The Rhapsody of Kashmir, his fifth collection of poetry, Kashmiri American poet, Maharaj Kaul, describes Kashmir, the land of his ancestors, after the civil war of 1989. He saw the wanton destruction of human beings and homes, milieu and culture. He laments:
The clandestine evil schemes of 80’s
Hatched in our neighbor country
Coalesced into one infernal insane fire in ’89,
Destroying the finely woven culture of a millennia in the valley,
Disturbing the tranquility of a million years among the mountains.
A friend turned into a murderer,
A neighbor into an arsonist;
A community acquiesced to become an army.
An angelic valley became a death valley –
All in the name of God and religion.
(From the poem “Roots.”)
In his preface to the book he writes:
“The ongoing political crises in Kashmir, born in 1947, has mutilated the soul of Kashmir. The political heroes of the crises have no idea of the damage they have done to it. It will take a long time before the soul of Kashmir is healed,….”
But Maharaj Kaul has a hope that one day Kashmir will be reborn:
“But the idea of Kashmir is still not dead,
There is hope, in fact, a dream, that one day it will be reborn
And reconnect with its past glory.
Then we will not mourn the lost time,
But celebrate man’s infinite resilience,
To forget, to forgive, to recreate, and move on.”
(From the poem “The Shattered Dream of Kashmir”)