In the months after his home was gutted during a gun battle between militants and government forces in spring, poet Ghulam Mohammad Bhat has managed a new one storey house, but it hasn't brought cheer back into his life.
Popularly known by his pen name Madhosh Balhami, Bhat lost thirty years of his unpublished work in the fire, leaving him distraught and broken.
"In the incident, I lost my only property: 30 years poetry. It has sort of disheartened me. It is a big dejection in my life," Bhat said at his newly constructed house.
However, after the incident the most urgent concern was to build a house for his family that includes his two sons, daughter and wife.
"Though I received monetary help from relatives and neighbors in my village, the real help came from an unexpected quarter," says Bhat, who does farming for a living.
"One fine day after the incident, a person came to me and dumped two trucks of cement in my courtyard. The next day construction of this new house started."
However, Bhat kept mourning the loss of poetic labour of love and affected his writing to a "great extent".
"Before the incident, I had immersed myself in poetry. But after losing my jannat (paradise), my world which was my poetry and library, has left a huge scar on my psyche," Bhat said, his voice reflecting melancholy.
"My 80 percent of work including Najam-e-Naat, Mankabaat-e-Awliya and other works which could have easily formed some six volumes got charred. I could retrieve some 20 percent of my work through literary friends, who had fortunately recorded it," says Bhat.
Bhat quotes a couplet written by him soon after the gunfight was over that resulted into loss of his poetry to explain his situation.
"…Woh aatish-e-namroodh mera kuch begaad na sake
Mera qalam na le sake magar mera qalaam le liya"
(Nimrod's flames couldn't touch me, Couldn't snatch my pen but took my voice away) – a couplet Bhat penned after his work was lost in the gun battle at his home.
"You see a home is not only made of bricks and concrete, it has certain memories attached to it which I want to keep only to my heart," he says with a feeling of dejection visible on his face.
"The aura that I used to experience while thinking before penning down those thoughts inside my house cannot come back. I will miss the aesthetic that compelled me to write."
For Bhat the moment of losing his work is 'akin to Karbala' which he says he relives whenever he remembers it, but he is also readying himself to write again once his new house a roof over it.
"I will write couplets of pain."