Chakaan da Bagh

Jhelum ghaton parbad paase, Mirpure ti Dhakhan
Kharki mulk vich lodan jedhe, talab bande di rakan
~Mian Muhammad BakhshThis is the story of broken homes that fell in between nation, this is the story that Jhelum carries with it, the story of separation and longing. River Poonch carried on with clamor for decades. The banks of Neelum and Kishenganga never meet for the great line divides them too.
The roads did open and when they did young were old and the old dead. Fifteen days are too less for a lifetime of love, too less to see the children grow and too less to bury alongside the old dreams. But now they are the only dream.

What really is unique about this short film is that breaks out of the valley to depict the story of places closer to the border beautifully capturing the desire of belonging and home. This collaboration of film makers from across the border deserves applaud. May be its the familiarity of the places that makes this video special for me.
Chakaan da Bagh(cross over point for Poonch Rawlakote bus service) represent the shared love of people. It is much more than a meeting ground. From here stories emerge that have been suppressed for so long. At Chakaan da Bagh hearts unite once again and decade old events are celebrated, events that never happened for the other half. It has come to represent the shared space, an opening for the young and a gateway for old. Travelers bring with them the tales of distant cities which are just hours away and yet are imaginative constructs for hosts and they carry with them a treasure of new faces. An opportunity to visit the grave of  parents who passed away hoping for a change is even more valued. And some don’t want to return back for they have found solace in the corners of old houses and want to bury themselves here.

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