This World Below Zero Fahrenheit: Travels in the Kashmir Valley


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On 5 August 2019, Suhas Munshi was returning to Srinagar from a visit to legendary poet Habba Khatoon’s relic in Gurez, when an unprecedented curfew was imposed upon Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 370 was abrogated. Through his travels and conversations with people across the Valley, Munshi tries to give a sense of what that moment has meant to the common Kashmiri.
This insightful travelogue breaks away from the clichéd view of Kashmir, one that sees it either as an earthly paradise or a living hell. It takes you to unexpected places, into the homes of poets, playwrights and street performers; to a heartwarming Christmas service with the minuscule Christian community in Baramulla; and inside the barricaded city of Srinagar’s football stadium, which is a lively refuge for the elderly and their memories of a glorious past. Over three weeks, for fear of being abandoned in a harsh terrain, Munshi struggles to keep up with a group of Bakarwal nomadic shepherds as they make their way from Srinagar to Jammu over the mighty Pir Panjal mountains. And he finds a lone Pandit family living in a decrepit ghost colony in Shopian, the hub of militancy in Kashmir.
This World below Zero Fahrenheit presents a portrait of a people who’ve been overshadowed by the place they live in, even as it ruminates on the idea of home and exile.

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