I was born with a golden spoon. With twinkling eyes, a wide jawline, unfolding my arms wide in the East and West, the most magnificent baby I was. But my wealth and beauty became my curse as I couldn’t escape the vile eyes of the ‘White Raiders’. My parents killed, my family
trapped and maimed, I was their hostage. They clipped my golden wings, took my jewels, dug my resources, and enslaved my people. For 200 years I was tortured at their hands.

United by love and brotherhood, my people freed me. A free bird again, not a golden one though. But with freedom, I was blessed with 14 children and 5 babies and later, with many more precious ones. They were my life and soul. All adorned with a beautiful language of their own, a different fashion sense, a different taste but they all loved me immensely. However, my
twin beauties- J&K- were always the troubled ones. Famously said to be as splendid as the heavens above, but always wild, hardly at peace and eyed by the neighbor lady to claim them as hers. The lady and I used to be friends but for years we fought over the question over whose twins they were. All the forces in the world failed to settle the dispute.

Embracing my motherhood I took them in permanently to protect them. I had to bifurcate them so as to name them my own. Today I celebrate the first birthday of my children — Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Still inherently troubled, I hope the playmaker’s attention is drawn and where one child’s temple is being established, another child of mine is freed from camouflaged bloodshed. Rights are restored, internet is gifted, and peace reigns. May they find their home again within us without rendering its people homeless.

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