Oct 13, 2019
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The Autumnal Faces Of Srinagar And Dal Lake In Kashmir Mesmerises

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The place are the songs of Spring? Ay, the place are they?

Assume not of them, thou hast thy music too, – John Keats

I visited the Kashmir valley in a divided thoughts… there was the magnetic temptation of its ethereal allure that fed my girlhood goals, after which, there have been these gory tales of the battered valley disintegrated by terror and mayhem. There have been three consecutive bomb blasts at Srinagar, the Capital of Kashmir, on the day I began my journey from Kolkata (the Capital metropolis of the state of West Bengal) on a package deal tour. So my thoughts was in a state of pleasure to come across the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! My husband was upset with these entrance web page newspaper stories of carnage early morning and tried to dissuade me from my impetuous resolve. I pleaded with him to let me go as there was no protected haven on Earth as of late and I believed I’d return residence…

It was autumn- the season “of mists and mellow fruitfulness”… that was precisely what the silent voice of the Srinagar morning whispered to me the primary day. Certainly, as I drew again the floral curtains of my lodge room, I stood spellbound as I encountered the autumnal face of the blushing metropolis which was but to awaken from its chill slumber! My coronary heart skipped because the golden-bronze Chinar bushes, alongside the highway, lit up, and the magical leaves rustled by the primary caress of sun-light! The older leaves of russet and gold fell off the branches silently at fast succession solely to create the vermilion-golden path of lengthy stretches. My eyes travelled far and had been completely riveted by the sight of the distant snow-capped regal Himalayas, glowing orange, as the primary flush of sunrays slid down its slopes… I forgot in regards to the bomb blast and terror assaults and ran down the wood stairs of my lodge to breathe within the “honey-dewed” morning air of town so elegant!

As I walked down the highway, I prevented the Café Espresso Day because it jogged my memory of my crowded metropolis and the everyday Kolkata scent which I needed to get away from… I used to be dying to reside Kashmir of my dream! So the primary curious face that greeted me with a heat smile was that of the ripe outdated face of Ahmad Kader Miya in a close-by tea stall. For the primary time I tasted kahwa; its inexperienced tea brewed with saffron, cloves, inexperienced cardamoms, cinnamon sticks and chopped almonds. Its mellow style blended nicely with the texture of the mellowed season, embracing my spirit with a way of heat. The style of kahwa is lined with a fading bitterness which one way or the other bought related to the nice bitter style of walnut. The grandson of Kader Miya, the teen-aged Abdul, who served the tea for the second time with a shy smile jogged my memory of comparable harmless youthful faces on the duvet pages of Outlook Journal, gunned down by the army on terror costs. Why do these youngsters surrender all the pieces to… ?

I diverted my ideas as I watched Srinagar getting alongside silently with its day by day actions: Does this silence signify peace restored or a lull earlier than one other bomb assault? I could not assist ponder over… I opened my purse absent-mindedly after I was woke up from my ideas by the cracked voice of the outdated man with hennaed beard and type brown eyes who informed me that the tea was free because it was meant for “Mehman Newazi” which merely acquainted me with the native tradition of providing tea to the visitor who visits town for the primary time…

In the course of the later a part of the morning, as we sauntered by, we noticed the silver birch bushes and the poplars aglow with heat daylight. We additionally noticed the unique Nilgai (Blue- bull), the most important Asian antelope grazing within the gray Scrub forest within the neighborhood. We additionally encountered a herd of cute cashmere goats of sunshine brown and milk white selection with shaggy coats and apricot nostril, led by a shepherd. They had been sporting curiously spiral horns! The locals knowledgeable that these goats produce the best wool, and the beautiful Pashmina shawls had been made out of the fiber extracted from their physique. Regardless of the busy market place, town has its personal leisurely tempo and we forgot about time… We walked all the way down to a small bus stand and took a bus-ride to the legendary Lake, the Dal. Though bustling with exercise by then, the lake itself is tranquil. I felt actually romantic with the dry Chinar leaves crackling underneath the ft as we headed in the direction of the Shikaras (wood boats) for a journey. We walked silently, surrounded by these cluster of alluring Chinars, glittering golden within the mellowed daylight…

Just like the Venetian gondolas, Shikaras are the cultural image of Kashmir. A number of the oarsmen in colourful Phi ran (an extended embroidered woolen robe), puffed away at their hukkas, a neighborhood tobacco in merry spirit. These males are hard-working and courteous of their manners. They flashed smiles and my eyes admired the faint blush that unfold over their rugged, weather-beaten faces and their blue eyes that shone with unusual gentle! They welcomed us and we employed two shikaras.

There was a mischievous interaction of mists and daylight which created a magic as we reclined ourselves on the velvet, vivid coloured cushions within the shikara, surrounded by colourful, floral canopies. Because the oarsmen lustily dipped their spade-shaped oars into the chilliness waters of the lake, the long-beaked shikaras floated low within the water like a crocodile. The furrows created by the motion of the oars shone golden inexperienced at instances. Orange gentle oozed over the distant mountain tops that surrounded the lake and the white snowy cliffs mirrored the hue. It was a relaxed, romantic journey when time appeared to not slip out of hand…

The boys clicked away to seize the enchanting views of the pine- lined Himalayas surrounding the lake from all corners from the space. The pine bushes stood in tall greenness on the majestic mountains and the clusters fashioned completely different geometric patterns; whereas the Chinars, close by, blushed as my eyes thirstily soaked within the unimaginable shade and contours round. We additionally had a flashing glimpse of the silver black of a kingfisher’s again because it emerged out of the placid lake to fish its breakfast. The water appeared so clear! The cluster of floating white lilies appeared so serene! The sun-kissed lotuses smiled pink… The small geese, white Egrets and pond Herons floated by blissfully…

The chilliness within the air whispered the message of the arrival of winter. The boats man regaled us with native songs on our request and because the wild, highly effective melodies floated within the air, I breathed in Kashmir… Some ladies of the valley rode by, heading in the direction of their residence, that floated on the lake, to the opposite facet… They carried greens, fuels and issues of day by day wants… their phi ran appeared so discolored which, nevertheless, didn’t fade away their dimpled, rosy smiles. Regardless of life’s harsh dictates on them, the Kashmiri women and men appeared to take life of their stride. I by no means discovered them complain about life’s injustice, whether or not nature’s harshness or, extra typically, man’s crudeness. If their aquiline nostril, blue eyes and blushing cheeks appeared to be in putting concord with the pure abundance that fostered them, their cheerful spirit, within the face of grim violence that bled the valley terminally, spoke volumes about their powerful genetic constructed that matched the majestic Himalayas.

As we glided alongside the Jhelum river, we handed the crumbling homes whose solely proof of life had been some vegetable patches and chickens within the yard pecking on the grains within the frozen dust. This a part of outdated Srinagar conveys a story of a crumbling previous which may have been wonderful as soon as, as is expounded in Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Kids”…

We crossed a nestled cove, surrounded by golden-green bushes and luxurious meadows located at one other nook of the Dal lake which appeared like keats’ “fairyland forlorn”… The elegant Houseboats beckoned us from the space to spend the evening floating on the lake. The Marble dome of Hazrat Bal, seen like an “egg-shaped pearl” from the space allured us to really feel its historical story of Moi-e-Muqqadus, the sacred hair of Prophet Mohammad…

The distant face of an outdated fisherman bent in seek for lotus root jogged my memory of Tai, the mysteriously ageless boats man who comes alive from Rushdie’s web page…

The Autumnal face of Srinagar and Dal evokes me to say:

“No spring nor summer time magnificence hath such grace

As I’ve seen in a single autumnal face… ” JOHN DONNE.

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