Self-doubt is my worst enemy…aaand Kashmir…er Led Zeppelin?

My mind is the only thing standing in my way. It pulls me into a black hole of doubt that holds me down and tells me I’m not worth it. I can’t possibly do it. No way. What was I thinking? I do a lot of things, but yet, I still feel there is a voice of fear that is keeping me from reaching my full potential and striving towards my dreams.

I’m starting to get fed up with this fear shit.

I’m at the point now where I’m challenging it. It is still there, but I go for what I want anyway.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

There is this class through the conflict and dispute resolution masters program that recently opened up some of their classes to undergrads. So, more than half the class is grad students, which is more my level at this point anyway, but it’s still overwhelming. The class is basically a mixture of political science, history, econ, foreign policy and some all mixed in together to look in-depth at 7 major national conflicts around the world. Examples: China and Taiwan, Israel/ Palestine, Kashmir (India and Pakistan), etc. It has been absolutely kicking my butt, and the teacher is super intimidating, which has made me slightly nervous when I need to talk to him one on one but also motivated me to study more so I don’t sound like an idiot when I talk to him. I’ve become really interested in the current conflict of Kashmir involving Pakistan and India which is potentially the most dangerous conflict because it is the only one in the world where both sides possess nuclear weapons. Yikes.

The conflict with Kashmir, like many border conflicts still going on today dates back to those British dunces who, with their outdated, poorly drawn maps, divided up land into different nations at their leisure. “…it had been created rather off-handedly by the British after the first defeat of the Sikhs in 1846, as a reward to a former official who had sided with the British.” It was connected to India through the Punjab, but was at the time, 77% Muslim so everyone assumed that it would eventually become part of Pakistan. After India declared independence in 1947, Kashmir had the choice of becoming part of Pakistan or India.

After hesitation (and thoughts of just making an independent Kashmir) a mutiny of Muslim regimen broke out in Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh implored India to help. India agreed on the condition that Kashmir accede to India. This is what is now Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Conflict continues because the population is majority Muslim and many want to join Pakistan. Many want to be part of an independent Kashmir. It was always assumed that the Kashmiris would be given the opportunity at some point to vote on what they wanted, but that is yet to occur. I find this conflict especially interesting as I am half Punjabi and Sikh and my family was in the Punjab during the time of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1947-1948, also known as the Partition. Not to mention that Kashmir used be part of the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

And I just had to add this song “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I appreciate his passionate performance and they may just be growing on me.


Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate, the story was quite clear
Oh, oh.

Oh, I been flying… mama, there ain’t no denyin’
I’ve been flying, ain’t no denyin’, no denyin’

All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where I’ve been.

Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June, when movin’ through Kashmir.

Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear
Ohh.

When I’m on, when I’m on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way, you stay-yeah

Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, when I’m down…
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well I’m down, so down
Ooh, my baby, oooh, my baby, let me take you there

Let me take you there. Let me take you there

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