I crescendoed my voice, loud and clear
Waiting for the mountains to respond to and mimic the shrill in my voice.
I run across the gravel road, wide enough for two people to strut along,
The mustard plants greeting me as I skip and breathe in the faint smell of freshly cut grass,
A delightful, sweet treat for the cattle, stowed away for the upcoming ruthless winter.
I crane my neck to scour for the familiar wisps of smoke coming from the chimneys in the
Nearby kothis (huts),
A sign of preparations underway for the evening supper, a feast decorated with makki di roti
(bread of maize) and homemade butter, freshly strained from buttermilk gifted by the cattle.
Beautiful, golden honey served alongside noon chai (pink tea), the perfect accompaniment
To give the day a rest.
As the sun hides behind the mighty peaks of the Karakoram range,
the mountains cast a shadow over the sheltered valley,
Promising to protect her children who found refuge in her colossal boundaries.
The children usher the tyres with their sticks inside the house as nightfall approaches,
Climbing its way across the lofty peaks,
embedding itself into the crevices and coveting the valley softly below.
I steal glances with the nightly sky,
speckled with stars so bright as though a child using glitter had unleashed her complete creativity.
As I pan across the sky, my awestruck thoughts at the glimpses of marvel are interrupted by hoots of a distant owl and the incessant flow of the Kishanganga river,
Harbouring waters from falling tears of melting glaciers and gushing hot geysers.
Quietness blankets the lush green pastures as darkness sheathes every house,
a reminder to onlookers of the aloof shrieks that lose their way amidst the mountains.
To this heaven, demarcated with barbed wires, I give my last breath.
Let the tulips graze every conscience till the tugging of sleeves, at last, pulls them to gape in full view at the valley in between the mountains.