There are more places which suffer from Mahmoud Darwish's 'incurable disease of hope'.
I can write a lifetime of love notes to Kashmir.
I can write pages on how it was exactly the way I saw in my head when I caught my first glimpse of the valley.
I can endlessly go on about my first snowfall seven years ago in Gulmarg or how the star-lit night had fallen over the valley the last time I left.
. . . . . . . . . .
There's so much danger in going back to places you've loved. The more you go, the more you worry about losing those fond memories you have made last time. But Kashmir transcends it all for me. The more I go, the more I see, the more I reflect. There aren't many places I have travelled that I can intensely recall like Kashmir;
The art of balancing in a Shikara.
The warmth of Kangirs hid in flowy Kaftans.
The smooth texture of flavorful Gushtaba. Kashmiriyat.
The Audacity of Hope.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kashmir could easily be a place of our imagination, but what is beyond our imagination is the pain and bitterness on both sides of the mountain! While you are there you start normalising hours of blanket curfews, checkpoints seem okay, loads of army men appear touristic.
It doesn't take much sense to know that we have failed Kashmiris. We have failed to win their hearts. We have failed to earn their trust.
We have reduced ourselves to a military bunker or a police van.
We have reduced ourselves to brawls on prime TVs and biased reporting.
We have reduced ourselves to mere tourists who are there just for the snow and mountain passing smiles!
Pyaar Ke Chaman Tehzeeb Ke Gulistaan Me Rehta Hun 😍😍 Mujhe Naaz Hai Mai Khwaja Ke Hindustan Me Rehta Hun 🙏🙏
I Am Very Proud To Be A Citizen Of That Country Where The King Is Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Rehmatullah Alaih. He Is The Ghareeb Nawaz Who Cares For Every Poor Resides Here. I Dont Care Who Is Ruling The Country My Heart Is Only For One King And That Is Khwaja E Khwaajgaan Khwaja Hindal Wali Rehmatullah Alaih.