Under this Chinar, where I lay dying—is dead my whole nation. My family and friends and all my dear ones. There, under this Chinar is the unmarked grave of my Shaheed Moul. Under this Chinar, deep there—is sleeping my half widow Mouj. There, buried are the tortured limbs of my missing Bhai Jaan. There lies, deep underground, the mutilated pure body of my raped Khaani’mouj Benni.
There under this Chinar is inhumed my brutal history. To read it, never go near—don’t even dare; your pure heart won’t handle. These peaceful eyes will dry up like burning deserts.
We have colored crimson—the leaves of this Chinar, with our pure, warm and red blood. Under this Chinar are decaying my dreams, my helpless hopes, my ambiguous future.
This old, frozen Chinar is cursed. The spells mixed with mutilated virgin hearts and old honest tears are guarding it—day and night.
On the branches, is hanging my childhood — dying. Falling with the leaves is my youth. With aging barks, aging is my adulthood. You don’t survive to see the old age, if you’re lucky.
Under this Chinar are my stories, my poems, my sonnets and songs —suffocating!
Under this Chinar is my voice, being lynched to death by the cruel silence.
I tried to call for help. I cried. I shouted! I did. I swear, I did until my vocal chords gave up.
Under this Chinar are my cries, my sighs— echoing the immortal pain, bursting out in the cold dark nights.
Under this Chinar are the eyes—waiting for the beloved ones. The kohl mixed with the tears, painting black devilish entities on the apple-red cheeks.
Under this Chinar is my love, waiting for my return; cursing every second of being left alone. It has been years and she won’t believe I am dead. They buried my bruised body under the same Chinar, while she was asleep—dreaming my safe return.
Under this Chinar is this Lokut Mokut T`chur, waiting for his father to return with the toy, he wept himself to sleep for, last night.
Under this Chinar is my peace wailing and mourning like the crazy old lunatics in an abandoned asylum.
Under this Chinar is my smile, my laugh and happiness, wandering like a sad child lost in a fair.
Under this Chinar is my intellect begging for insanity.
Under this Chinar are all my emotions, wishing for the doomsday.
Under this Chinar is my disturbed death waiting for peace.
Under this Chinar is a mother murmuring a name. Whose name? She herself doesn’t even remember anymore.
Under this Chinar is my ink cursing my courage.
This is a haunted Chinar—old and frozen in time. Always crimson. Always thirsty for blood. Never green. Never.
Under this Chinar grows evergreen hopelessness and desperation, surrounded by grey flowers of pain and grief.
And look, we still love this Chinar with all the love we have. Look!
We fight with all the might we have left. We fight with those who want to burn this haunted and cursed Chinar down. What kind of creatures we are!
Surrounded by this dark-grey horrible fog, we still pray for the shine to prevail upon this Chinar. We hope!
Under this Chinar, are piles and piles of crushed bones of our heroes. And still we won’t let our enemies to defeat us. Never.
No matter how haunted, how cursed—this Chinar belong to us. We cherish this Chinar with our blood, bones, flesh, soul and with whatever there was to sacrifice.
Every frozen crimson leaf, shining under the Sun—is witness to our sacrifice.
Dim, faint or blurry, yes— bruised and scary, too. But this is our identity —this Chinar.
Whatever lies there, beneath this Chinar, it is and always will be—the keeper of our scars.
Nadeem is a poet based in Kashmir.