This book is ON Kashmir and Kashmir ALONE. As the title implies, one lakh Pandit families may have one lakh stories to tell. This book, 22 Years, is the story of one such émigré Kashmiri, Billu, who returns to the beautiful valley of Srinagar after twentytwo years of selfimposed exile. He not only breaks a vow, he falls in love once again with the land of his birth as all his childhood and growing up memories rush back to hug him and tie him to his roots. Much like Rushdie’s Shalimar, ‘There were narcissi from the banks of rushing rivers and peonies from the high meadows growing on his chest...’ At the same time, with memories return all his fears that made him flee Srinagar in 1989, ahead of his community, before the secessionist fury of communalism had engulfed the valley. In Kashmiri poet Ayaz Rasool Nazki’s words: ‘I am the Nostradamus of your age. I saw it happen. Before my time. And so was blinded…. They made a mistake. They forgot about me. I wasn’t awake. I wasn’t asleep either.’ Bill Koul was writing his story. This story.