It is almost eight months since my last visit to Kashmir and I still could not get over the emotions and love which I got from the people over there. Obviously how could I, when my chat box is still filled with all the images of apples and plums from the orchards of Kashmir. I spent some 6-7 days among those girls of Kashmir . I could feel that sense of belonging. It felt to me very easily that all they wanted was peace and their freedom like people in other part of country. Normal people would expect to treated as any other normal human being . Well, while browsing through those messages , a thought just came into my mind that a little approach can change a lot of things. It can be easily passed by and taken as a regular chat but I believe this small gesture means a lot to change few perceptions. Why do we cultivate so much of hate when there is an option of love and affection. I never thought that in this age when people hardly care about neighbors , I would get daily well wishes from those girls with whom I spent few days. Since there were lot of regional and cultural differences among us, so I was bit apprehensive about my acceptance among them. Well, those days were no less than a family treat and even after I have returned to my place, I could still feel those affection in their messages. I am unable to acknowledge every message but still it is treated without any offence, so unlike most of us.
Accept somebody without any judgment and prejudices and it plays a positive note on mind. We learn to hate and judge very easily but do not take the stand to love someone. Nurturing negativity can obviously destroy many things. Acceptance without any judgement is the most important part and I am privileged to be the part of that circle. Although I was a guest in their house but the love and affection which is still there in those voice seem like I did some honor. This feeling is amazing.
Today we are living in the land where value of land is much more valuable the human lives. Kashmir is one of those worst affected areas. The normal human lives are torn apart between two different lands. Such lives need acceptance and love rather than pre-conceived notions and isolation. Only land itself is not important , rather the people inhabiting those land are more valuable. Those who have to fight the battle on the field are doing so, to prevent the harmony of the country , but we can also fight the battle against the hate by mutual acceptance.
Ever since I visited this land, it feels that whatever has been written or described about this land is not sufficient to justify the cosmic beauty of Valley of Kashmir. War over the geographical boundaries could not destroy the blessed beauty of nature. Moving through the valley seems like moving through the path which is covered by snow laden mountains all around the corners. View of Himalayan mountains and the constant companionship of river Jhelum would never leave anyone alone. Sometimes humming and sometimes roaring, but the presence of Jhelum would always be there. Leaves of Chinar are as fascinating to watch as it always feels while reading about them in the books. For me, it is like unfolding the pages from my books. I wish I could have also seen the apples in the apple valley, white flowers have covered the entire orchards. It is so exciting to imagine the presence of apples in those orchards, just in a few months. And there is not one or two orchards, but there is valley called apple valley while going to Pahalgam. While driving through the valley, I feel that those perfect paintings and photographs in the books and websites are part of my vision too.
Tulips, I have seen them alive for the first time in my life and I fall in love with them. Massive collection of Tulips in almost every color I can imagine it to be, are there. There are rows after rows dedicated to different colors of Tulips. Forget the colors, there are also contrast in the color combinations of these flowers. When you follow the end of these tulip’s rows, your eyes would meet the clouds almost dropping down from the mountains. When you follow these clouds, you would meet the snow-covered zenith of Himalayan ranges. That’s like a never-ending process, seems like treasure to the eyes and peace to the mind. But above all, solace to the soul comes from the warm approach and hospitality of the local people. In a true sense, they treat their guests as their God, as per our own tradition. They are delighted to receive you as their guests. I stayed with a local family for few days I spent in Kashmir and I would never forget the honor and happiness which they expressed by making me as a part of them for those days. Geographical boundaries have not succeeded to create any marking or boundary in the thoughts of normal people who want to be the part of normal lives.
History and future, both the aspects of this valley are soulful. War over geographical boundaries have injured the lives of normal people. Kashmir is said to be heaven on Earth and off course the natural blessings to this land is divine which is even difficult to document. But the common civilians who want to be the part of common lives shall never be judged and given the opportunity to be the part of them. It is dreadful to live in an environment that is constantly under the rage of fire. Paradise on the Earth cannot be remained as paradise until or unless the population of beautiful human beings living under the roof of Himalayas start living like any other human being in different part of the same country. Then I guess that this saying would be true in real sense “People call it heaven; we call it home “