On July 20, 2019 the fault lines between us started getting wider. You said “Let’s get out of this mess it’s not working,” and pretending to be cool and understanding I said “Yes let’s call it off.”

A few days later I realised what you mean to me. I start to repent my words but all in vain: thanks to mobile telephony, with a single click you blocked me everywhere, on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, even blacklisting my number, the harshest punishment a lover could get.

With every passing day I start getting anxious and curious. Why such hatred? I dial my friend who lives in Dubai, “Yaara bae chus khatam” (I am dead). He replied “Don’t worry let me sort it out,” and after rounds of negotiations by my friend you agreed to unblock and talk.

On August 3, 2019 things were getting normal between us, I was literally on cloud nine, and that evening you said “Enjoy your vacations, you have come after a long time, I will call you on the 23rd.” By then I would be back in Delhi.

I calculated the number of days I had to live without hearing from you. 19 days didn’t seem like much.

Late in the evening of August 4 the base transmission system started being shut down, the internet was down by 10pm, and by 11pm calls were also barred. The Government of India on August 5 decided to scrap Article 370 from the Constitution of India.

I felt like a person of no man’s world, robbed in the middle of a voyage. I started boldly giving explanations and arguments to the panches, sarpanches, and other people at large about the advantages and disadvantages of Article 370. Acted like a hypocrite to hide the pain of losing my two dearest things in one go.

When I say let Article 370 be scrapped and let the battle be fought in court, I mean, in whose court should I take the case of my beloved?

From August 5, every night before going to bed I prayed the situation would remain peaceful, so the government could restore mobile telephony at the earliest. Like an ambitious student waiting for exam results, I kept waiting for a statement from Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal on mobile telephony. But each time he spoke to the press my depression got worse, I started feeling helpless.

I became a pessimist. In the middle of the night wild dreams about anarchy, chaos and lawlessness would wake me, what if there is war and all of us, both of us die? How can I tell you how much I love and miss you?

My parents with numb eyes on August 22 said “Gaas Khudayas Hawale,” May God protect you. This time not just them but my uncles and aunties along with first cousins came up to the car to see me off. I have been living away from home for a decade now, and found this strange because I had never witnessed it before.

I felt they knew there would be no communication with me for months. All the way from Baramulla to Srinagar I saw traffic plying on the roads and I asked my friend in eagerness, “Look everything is normal, why didn’t the government restore telephony?”

He gave me a dead look and said “You are not normal, rest all is, may God speed your normalcy.” It took me a month in Delhi to understand what my friend meant.

Juggling around my daily routine like a cog in the wheel in Delhi, my frustration and depression kept mounting. In despair I started consoling myself that by September 27, the day of the United Nations General Assembly session, they would restore communications. But the cold response from world leaders broke my heart.

Words like climate change felt very small in front of the catastrophe I was going through myself. I was dying a slow death which was imminent and unavoidable, what could I do with climate change, Islamophobia, self-determination, RSS, and terrorism, which might pose threats in the future, when my present had been lost to the communications blockade?

I wish I could dare the world leaders, how could you not talk about my plight and many others like me, as Greta Thunberg did.

After many shawwals I sighted my moon in haze. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir on October 11 announced that postpaid mobile telephony would be restored in Kashmir at noon on October 14. I was thrilled as though released from the gallows by a miracle.

Before calling my family I dialled your number, to my surprise I found it switched off. I talked to my Mother after 65 odd days, and like every other Kashmiri mother mine was more curious to know how my roommates were doing. “Yaar cheye theek, pounse chekhae?” she said - How are your friends, do they have money?

I was literally in tears, how can mothers be so strong. I wish I could tell my mother that deep inside I am as strong as her else I would have succumbed long ago.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. These lines have kept me going the last 90 days. I find courage every time I rewind our old conversations. Writing your name on paper, keeping your photo as a display picture, setting a sad romantic caller tune in the hope you will call and hear how I felt about you.

From dawn to dusk time has not moved at all since August 3, I am still there talking to her about romantic poems, picturesque meadows and the two of us.

The happiness of the king lies in the happiness of his subjects, writes Kautilya in the Arthashastra. By revoking Article 370 the government has made all of us unhappy. The true king would have made the effort to listen to his subjects.

Nothing is personal everything can be politicised, a poor guy who could never find the strength to talk about his love at home is forced to write an open letter to his beloved crossing various hierarchies of society’s order.

A small and beautiful love story of mine was introduced by the state, reducing me to a carcass with anxiety, depression and sleep disorders for life.

The prank of partial restoration of communication added salt to my wounds when despite a million dials I could not connect to her.

Dearly beloved, we will surely meet someday, here or hereafter to feel the snow.

Cover Photograph BASIT ZARGAR