This is normal: is a personal project which talks about life amid pandemic. Kashmir valley was already under a lockdown like the situation when different countries across the globe decided to enforce lockdown in their cities and towns. People from the valley were coming to terms with what had befallen them on 05 August 2019, when they were stripped of its autonomy. With already in uncertainty and uneasiness, Kashmir was hit by COVID-19.
The first approach of administration was a more stringent military lockdown to a health crisis. But military lockdowns aren’t new to us. While the world was witnessing the lockdown and restrictions on movement probably for the first time, it has become a part of our lives. With a poor health infrastructure in the valley, people feared that the pandemic would wreak havoc here.
Despite different backgrounds, cultures and diversities people across the globe were seen sharing solidarity to deal with the pandemic. But in Kashmir things were quite different. The repression is still their razing houses to the ground and is a norm, fights between rebels and state forces never stopped.
We are in the roughest valley where doom itself thrives, always trying to scuttle far away, feeling coldness rushing in our channels of blood. Our lives avoided tragedy simply by going on and on, without end and with little apparent meaning. Indeed there were storms and small catastrophes. Indeed there were usual celebrations and usual sorrows. Indeed there is a life too but a paralysed one. Lockdowns are not new to us. They’re more of a time-killing machine. Netizens are used to military lockdowns and lockdowns without the internet.
Covid-19, didn’t put a stop on the lives of people. Knowing that documenting in your own homeland, where most of the population suffers through life, barely surviving, disappointed and confused day after day, hopeless, wondering what happened to our beautiful country. I’ve been observing all this while exploring the people inside their homes and outside. The life I watched during the times of fear made me feel so disturbed and gobsmacked, unthinking, unknowing, day by day and their soft dyes have steeped my soul in colour that will not pass away.