After two years of struggling with the viral apocalypse, an oft-asked question these days is—will the world ever return to normalcy? Normalcy, though relative, is the state of being usual, typical or expected. For Kashmir, what is normalcy beyond the viral apocalypse? The bigger question for Kashmir would also be if the pandemic is the real apocalypse? And if, the apocalypse that is real in Kashmir, can ever end, even after the pandemic does.
For Kashmiris, normalcy has ceased its relationship with the comfort or discomfort of routines. It is not in the life beyond social distancing, jostling for the piping hot bread from the corner bakery or that cup of tea from the roadside stall. It is not going out or staying inside with or without the mask. It is not the laidback joys or tribulations of everyday.