After a frantic search it was informed to them that a dead body with a badly severed face has been found on the rail tracks by Mukerian Police, a part of Punjab. When one of the family members went to the Mukerian Police station to claim his body and to his utter shock he was told that the body was already cremated a few hours earlier. He was handed over the photograph of the dead body, a light blue Khan Suit, a silver ring and slippers Sheikh was wearing on that night. All this happened in the span of 14 hrs of him being missing.


What puts the question mark on Sheikhs death is the way the entire case was handled by the Punjab Police. Usually an unidentified dead body is to be kept for 72 hours in a morgue and if still unclaimed can be cremated as per law. But Sheikhs body was cremated in just 14 hrs. A high level inquiry initiated by Punjab Police terming his death as an accident was rejected by the Honorable Chandigarh High Court citing loop holes in the report and ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter. Initially the Government of Jammu and Kashmir also took up the matter with Punjab Government after which action was initiated by suspending two police constables of railway police for hurriedly cremating the body. Eight years have passed since then but till now the case has still not been closed as claimed by the family. The family alleges that Sheikh was murdered by the Railway Police Personnel as he had an altercation with them before and couple of them had even threatened him of dire consequences. The fact of the matter being whether Sheikh was murdered or did actually died an accidental death can only be proven by an impartial inquiry but even CBI has been callous in their approach towards the inquiry. Since 2007 when the CBI took over this case and till now the family has not been kept in the loop of the progress they have made. Four long years have passed and the hope family had of impartial probe conducted by CBI is slowly but surely diminishing.


A man of such a tall social stature who was a dream and inspiration of many young artists and notable singers, on whose name even the State Government has conferred an Award for young talent, whose immense contribution towards Sufism through his gazals not only made him popular in Jammu and Kashmir but also in the rest of the country died in such a mystery that needs to be unraveled not only for the sake of his family  who he left behind but also for every Kashmiri in whose heart he still lives and on whose tongue his melodious words still rhyme. On his eighth death anniversary the real tribute a whole state can pay to Ghulam Nabi Sheikh will be by asking and ensuring that the mystery shrouding his death can be unraveled so that his family can find the justice and closure they are so desperately seeking and his soul can always rest in peace.





There have been stories- stories about brave, stories about heroes, stories about those who conquered the world and about those who died in pursuit of their beliefs and stories about those who disappeared wandering in the wild looking for their true north. No matter what all of them achieved there was still a void somewhere in the heart, a thirst for more and a desire to achieve, to feel contended. Many people perished simply because they couldn’t draw lines between desires and reality and many left disappointed with the thought of maybe we could have achieved more.
Be it Napoleon or Hamilton both strong powerful men able to shake empires and hearts at their will but both gullible deep within in front of a woman who had beauty as an armour to pierce the brave hearts and make them bend on the knees at her will. Both claimed it as love as fierce as a storm yet very gentle to touch hearts and make them yield.
But was it really love or was it just a desire to conquer again the most beautiful thing in their eyes in the world. What is love and where do u find it? Is it in the physical beauty of a person or does it lie deep within hidden in the heart and body somewhere or does it fly freely like a soul ? Many questions creep up and ensue many discussions but never ever it ends up on one conclusion. There are agreements and disagreements and then there is denial.
Most common of all the sayings is that “If you really love a person let it go, if he comes back he is yours and if he doesn’t he never was”. But is it necessary that only if a person is with you all your life it qualifies for true love . The question in my mind comes- is love also conditional or is free of any conditions? Does love means living within a boundary or is there no boundary, does love lives freely or in chains. What is that every human craves for in love? Is it being happy all life or is misery being attached afflicting self-pain. Can we fall in love simultaneously with the body and the mind or is it we love one body and start loving another mind. What’s so intriguing about relationships, the complexity within or the desire outside? If love is all about the heart as everyone says then why we apply minds later. If love is just about physical intimacy then why there is lust and if it is just about mental compatibility then why is there loyalty and if it’s amalgamation of both then why is it betrayal. Does love also play by the rulebooks or are there no bounding rules?
Its hard to conclude what love really is but yes nothing in life gives a feeling more satisfying than being free. Love for me neither has a boundary nor has any conditions. It is not something we hold on to all our lives and neither can we live without it. It comes and it goes free as a bird and pure as a soul. We look around all the time searching when will we experience it and when will be it ours but its like a wind which comes and goes from our life. Can we feel contended with what we had or what we going to get and if not can we let that thing go and be in pursuit till we find it whether till eternity or till sometime. I just want to ask you what love for you is and what you really desire?