‘Two Lines’ that Make it First Longest Poem from Kashmir

Saima Bhat

Srinagar: Using their IT skills and love for literature, two Kashmiri software developers working with a multinational company are about to publish first longest poem from Kashmir. The poem is their way of ‘protest’ against the Kashmir killings.

Abdul Wajid and Obaid Darwaish did number of brainstorming sessions before thought of collecting a couplet—two lines—from any Kashmir loving person including writers, columnists, journalists, activists and others. The duo wants to publish the verses in the form of a book.

“It is going to be our tribute to the cause,” Wajid says.

They came with an idea when the duo sitting in their overseas offices were getting “disturbed” with the situation back home.

“Every day we are seeing deaths and hundreds of youth getting injured,” Wajid says. “It is very disturbing for any Kashmiri working, living outside. We were not able to sleep for three days at least. I can understand the helplessness, desperation among people. I have witnessed it in 2010. Besides, only we Kashmiris can feel each others’ pain.”

In their restive phase, they wanted to contribute in any constructive way—but, not in a conventional way. It was then an idea of longest poem stuck them.

The longest poem, Wajid says, will be first of its kind from Kashmir. “Initially we thought we’ll close down submissions once we reach 10,000 lines, but due to internet blockade in Kashmir, we feared ending up at 1,000 lines only.”

To begin with, the IT duo invited around 14 prominent authors who are linked to Kashmir. They used personal contacts. But to their disappointment, only a few responded. It was then, they made it public with some guidelines.

“We could have kept it open but we wanted a poem in proper structure, in rhythmic form,” says Wajid, who has so far published 632 lines from more than 255 authors on their website http://www.last2lines.com/.

Once published, Wajid says, the concept can be useful for signature campaigns for various social issues. “At the end of the day we will get a number of people. It is like a beautiful painting brushed by various artists.”

But recently, the website was down for one day.

“We couldn’t trace the glitch,” says Wajid, “but I believe it was from authorities.”