Losing yourself is the easiest once you set your foot in the heavenly mountains of Kashmir.
All hail the mountain kids! Kashmir is a place that I always wanted to visit & fortunately an opportunity popped up. We hired an outstation taxi from Katra, the holistic foot of Vaishno Devi & left for Srinagar. We had to cover 243 Kilometers in a car packed with 6 people, including 2 children, imagine the patience we had.
The weather was exorbitant, cold winds with the shining sun, a perfect oxymoron. Life felt so good after a long time, things were starting to fall into place. I rolled the window down, & stuck my face out, taking in the morning sunlight & the swift air. Mountains were as absolute as the skies, up high, bold & static. Travelling light with the wind.
It was snack time now, so we took a break from our long journey & stopped at a small, cozy stall. After filling myself up with masala Maggie & tea, it was time for a memoir. Click!
At 4 PM, we were in Srinagar searching for our pre-booked hotel, apparently the people there were friendly but military was uptight. Somehow we reached the hotel & enquired with the manager about the political tensions in Kashmir. Streets were silent, & the silence did not remind me of serenity, instead it was as if the screams of the rebels were devoured by the unknown .
Soon there was sunset, & we left for the infamous “Dal Lake”. One of its kind, shimmering lights amid the surreal waters, I stepped inside a Shikara, a wonderful woodwork with a royal touch to it, Kashmiri carpet & a cozy pseudo-couch, I felt like a Shehzaada for once in my life. With a slight push, the Shikara ventured into the lake, creating ripples that extended beyond the horizon. The proficiency in Shikara business provided us with delicious, mouth melting kebabs, wonderful houseboats, & everything in between.