A poetic response to ‘electoral politics’ in Kashmir: Tott, by Ather Zia

The poem, Tott (Beast of burden) is a historied poetic response to the ‘electoral politics’ in Kashmir



Kursi karnawan kaar hasa, kaar hasa hey
Maermondhh banan phyaar hasa, phyaar hasa hey

Tohi wanan may-yeh tuhnzi ye zahar kareh be nosh
Asli ratin sarkaar hasa, sarkaar hasa hey

Kashir-ren tae-rikh lori soraf andeh-wandeh te subuh shaam
Makar baneyi memaar hasa, memaar hasa hey

Kashirress badnass mye-ound saenrow-wukh, taa-neh taa-neh korukh ye paan
Oer-worr korukh bemaar hasa, bemaar hasa hey

Election naawi waa-laan wa-laan, ke-nith kheyekh ye Vyeath
Loleh sabzaras dyutukh naar hasa, naar hasa hey

Gashih roass aetchann, te naaweh ross kabran gyeadh karekh te Dilli trae-wekh daww
Beyi Oblah-joo ashkaar hasa, askhkaar hasa hey

Wann-heh be beyi, guzroew setha, kashirris daedess kateh logh thakh
Magar whatsappas bechares peyyi baar hasa, baar hasa hey


Stooge/Beast of Burden

The lure of power makes you spin the world; spin the world hey!
The coveted become ungainly; ungainly they become, hey!

They say, for your sake, they are drinking this poison
In reality all they want is to lord over you; lord over you, hey!

Kashmiris have been duped since long, morning and night
Hypocrites have become builders [of the nation]; builders of the nation, hey!

They have deepened the malaise, and dismembered the Kashmiri body
They sickened a healthy body; sickened a healthy body, hey!

They have duped us into sailing on the election-farce and sold the river Jehlum
They set the emerald green valley on fire; set it on fire, hey!

They stashed the blinded eyes, and unmarked graves and ran off to Delhi
It is Oblah-joo (Shiekh Abdullah) again; it is Oblah-joo again, hey!

I would say more, for we have suffered much, the agony of Kashmiris is unending
But poor Whatsapp will be burdened [banned]; banned it will be, hey!


Ather Zia is a political anthropologist working on militarization, gender and Kashmir. Currently she is a faculty at the Anthropology and Gender studies program at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley. She is also a poet, writes short fiction and is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit at www.kashmirlit.org.


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