Skip to main content

Far far away

I'm in office right now. Waiting for the pages to come in so that I can upload them on to the website. And then I can leave. It's quiet today here, with the TVs switched off, half the people gone and the office strangely quiet for what is actually dead line time.

My mind on the other hand is far away. In Kashmir and Ladakh.

I remember Yusmarg valley and the drive to get there. How I wanted to get off the bus and walk there among the grassy meadows, dotted with sheep and little log cabins, ringed by dense pine forests with awe-inspiring snow capped mountains towering behind.

I remember the way my heart sang when we walked into Yusmarg and witnessed the river gurgling by, singing a merry little song. Of panting up one crest in the meadow with wild ponies cantering around and running crazily down the other side only to be ankle deep in a pool of mud.

Of sitting by the river in a little alcove formed by rocks, scribbling in my little notebook and then lying back and quietly humming A Hundred Miles and One Day At A Time. Two of my favourite hymns. They always make me feel at peace and calm, which is not something many things can do.

Kashmir has captured a part of my soul in a way few other places have. It called out to me and laid claim. It made me want to dig in and never leave. To fix all that ailed it and polish it until it was bright and beautiful and sparkling again.

It made me shed silent tears. It made me a feel like a foreigner in my own country. It made me realise how much my eyes needed to be open, how little I actually knew. How little I understood.

Of walking through one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen in India and only later knowing the pain that lay hidden as I heard the students of the law faculty speak about what they had to endure not just at the hands of militants but the Army. Of their voices brimming over with frustration and despair.

Kashmir calls out to me every time I read a news report about blasts and clashes. My heart bleeds a little for the valley every time I hear it and Mynie said it here, summarizing all we felt, that I don't think anything I could ever write would top it.

I think the only hope for the people of Kashmir now is a referendum. Autonomy, Pakistan or India, whatever they choose, as long as they're able to breathe easier and live happier without a military presence around every corner. Without the hassles of convoys and curfews.

And if they choose autonomy, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Avanti

Day before yesterday, on the 8th of November 2008, Avanti Desai would have turned 21. Instead 15 days before her birthday, as she hurried home to celebrate her grandmother's birthday, Avanti met with a train accident at Jogeshwari station.

Just like that. Gone from our lives forever. Leaving behind a huge void and the world a lot more gloomier.

And when I got the call first thing in the morning, I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a cruel sadistic joke, but as the calls kept coming in, I realised it was true. Even at the cemetary,, it still hadn't sunk in that Avanti was no longer here. The worst moment though was watching her disappear into the crematorium, it was horrible and I couldn't believe we were leaving her there, and through the next couple of hours all I could think of was of her going up in smoke while we stood there in the bright sunshine.

It seemed incomprehensible at first, to think of Avanti as dead, to talk about her in the past tense, to get used…

The Roaring Twenties

So here I am on the eve of my 30th birthday, my very last day of being 29, just about 4 hours left of being a twenty-something.

A couple of years ago, I remember snidely chuckling away to myself, when a favourite blogger of mine turned 30, believing that it was so far away, it could never touch me. I'm regretting that now.

And to be honest, I thought I would be okay, I really honestly truly believed that I would be greeting this new decade with a casual insouciance and indifference that would normally be characteristic for me, but I'm not. I'm terrified of how quickly my twenties have zoomed by and how little I've accomplished and perhaps that is what is upsetting me.

On the cusp of another decade on this planet, well, I feel like a bit of a failure. No, scratch that, I feel majorly like a failure. I'm drowning in self-pity and anguish at wasted opportunities, at thrown-away chances, at my inherent laziness and procrastination, at my never-ending ability to put of…

Lady of the Cake

I've been wanting to blog about my recent interest in baking for a while, well if you can call three years recent, that is. But I've always wanted to talk about the joy that baking brings me and how much I enjoy it. The calories, not so much.

By nature, I am a rather random person. I don't function very well when neatness and precision is necessary. I like to think of myself as a big-picture person. Not for me the analysing of every detail and the nitpicking and the perfectionism. But it is precisely this side of me that baking, the exacting science that it is, challenges and I actually revel in it. There's something about creaming exactly 100 gms of butter with 50 grams of sugar and mixing in 300 gms of flour. Measuring, measuring, measuring, beating, whipping to create a cake that is so much more than the sum of its disparate parts. The exacting nature of baking allows me to put my vagaries aside and focus with a 100% on the job at hand that pleases me. For someone …