My friend Mohin is an unusual man. He is generous, complex, and a genius. Dreamland is a place he runs.
Due to his intelligence, many are unable to really get him. His parents died in his youth. He inherited a small house in a small village surrounded by beauty. He inherited a small piece of land for his family to farm.
He has been away from his family for more than three decades — albeit he visits them regularly. I admire and understand him. His mother, children, wife, family, all his friends who are staff — he is also trying to hire me but I’m not from here and my Hindi is insufficient — and most people who are staff for him here and there love him.
One time, India increased restrictions on the region of Kashmir.
India has been (mildly in comparison but using the same horrible strategies of domination) oppressing Kashmir and restricts communications to keep the small independent region (it is in truth a small rich intelligent country threatened by three neighboring bullies — Pakistan, China, and India) controlled.
It used to be an agreement of equality. The ruler of India at the time agreed when the ruler of Kashmir and he made a commitment to join forces in protecting the borders against their mutual neighbor Pakistan. Unfortunately, India started to bully Kashmir, and the trust is broken. The treaty was one that came from prosperity of heart: Kashmir is a land of compassion and egalitarian attributes. They inherited from their ancestors a richness of spiritual wealth, mental clarity, and business acumen. They act — mostly — in fairness and honesty toward each other. They are guided by their spirituality to act as ONE. It made sense to join forces to protect this wealth, their inheritance: the beauty of their rich and successful culture.
Currently there is martial law in Kashmir. Maybe Covid taught me to endure something that is difficult for a citizen who grew up with freedom during peaceful times and in a successful democracy, which is to stay relentlessly inside during martial enforcement. As a foreign woman visiting friends, I must comply. The majority of locals take it, according to their faith, peacefully.
It is new to my insight that even great treaties can be broken. This horrible truth relieves my guilt about having entered a broken agreement trusting which I am lying dead. It must be too unfathomable that bullies run this place called Earth. How could I not know before? It is constantly in our news! If there is no one there to enforce a treaty, bullies continue to get their way. Just the news doesn’t make that part explicit.
To put pressure on Kashmir, one time India had temporarily martially closed the borders to the region. No one could enter, and no one could exit. Mohin had gone to see his wife and children. Mohin was stuck! His income comes from him being present in Simla. He had the knowledge and necessary relationships to leave Kashmir and go on to live and earn his money for his wife and children.
Mohin speaks some Arabic. Of course, he speaks Kashmiri, which is not Arabic at all except the language is written in Arabic characters, and knows Urdu, a version of Hindi, perhaps a linguist would call it “high Hindi”, written in characters akin to Arabic. It is taught in school to everyone in India. He is fluent in Hindi, and his English has become close to perfect since we have been friends. I met him when it was less perfect although already very advanced in comparison to other Indians and Kashmiri. He lets go of grudges, hurt, and anger toward those who harm him yet he stands firm because he follows the enlightened prophet Mohammed in his heart and his thinking process.