Javed Latoo – A forgotten country


Dr. Javed Latoo is a UK based senior clinician, honorary lecturer, and a medical Editor. In his spare time, Dr. Latoo writes poetry.

His poems have been published in literary and medical journals. His first collection of poems is Gushing Fountain: A Collection of Poems (2015).

A forgotten country

The country without a post office- Agha Shahid Ali

Dear friend
I am writing from Kashmir,
A forgotten country
Both by God and humanity.
It is 11th day of curfew,
Fresh wave of protests,
Smoked air, desperation,
Echoes of bullet shots,
Pellet guns,
Ambulance sirens and
Our new season of death has arrived.

Mobile phone networks
Are shut.
Without the internet
It is like living with asthma.
TV, a modern day Deity, is now
A dusted mute box in the corner.
Newspapers are banned
For the fear of reporting the truth.
I stare at deserted roads with
A maze of stray dogs,
Burning tyres,

Stones, tree branches and
Gun-wielding forces
Sketched by hands of a conflict.
I almost forgot to mention a Shikara ride
Interiors of Dal Lake.
There are no tourists here now.
They have all fled to plains.
Leaving us behind,

Mountain locked
At the mercy of 700,000
Trigger-happy forces.
No outsider can witness our slaughter
Hear us cry
See our meadows turning crimson.
As we rowed through
Lotus plants covering nervous waters,
Bang, noise of tear gas shells
Reverberated from Zabarwan.

Today I saw soldiers patrolling in
Motorised boats,
Watching over waters,
Perhaps to monitor
Lotus flowers, weed and fish.
They suspect everything here.
We are watching with
Million eyes
For an Attic hand to rescue us.

On 19th July in Kashmir

1. Kashmir – Indian Administered Kashmir
2. Shikara is a boat.
3. Zabarwan is the name of a mountain.

Copyright© Dr Javed Latoo 2016

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