PRAYERS for peace……undoubtedly, over guns in action !
Recalling the Eid……that was last year, with beaming faces exchanging the festive vibe, embracing to the enthusiasm of the occasion. And the same Eid that recently passed by, nearly ‘silently’in the land of paradise, engulfed in the midst of protests, and pain that followed. A helpless reality, distressingly coinciding, with my fondest memories precisely a year ago.
As i recollect……the first glance was enchanting, the first feel was amiable, so were the tall & shady Chinars– a witness to the testimony of tumultuous times. The dwellings wore a peculiar old world charm of the hills and other significant establishments guarded by the ‘men in uniform’ , had a story each-the once so sought after tourist hub was calm & cordial, yet pulsating with life.
Srinagar, our heavenly abode for the extended weekend was bustling with gaiety & fervor.It was Eid… a three day long celebration.
My perception of the violence stricken Kashmir Valley (marred largely by the media coverage) had promptly overturned. Second thoughts of visiting Srinagar pleasantly transformed into “thankfully i made this decision”.Of, course paying a little more attention to my gut feeling.
And here i was, brimming with excitement, elated to explore the alluring environment of the city.
The deep waters of the’ Dal’ were indeed inviting.The distant high rise mountains reflecting in the tranquil waters of the lake …..made for an imprinting memory.
Basking in to the onset of Autumn, cozying up to the chilly evenings, absorbing the aroma in the air;the atmosphere was harmoniously ‘engaging’ .
Well ! the otherwise scary and hazy image was gradually getting distinct. The fear was nowhere to be sensed, except for the deployment of ‘men in uniform’, silently proclaiming their presence. A stark comparison to what the common perception is.
However, the masses still carry the ‘wounds of the past’ and the present, which often pops up in any casual conversation. And this queer dislike for the people in power immediately becomes apparent.
Nonetheless, the city was ‘untroubled’. The perceived animosity was at its bottom low.The general mood was quaint, unbothered by the upheavals in the political corridors.
The paucity of visitors, though ,was evident. A long line up of shikaras & houseboats, waiting in vain was suggestive of the conflict that had almost overpowered its once blooming economy.
Since then a whole year has gone by.The seasons have changed, so have the state of affairs, that too, drastically. ‘Stones’ have substituted for a smile, that once mesmerizing aroma in the air is missing.
The same state, same people.
Agitated, opposed, uncompromising and hostile.
The existing dissent ,slowly consuming the already frail foundation of ‘one nation’.
Somewhere amid all the anger & agony….
Peace lays buried !
My vow to visit the valley one more time, for now, seems unaccomplished. But i do wait in hope, to make many more memories in the lap of serenity, yet again.