Why did you wait so long to write this book?
This is the first book I ever wanted to write. And every time I visited Kashmir, that resolve only strengthened. In the past few years, the anger at how our story has been ignored has only risen.
But this book is not a result of that anger. This book is a result of helplessness arising out of that anger.
What were your feelings about visiting home for the first time after you decided to write the book? How much did the lies and truth you heard disturb you, every time you visited Kashmir?
It was traumatic to visit my home, despite the fact that I had been regularly coming to Kashmir. It was only in the year 2007 that I could muster the courage to visit home. The lies and truths are all there and so, it's been a difficult book and took so much time to write. Also, I was not sure what form this story should take. I was also aware that this story can't be told again and again; that I'll get only one chance to tell this. That is why it took time.
Image: A scene from the Mishriwala refugee camp at Jammu in 1991
Picture copyright: Vijay Koul. Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.