Inteqaam

In 2022, after intense negotiations, the Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to hold a referendum in Jammu & Kashmir. Armies on both sides retreated to allow peaceful resolution of the dispute.

However, the separatists in the state, led by the veteran leader Sajjad Lone capitalised on the lacuna and quickly grabbed hold of the power with the help of local militia and declared independence for United Kashmir.

After a few weeks of fighting, the armies of the two nations regained control of the state. Many leaders of the separatist movement, including Sajjad Lone escaped to China, where they lived the rest of their lives in misery, most of them marrying poor local women to palliate the Communist Party’s suspicions.

Descendants of the separatists grew up in a confusing environment. The land of their ancestors had disowned them. The land of their birth didn’t want them. Sajjad’s grandson, Inteqaam, was one of them.

Inteqaam was a despondent purposeless man, afflicted by a rare condition of the heart. He didn’t have long to live. One day when he was contemplating suicide an extremely bright light shone in his face.

“Don’t give up yet, Inteqaam!” boomed a voice. ”Your God is here! Don’t be afraid. Just follow my instructions and your life will have an aim. Reach People’s Square at 7 in the morning. You’ll find a man named Phil. I want you both to close your eyes and walk together southwards until you feel my presence” The light disappeared, leaving a dumbfounded Inteqaam trying to make sense of what he had seen.

In the morning, Inteqaam reached the People’s Square. There indeed was a Chinese man named Phil waiting for him. The two of them closed their eyes and started walking southwards alongside each other like they had been instructed to. They walked for a long distance but nothing happened. Finally Inteqaam gave up. He opened his eyes and shouted at the sky.

“Show me the meaning of being Lone-Lee!
Is this the Phil Ling I need to walk with?
Tell me why I can’t be there where you are?
There’s something missing in my heart!”

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