06 March 2008

The Return of Kashmir Singh

I know everyone is avoiding mentioning his 'temporary conversion' to Islam. But I don't ignore things. I will boldly say from experience that you have no idea what you'll do in a difficult situation until you are in it. Thirty-five years is a long, long time to keep your wits about you in such a horrific condition. Who among us could have even maintained the will to live. Somehow Kashmir Singh Ji managed to remain in Chardi Kala!
I also need to express my admiration of his stalwart, determined wife, Paramjit Kaur. Now there is a true Iron Lady.

And I note his first stop in his home village was to his home gurdwara.


Vikram Choudhury

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 (Hoshiarpur)

It looked like a victory procession, but it actually was homecoming for former Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh after 35 years of captivity.

He was delighted to be with family and people from neighbouring villages were more than happy to join in the celebrations.

On Tuesday afternoon he walked across the Wagah border after years of solitary confinement in various Pakistani jails.

And when he reached his village in Hoshiarpur, a gurudwara was his first stop. It was the place he used to visit daily as a child.

It was time for reunion with one of his childhood friends.

''We still remember the days when we used to play together and get maize and sugarcane from the field and enjoy,'' said Darshan Singh, Friend.

Then it was Singh's turn to show us that his teeth were still good enough to enjoy sugarcane, which he used to have in his village.

While in Pakistan he missed his village, his family, his friends and the sugarcane fields. Now it's time to make up for lost time.

''I missed all this. I used to have sugarcane, now I can have it again as my teeth are still intact,'' said Kashmir Singh.

His village celebrated through the night, a night that has come after years of wait.

Kashmir Singh is back and it is time to celebrate.

Even people from neighbouring villages came to celebrate. Kashmir Singh is also enjoying his old village life, meeting his friends and doing what he missed in Pakistan.

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