Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kashmir in Action

The streets of Kashmir are an excellent place for discovery. The streets seem like a movie named “"Kashmir in Action.” There are people trying to make life work on the streets, and thousands more trying to get back home. What I am about to tell you is how secure or insecure life a person lives in the Valley? Here I am giving my account as a child and not as an adult. It has a variety of frames, takes and "lights, camera, action" for me. It may seem a little strange but that's what makes us all curious. Doesn't it? I happen to love Kashmir, love every part of it, mostly because with this place I share a certain sense of belonging. I feel about everything this place is going through because at the end of the day, no matter how trivial, I am still a part of it. Once you step out you see a million different things in, what is believed to be, a monotonous environment. Though the question remains restricted to how much you want to see and how you want to see it. I can only tell you what I recognize. I see the trees and the electrical wires hanging onto the branches. I see the people. What I love most about Kashmir is the people, people here are matchless and you could recognize them in any part of the world. They are generally warm and loud, they greet you cheerily and no matter how absurd the situation might be they will always ask you to come home for tea. They'll help you back the car in the parking lot and help you open the car when the keys are left inside. They will help you carry your luggage at the Delhi Airport and will ask you where you live (then invite you to tea at their place) .These people are seen slogging on the streets, some carrying little children on their shoulders while others carrying files, cases and other accessories of daily life. A big reason for my adoration of Kashmiri streets is that here everyone is the “aam janta”, everybody is constantly thinking, everyone is being bossed around by their children, no matter how rich or impoverished you are you have to belong to the streets sometime in your life.Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I sense the environment here as a person willing to accept the wrongs and love the few rights. Though Kashmir is far from heavenly or even glorious perfection, for now at least, something about this place invites you in. The old men flashing toothless grins, old women wearing brightly colored pherans in spring parking themselves on the fronts of the many shops, children running about aimlessly with tyres and sticks, fetching bread from the kandur for mothers waiting at home, its all a part of a place that mostly speaks for itself. It convinces you to step out and breathe the fresh and nippy air. Sometimes people tell me that this place is no good, with the depreciating conditions and the absence of hope, sometimes "heaven" can seem more of purgatory.Complaints of no entertainment, muddy roads and the lack of any improvement eclipse the beauty and the magnificence. One cannot comment, or disapprove of such notions, after all beauty only lies in the eyes of the viewer. Kashmir is incredible, more the incredible than the word itself which epitomizes the brand "India". Unquestionable is the spirit which runs through the people, who fight for someone else's justice, the fight may be corrupt, and the justice sometimes undeserved, but the spirit remains devoid of apprehension. Emotion runs through the valley limitless through every nook and cranny. Emotion for the people, emotion for the Dal creeping into nothingness, a million things to love and a million more to hate. Kashmir may be injured but it is not dead.It's a place which runs wild and has learnt to capitalize beauty, it's a place which had a dark past and has a still blank future, it's a place which is tranquil and is home to unbroken chaos, it's a place of truth and a place which doesn't have an advocate, it's a place that goes to sleep when the clock strikes ten, it's-a place where cats and dogs live in harmony, it's a place which can seem weary because it only has two theatres. Personally I feel that I could live without a theatre here, I think most of us don't realize that we live in the most engrossing, academy award deserving, colorful and astounding movie ever. This is Kashmir in action.

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