“A Valley Bloody and Beautiful”
Nothings suits Kashmir better than these words by Ramachandra Guha. Kashmir is a beauty like no other. I remember so well my first impression of Kashmir, when we came out of the long Jawahar tunnel, I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing, for a brief moment I really felt, I was in heaven. Unfortunately my simple camera phone couldn’t capture even remotely what I was seeing. And I think that’s not so bad. 🙂 Let your first impressions be yours only. As unexpected, as awestrucking, as enchanting, as they were mine.
Everywhere I stepped it was an unmatched beauty, nature as an unparalleled enchantress. The snow capped white peaks turning magical with the sunset at our first bend of the road, the mountains and the blue sky shimmering in the Dal lake, the walnut trees turning everything it touches, into that soft pink of its full bloom, the soft green of the trees lining the roadside, the yellow of the mustard fields spread all over and behind them the sky-reaching snowy mountains standing tall, the squeaking river streams flowing through them like quarreling lovers, the dark pine trees blending into the white snow and fog like fading memories and the most beautiful heavenly smile clad faces I have ever seen.
And all these was just one part. I missed the mesmerizing beauty of snow clad Gulmarg as was in the hanging pictures of my hotel room, because of the sudden bad climate, I missed the apple laden trees because it was not season and I missed the colours of tulips because of the late bloom. And so Kashmir will call me yet again.
But at the same time I remember the loaded guns in the hands of soldiers on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, such a frequent and disturbing sight at every corner of Kashmir. Its as evident, as true, as the beauty of Kashmir. And its so painful and sad to realize, how sometimes we humans can turn a heaven into hell. Nobody knows who is responsible exactly, may be we all are, nobody knows how to finish it forever, but every single person knows this wound in our memories and in our present, should and must heal, because its too unbearable, it always was.
And sometimes the heart is in a dilemma, whether to loose yourself silently with the majestic beauty of this heavenly place or whether to cry out loud to stop it all that’s turning it into a hell.