This is not something I wrote…
This is a message that I received from a CoC (Chum of Chums) one fine day…I wanted to share it with all of you because Kashmir and friendships like this should be!
Here we go…
Firstly, my friend, I feel so sorry that I lost out on so many years of convo with you. That we never spoke face to face,of which, my lady, I assure you that my regrets are more profound than yours, for I see it as my loss, you know, not to have learnt from you in that fashion, or that we never sat down and a had a cup of that pink, salty tea or that I could never give you the finest apples that the Earth produces, or even the street food, the “nadir monje” or “goje”..huhh…. But it began so late in the day, there was no time really.
Now of the land that the mountains nestle. You know I look at Srinagar, its skyline and it leaves me fixated. Isnt it so beautful. You look up anywhere in Srinagar and there they are, those beautiful mountains. Just there as if you extended your arm a little, just a little more you could touch them. And if you have seen the Jamia Masjid! Every time I pass by it I keep looking at it with the curiosity of a child who has just seen the most beautiful toy but cant have it. It is such an architectural wonder, my friend, I tell you, I tell you! The Dal Lake, the foreshore road, the Boulevard, Oh! we used to go there on our bikes, me and my friends and just hang out there, chatting, discussing, the endless passionate debates, that stretched for hours it used to be so liberating! And our college, didn’t it have the most beautiful of settings! the mountains in the background, the hazratbal shrine just next to it. Did you ever go there? To the Shrine, sit in its complex or on those banks of the Dal in the evening when the sun is just setting? Did you ever listen to the lyrical incantations that rose from its minars like a soothing breeze? And there is such a vast network of shrines all across the valley. it is so mystic to be there. it overwhelms you, it is as if they are watching over you, blessing you. It is such a disconnect from the Kashmir of concertina wires that we know.Were you ever there to witness the first snow fall? When those soft fluffy gifts descend from the heavens they kiss your cheeks. Isn’t it the most beautiful sight to wake up one winter morning, tear apart the curtains on your window and open your eyes to the virgin, untouched sea of snow in the garden?
Where would you be, my friend, where else would you be?
And imagine that you never went to our villages, never sat by the clear streams for hours and lost yourself to the finest music that the gods create. That you never went into the orchids and plucked an apple and ate it. I would tell you how it feels, but, me lady, I cant! You would’ve to experience it to know it. We, I, should have helped you with those things., Alas! the moment is lost forever!
I had a feeling that one day, in hindsight, you would miss Kashmir. A beautiful heart is bound to cherish the beautiful, no?
Thanks to Burhan Qureshi, Alias QureChe!
PS: I terribly miss your land…