Before I post anything from my trip…the Valley clad in snow, the conflict or the cold..I want to dedicate the next few solo dates to Kashmir.
Yesterday, as I walked around taking pictures of the snow, I bumped into one of the journalists working for Star. He wanted a bite about the cold…I urged more tourists to visit. As I tuned into take my staple diet of Fb, last evening, a Kashmiri writer’s post, gave an account of the harassment she faced while strolling through Srinagar. A decade of wandering around the city in the worst circumstances, plus being here at the same time at the same spot, with the security forces around, I am baffled by it! I am sure there are a few rotten apples every where, it’s unfortunate when someone encounters them.
There are a number of things I dislike about Srinagar . Personally, I like cities which are melting pots of various cultures, with a diversity of religious practices, clothing and thought. Though, I would love to live in Kashmir, I would hate to bring up my kids, here. Plus, I don’t know how to fit in, which is a prerequisite to surviving, two- three tier cities and small towns in India. But the good outweighs the bad. As a woman, I very rarely feel unsafe here…around the security forces, yes, (a number of times, I have faced their brunt) around a local kashmiri man, nope. Barring, a few instances last year, in a very specific area, where the boys were heckling, I’ve never been harassed.
I wish I could give an unbiased, account of my travels. But we all suffer our prejudices; some of us are just honest enough to claim them. I don’t wear tags, therefore I don’t need to see the world through feminist eyes.
So these solo dates are dedicated to my decade in Kashmir. A place I have no connect to but which feels like home. To all those who made an outsider, feel like an insider … thank you.