Away from their home on Eid al-Adha, a group of Kashmiris gathered at Jantar Mantar on Monday to observe the festival, with many saying it was difficult to celebrate when they cannot communicate with their families in the Valley where unprecedented restrictions have been imposed after revocation of special status to J-K.
People from various walks of life, including noted writer Arundhati Roy, joined them in solidarity as they shared with each other their thoughts as well as Eid delicacies like biryani, kebaabs and kheer.
Among the nearly 100 odd who converged for the 'silent protest', the common refrain was that communication lines to the Valley should be restored as not being able to contact their families back home was causing much despair among people.
"We cannot celebrate Eid if our family back home, if our friends back home are not celebrating it. So, we will observe the festival in its entire spirit, we will celebrate it with what is left of us, our hopes, our aspirations, our strength to move forward," said Sharika Ameen.
Remembering his family back home, Zubair Rashid, a UPSC aspirant who came to Delhi just five months ago, broke down while narrating a poem he wrote this morning.
"Ever since I woke up today, I didn't get any feel of the festival. I was literally crying in my room. I haven't been able to contact my family despite my father being in Jammu and Kashmir Police... I haven't been able to focus on anything. I don't have any information about my family," he said.
A youth who did not wish to be named said he has not been able to call his 70-year-old mother. "Back home, shopping for Eid has always been exciting but when I woke up today, I didn't have my mother telling me to do ten things. That habit of hers really annoyed me. But today, when I woke up, I really missed her and I wished I was back home," he said.
"At least open some lines of communications for us. I don't know what my family did and how they observed the festival. My family said, please go you will be safe there (in Delhi)," he added.