Dr. Sadia Raval, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Mumbai
A disconnected-Disjointed Report of Impressions
‘The love affair started tenderly: a warm hug, a lightless night, a dim lantern, the resonating trickle of streams and whispers of footfalls. I had reached Peth-Bugh (Anantnag) tired, after two long and extremely hot journeys. The cool still air was a respite. As I stepped out of the car, a strange good feeling set in. Someone hugged me. My bags were taken. Four or five hands gently caught my wrist- some strongly holding me, responsibly; others, shyly, just touching. Some more hands slowly joined in. Someone ahead held the lantern, so I could see my feet and some more feet. There wasn’t any electricity and so there weren’t any faces. Soon I started getting comfortable in this strange lightless, faceless walk of sounds and touches. I too caught their hands, letting down my guard- trusting them to guide me through the damp mud and unsteady planks that served as footbridges over the trickling water’.
‘As we reached Basera-e-Tabassum, the Home, gaslights were put on, some more candles and lanterns were lit and the world became a place of faces again. The magic did not dissipate. The enchantment only grew. Twenty brilliant curious faces and forty gleaming eyes slowly appeared and disappeared behind veils, curtains, doors, leaving behind them images of giggles and faint sounds of smiles’.
‘The days that followed, went by wondering, working, observing, discussing and doing a whole lot of things in the midst of smiles and hugs and kisses. When the last time work was rewarded like this, I cannot remember. Everything seemed more integrated. It was as though the self was binding with and diluting within the larger, more comprehensive whole of the place. The sense of individuality seemed comfortably less significant. Even the heart and mind seemed to suddenly get along well. The concerns of the place seemed real and worry-deserving.
In Kashmir, there is a sense of solace and purpose, even in worrying….’