I had been warned about the timing. Independence Day was round the corner while Eid was slated to be celebrated during my stay in Srinagar. But as I cruised through the streets of Srinagar, any scepticism, if there were any in my mind, fell by the wayside. The city’s unmistakable character and an undeniable sense of deja vu seeped through me as I scrambled to soak it all in. The slanted tiled roofs atopthe numerous mansions lining the road from the airport to the heart of the city, with the mountains in their backdrop had my unwavering attention.
Reaching the main city, my eyes scoured through the old markets with wooden structures, some in ramshackle conditions, others in better states. But what struck me were the faces all around me. Beautiful faces – the sharp jaw lines, the light coloured eyes, the wavy hair – faces so full of character, the phirans and the hijabs, and school buses ferrying students with eyes so striking that I wished I could sit and look at them for some time. It broke my heart every time I remembered that this land of such beautiful people was subjected to such harrowing disputes, lasting decades.
Anyone who’s visited this land, knows its beauty is impossible to pen down. And yet, I’ll attempt to scratch the tip in my upcoming series on this land of splendour and breathtaking vistas. A stream of words gushing to be let out!