It was during the hot days of August when Iyman’s phone beeped with a news update: “Internet and telecommunication services have been stopped in Jammu and Kashmir.” The shocking news didn’t let her move for a few minutes. As soon as she began to feel anxious, she texted him on Instagram. However, she received no response despite waiting for several minutes. She then dialled his number but only to hear: “The number you are trying to call is currently out of network.”

Asim, her lover, lived in a place which is called “Atoot Ang” (integral part) by India and “Shah Rag” (jugular vein) by its neighbouring country, Pakistan, i.e., the valley of Kashmir. Both the lovers had been discussing and planning Iyman’s visit to Kashmir during the days when rumours about a possible war and ‘abrogation of Article 370’ had spread in the valley.

Hoping that the rumours were false, Iyman was set to start her Kashmir trip the next week. Asim was planning to meet his beloved in Srinagar’s Pratab Park, located on the left side of the Residency Road, or right next to the ‘Ganta Ghar’ (clock tower). After starting the journey from Pratab Park, the lovers had decided to visit Pehalgam, Gulmarg, and Sonamarg – health resorts in the valley – to get rid of their stress.

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Iyman was unaware that she would be struck by shocking news the next morning when the government announced the abolition of the valley’s semi-autonomy. Both internet and telecommunication services were barred in the valley.

She would call her lover’s number frequently, but every single time she would only get to hear that distressful response. Living in the country’s capital, Iyman would roam street to street, for a few days in order to find a way to connect with Asim, who was also badly missing his beloved. But, there was no way out.

The hope died on the day when Iyman’s father agreed to an offer from his office friend to marry Iyman to his son. He was unaware that his daughter had an emotional connection with anyone, let alone a Kashmiri.


It was after a period of two months that Asim got the news that the telecommunication services had been restored in the valley. He did not wait. He rushed to his home and switched on his mobile phone. The first call he made was to Iyman, but he got no response. Instead, the unfortunate lover received a text message: “Sorry Asim, I’m unable to receive your call as I’m sitting next to my husband.”

The message shocked him. His body began shivering, and Asim’s mobile phone fell down. The phone broke, leading him to lose all of the phone’s data, including contact numbers.

Both lovers had met on the social media app Instagram. And after they became friends, the duo fell in love. The relationship, however, didn’t last and turned into a sad love story.

Asim is yet to recover from the mental trauma. He remembers nothing other than Iyman’s name, which he keeps on howling. Iyman, Iyman, Iyman…

Editor's Note

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