Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It's hard to know where home is.
We took the high road over the mountains through Kishtawar to get back to Srinagar. There was snow on the mountains and horses drinking water from small puddles. I took pictures of all of the sheep. They were either sleeping or running away from me and many of them looked genuinely offended that I caught them off guard.

Whenever we go through Kishtawar my parents have to visit the shrine or they have bad dreams. We stay in the same bungalow every time and sit and have salt tea and pastries. In the shrines there is a small closed room with what I assume are the coffins of the saints, and we give our salaams and pray for them. There are tiny colored rags on a large stick and around other places in the room that represent prayers of people that pass through, like a wig of wishes. I did not wish for anything but there are a lot of things I could have wished for.

I wish I could learn about ships and dinosaurs and birds and planets. In Doda the sky looks like a planetarium. I wish I could spend time studying the stars, those tiny hole punches in the sky piercing through dark matter, maybe halfway between the earth and the spiritual realm. My brother says shooting stars are huge balls of fire aiming for the djinn hovering over the earth trying to overhear the angels talking about us and that's how fortune tellers know what is going to happen. Like a video game. I like this theory and so I believe in it.

I can see myself building a house here. With a swingset just like this.