KASHMIR VIOLENCE

Danish Ismail / Reuters

The Kashmiri In The Barber’s Shop

We sat in the barber’s shop, listening to the cheerful melody of “Humko sirf tumse pyaar hai.” Then the music abruptly stopped and a news bulletin filtered into the room: some policemen and militants had been killed in Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch region. The bodybuilder suddenly erupted with anger: “Kashmiris are such motherfuckers! They are bad people. They fight against their own country.” I then realized two things: the bodybuilder was drunk and that the man sitting next to him happened to be a Kashmiri.