I am

Who am I?

A question, I could’ve answered without any inhibitions or a trace of wariness in my standard cheerful tone only a few weeks ago. Now, I’m not so sure.

Am I who the trolls think I am?

Am I what the media portrayed me as?

Am I what those celebrities think of me?

No, I can’t be any of that. That girl you saw flashing all over your television screens, holding a placard in hand, eyebrows raised, gaze fixed at the tiny round lens of a cellphone camera, definitely looked like me. The intensity of her thoughts that reflected in the picture definitely had traces of me. She looked fiery, I relate to that but then the ‘Breaking news headlines’ told a different story. The headlines were not me.

Martyr’s daughter

Martyr’s daughter

Martyr’s daughter

I’m my father’s daughter. I’m my Papa’s Gulgul. I’m his doll. I’m a 2-year-old artist who did not understand words but understood stick figures, which he drew in letters addressed to me. I’m my mother’s headache, her opinionated, reckless, moody child- a reflection of her. I’m my sister’s guide to pop culture and her sparring partner before the big matches. I’m also the girl who sits on the first bench during lectures with intentions of interrupting the teacher and starting fiery debates on everything and anything, just because literature is more fun that way. My friends’ sort-of-kind-of like me, I’m hoping. They say my humor is dry but works on certain days (I can live with that). Books and Poetry are my solace.

A bibliophile, the library at home is over flooding, and my biggest concern for the last few months has been on how to convince Mom to let me shift her lamps and picture frames to create another shelf.

I’m an idealist. An athlete. A peacenik. I’m not your angry, vindictive war mongering bechari you hoped me to be. I don’t want war because I know its price; it’s very expensive. Trust me I know better because I’ve paid it everyday. Still do. There is no bill for it, maybe if there was, some wouldn’t hate me so much. Numbers make it more believable.

The news channel polls screaming, “IS GURMEHAR’S PAIN RIGHT OR WRONG?”, with a certain vote ratio as a result makes so much more sense to us normal public.

And hey! What’s the value of our suffering in front of that? If 51% people think I’m wrong, then I must be wrong. In that case, God knows who’s polluting my mind.

Papa is not here with me; he hasn’t been for 18 years. My limited vocabulary of about 200 words, learnt new words called death, war and Pakistan on the days following august 6th, 1999. For obvious reasons it did take me a few years to actually understand the implied definition of them. I say implied because, honestly, does anyone even know their true meaning? I live it and I’m still trying to figure it out especially in the sense of the world.

My father’s a martyr but I don’t know him as that. I know him as the man who wore big cargo jackets with pockets full of sweets, whose stubble scratched my nose every time he kissed my forehead, teacher who taught me how to sip from a straw and introduced me to chewing gum. I know him as my father. I also know him as the shoulder my tiny self clung to extremely tightly hoping if I held him strongly enough he won’t go. He went. He just didn’t come back.

My father is a martyr. I’m his daughter.

But.

I am not your “Martyr’s Daughter”.

171 thoughts on “I am

  1. Why are you doing this to me Gurmehar? I am not interested in your life even a bit. However, it seems that the people in my softskills class are. I already have a hundreds of topics to prepare for the group discussion (yes, I do get marks for that) and with each of your post, chances are that I will have to dig more into your life. I am really fed up with all this. So, it’s a humble request from my side that don’t make any headlines until I am done with my exam😒

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  2. Hi
    It is hard to define anyone cause one knows oneself better than anyone in this world but being humanitarian but there are events which are obnoxious in nature which can change oneself inside out.You have been a subject of lampoon in previous days.This will turn you something else.For me there had been nightmare which became truth changed me a lot .I can tell you this from my personal experience

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  3. Dear, Gurmehar,
    I liked your skills at writing.That’s the strength of your ilk.

    You may not be interested in war.
    The war is interested in you.
    Period.

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  4. Beautifully written. You remind me of the bonhomie which happened online between an Israeli and an Iranian and there is a famous TED talk on that. Unfortunately, people in all Countries across the world are bound by their separate identities. It is just not India and Pakistan but also US Vs Mexico, Russia Vs Ukraine, Azerbaijan Vs Armenia etc. Every Country has its enemy but no Country Its people like you who make more sense then war mongers. A true nationalist is the one who has the courage to talk about peace. You are someone who speaks her mind and I admire you for that!

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  5. It is so amazing whatever you did. Takes a huge amount of strength for sure. I hope things are better for you now and I really hope you dont stop speaking what you feel and stand up to everything that is wrong. It was really intelligent how you handled everything really. More power to you girll!

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  6. Dear Gurmehar, your courage and wisdom are impressive. You join the proud group of Indian women who show what it is to understand the complexity of politics and media that controls the lives and words of women and about women.

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    1. Beta b patient calm u r lovely daughter of India control yr emotions and live in yr world
      No body cares fr anybody gd bls u

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  7. I am an anti-war libertarian living abroad in the United States. This movement is very young in India and relatively young in the United States as well. I think that some free thinkers you would be interested in are Ron Paul, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and possibly Ayn Rand. It is very difficult to stand for peace amongst those who are blindly nationalist. Libertarians call those who think the state or nation is good “statists.” War does not solve any problems. It takes but it does not give.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gurmehar – for sure you don’t know me. I am just a common man from Delhi-NCR. I am not part of any political organization – and I walked in the rally that took place on DU Campus on 27th February – with thousands of DU students and other people who expressed their solidarity with you.

    I am not a “student” either – I completed my graduation in the last year of the last century, but of course, for any new and refreshing idea, I am still a student.

    You may not be able to read my name because you can’t read Bengali – it’s my pen-name “achal siki” or “khota sikka” you may call in Hindi. I run a blog in Bengali – though not much regularly, but on almost the same line of thought.

    I have read your posts published so far and also the write-up that came up in today’s HT. I would like to keep a translated Bengali version of each of your posts in my blog and share on my social network. Because I believe by using only English language you cannot reach out to the larger audience.

    Let me know if I can have your permission.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. what strong character you are baby and i feel sad when you on on starting curve of your adulthood you are facing such trolls and other embarrassment. Definitely we all indians are some or otherway responsible for your plight.I earnestly request my fellow Countrymen to be more rationale in at least keeping the dignity oour sisters and Mothers even if they feel it is not in teir line of Thinking.
    I am sure a strong character like you shall beat all this soon and wish you some good time ahead.

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  10. Dear, Gurmehar! Really liked ur introduction. The way u describe u & ur family, it was so lovable & sweet. Yes! U’r definitely right about wars. May be I dont share ur pain but believe me, I can understand it. B’coz I think I’m a patriot so somehow u r also related to me as an Indian. STILL, I can’t get it what made u use that popular phrase , u used in ur full statement,”Pakistan didn’t kill my father.”
    It raises some questions, let me ask u:
    1. Do u not agree that pak govt funds terrorism in India?
    2. Do u not believe our agencies which have been accusing pak gov for Indian terrorism?
    3. Do u think, Ur father died b’coz the war was started by India?
    4. Do u really feel that India doesn’t want peace but pak wants?
    If answer of these ques is NO by u, then let me tell u, this whole chaos by media was began only b’coz ur that phrase indicated the answer of my questions as YES. Thanku.

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  11. My dear Gurmehar Gurfateh Jeo
    I wish you very happy life and success.
    I am not a good writer but I will try to say what I want to say and I hope you will understand.
    First of all I ask you to be my granddaughter if you wouldn’t mind.
    I live in North America with my wife and three children who are very well settled in their profession. I am retired and so is my wife.
    I hope you will answer me before I start communicating with you further. My email dks44us@gmail.com
    Waiting for Your reply
    Daljit Singh

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  12. The courage & bravery you have shown in past days is just commendable.
    yes it was painful to see a young girl trying hard to explain that “war is not the solution” & so called achievers mocking & abusing her shamelessly. it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to take a stand specially in a society where thousands of frustrated folks & paid trolls are roaming to find easy target.

    More power to you
    keep shining & keep writing

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, that’s a lovely blog you have written out there! Myself being a blogger, I enjoyed reading it. Great that you are a reader of books. Books help you take your mind away from many things, and of course learning is a process that can never end! I love the flow of words in your blog, and the English you have used is simple enough for a layman to understand. By the way, I am sorry for your father. I believe you still miss him a lot but your strength in moving on with life is admirable. Keep it up!
    PS: One of the best places for books is The Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, if you don’t mind travelling that far! 😉

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  14. Gurmehar, it’s a matter of pride to me that I share my generation and youth period with unflinching people like you. Your views and thoughts elicited a lot of hideous responses, but never allow the, to muffle your tenacity and creativity. You have witnessed the response of only the immature minority, unfortunately the silent majority which surreptitiously celebrated your courage, remained silent. The dire necessity of this nation is the ‘De-silencing of the silent majority’. If we don’t work on it, nobody else will. We are an organisation which believes in redefining youth, and our complete appreciation and support is with you.

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  15. Fazal Aziz Wali
    From :Katkala,Buner,KPK, Pakistan.
    Indeed it’s the peace language that compel someone like me ‘a dushman’ to read your blog. Other wise it would not have possible. Love begits love. Hate ends up in Anger and Fights, Love on the other hand is a language of peace and harmony.
    Keep working for peace Gurmehar ma’am.
    May the peace win and the war lose.
    🕊🤝🌹🌅

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Gurmehar,
    Wow ! What a heart touching lines .I can say by now that you have the charisma to change the world .
    You never gave up on yourself .
    Your words are so priceless.
    You are great inspiration for me and every one. I agree with you . War is not an option .
    It is not the kind of message that we have to spread . War is not the way to change the world .
    Use knowledge , be kind to one another . I think kindness can bring the change .
    Why this hatred among ourselves. After all we all are human beings at the end of the day .
    Peace is just something which cannot be kept by force ,it can only be achieved by understanding.
    War does not determine who is right
    Finally hats off to you . You gave the answer to the question why be silent,raise your voice ? Please keep writing .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear Gurmehar,
    I really liked your views on war and peace. I do appreciate your concern and bold move to condemn who trolled you, but why can’t i see you now giving your opinion on mutilated bodies of our soldiers?
    There may be some other GURMEHAR KAUR who must have bolded her dad tight enough to not let him go but when he did he didn’t returned.
    Why don’t we see you condemning the attack on CRPF soldiers?
    Why are you silent on stone pelters of Kashmir and why didn’t you posted your pics holding placards when a security personal was kicked, slapped why some retarded stone pelters demanding their so called AAZADI from the very some country which feeds them, which provides them shelter, which gives them education and finally where they get a chance show their skills as being a stone Pelter..
    I too support peace but not on cost of the soldiers.
    Are you even seeing these or are just pretending not to see and react to this?
    From
    A fellow Indian, who supports the peace but opposes the politics and outrage on the soldiers.

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    1. Because you see these are things that I do have strong opinions about but is there anything that I say that can make a difference? Think about it, what does my writing an article or a post on all these issues do? It will get a few likes, it will get comments, it will be shared but will it help the situation there? No it wont. The only reason I spoke up for the issues that I did were because they directly concerned people around me and I knew if I speak up about them my voice will be heard. There are top writers and journalists and army generals giving thier opinion on everything above, so whatever I write will only be drowned. I’m not just somebody who writes or shares opinion because its the new cool thing or because its expected of me.
      Why I talk about peace?
      The video was launched last year where it critiques governments of both the countries. Had there be actions taken then today we wouldn’t have to see this day, had there not been a conflict with pak in the first place we wouldn’t have to loose men on a regular basis. My signature is not on the official documents so I cant do anything about it, my opinions are just words. So don’t send me these questions. Send the same questions to people who are in a position to actually do something about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fitting reply to this ignorant soul. These people see only one side of the coin. I did not see a single word of condemnation from him for the rape threats issued to you for putting that video out. Nor did I hear a single word of sympathy for what you have been through after the loss of your father. It must be a huge challenge having to deal with people like this Peeyush Raj everyday in your life, Gurmehar. But its great that you are eloquent in your replies to such people. Keep it up! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    2. @Peeyush Raj – FYI, just because one does not post a blog about the soldiers bodies being mutilated or stone pelting that does not mean they don’t care for it. You did NOT see her video fully and moreover you are showing your insensitivity towards someone who has lost a dear father and is now finding the strength to move on. What do you have to say about rape threats issued to this girl for just speaking her mind out, and government officials being silent about these things? What do you have to say about the murderous lunatic so-called “cow vigilantes” ? I can only pity you for your ignorance and insensitivity. Grow up

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  18. One good news. The rapists of Jyoti Singh (known as “Nirbhaya”) have been given death penalty by SC. Justice has been delivered to those who have committed the most heinous crime against a woman

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  19. It is unusual for me to find something on the net that is as enanrttieing and intriguing as what you’ve got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and what’s more, you use reference that are relevant to what you’re talking about. You’re definitely one in a million, keep up the good work!

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