TM Krishna’s Recitation Of ‘Postcard From Kashmir’ Will Leave You In Tears
"When I return, the colours won't be so brilliant, the Jhelum's waters so clean, so ultramarine."
In the backdrop of the plight of Kashmiris right now, few works of art fit better than Agha Shahid Ali’s iconic poem Postcard From Kashmir. The Kashmiri-American’s work, however, has found a powerful new form.
Kashmiris today live in uncertainty. Their laws have been changed without their consent. Their home has been torn into two, and their voices have been muzzled. In the voice of Carnatic musician and writer TM Krishna, with the sounds of unreachable phones in the background, Shahid Ali’s words on being unable to return “home” feel gutwrenching.
Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,
my home a neat four by six inches.
I always loved neatness. Now I hold
the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.
This is home. And this the closest
I’ll ever be to home. When I return,
The colours won’t be so brilliant,
The Jhelum’s waters so clean,
So ultramarine. My love
And my memory will be a little,
Out of focus, in it
A giant negative, black
And white, still undeveloped.