They found the old man dead in his torn tent with a pack of chilled milk pressed against his right cheek. It was our first June in exile, and the heat felt like a blow in the back of the head. His neighbour, who discovered his lifeless body in the refugee camp, recalled later that he had found his Stewart Warner radio on, playing an old Hindi film song:
Aadmi musafir hai
Aata hai, jaata hai
(Man is a traveller
He comes, he goes)
From “Our Moon Has Blood Clots” (Random House India)
Read an excerpt published in The Hindu
Another in the Open Magazine
Praise for the book:
This powerful and moving book throws a sharp new light onto one of the most tragic conflicts in the modern world. As a young boy, Rahul Pandita was exiled from his native Kashmir. Now, twenty years later, he returns to the prelude and aftermath of his exile, narrating his family’s tortuous journeys with great sensitivity and skill. Every paragraph of this compelling memoir rings deeply true – Ramachandra Guha
“Pandita’s book is a firm rejoinder to the act of forgetting…an act of defiance”: India Today
“A very powerful story…I will be glad to make it into a film”: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, acclaimed filmmaker (Watch Vinod talking about the book here)
“Pages so strong that you keep reading”: HINDUSTAN TIMES
“…offers an important diagnostic moment into our political culture that is comfortable only with pure victims and pure aggressors with no tolerance for complexity of any kind”: THE INDIAN EXPRESS
“…brings a much-needed credibility to this unacknowledged episode of our recent history”: MUMBAI MID-DAY
“…Makes for difficult reading”: DNA
“…a riveting and deeply disturbing account of the recent history of conflict-ridden Kashmir”: SEMINAR
“…essential reading for any student of the Kashmir issue… Challenging monochromatic clichés that romanticise the myth of a culturally and communally homogenous Kashmiri society”: BUSINESS STANDARD
The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality of the Indian state, and the pro-independence demands of separatists. But there is another part of the story that has remained unrecorded and buried.
“Our Moon Has Blood Clots” is the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir, in which it was purged of the Kashmiri Pandit community in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants. Hundreds of people were tortured and killed, and about 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country.
Rahul Pandita has written a deeply personal, powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rahul-Pandita/242973239186121?ref=hl
Kindle version available here