Today I am going to tell you a story of two brothers. Once upon a time exactly identical twins were born to a mother. Their early days were passed on the grazing meadows of Keran. Even though the mother was uneducated, she had seen and survived the blunt reality of life during the onslaught of the Kabalis in the year 1948 and had lots of life lessons to offer her children as they grew. She understood the importance of education and was always vocal about educating her kids. The kids respected and understood her concerns. This is probably one of the reasons why they turned out to be different from others in a locality which had no idea about basic education. As years passed the foundation of education was laid by the Pandits of the valley who became the third pillar in the lives of these boys. Eventually, they turned out to be fine well-read gentlemen.
During the time of the rise of insurgency, it was people like these boys who had some idea about right and wrong and helped our Security Forces in the initial days to control the insurgency. How unsurprisingly, on one hand, we have a mother whose generation helped the Indian Army fight the Kabali raiders in 1948 and on the other hand we have these twins who were one of many unsung heroes who proved to be instrumental in creating a strong base during the early days of counter-terrorism operations in the valley.
One specific account of those dreadful days that was recited by these boys was of foiling an attempt of our neighbour’s intelligence agency to infuse arms and ammunition into the valley. They say, one day out of habit, their mother went into the dense forest of Lolab with a few cattle. On the way back their mother noticed wrappers of iron nails and dowsed cigarette butt’s lying around. She could also smell the foul odour of human urine, alarmed by the unusual existence of these things in the middle of the forest, she narrated the incident to her sons, who immediately contacted the neighbouring Security Forces camp. An operation was launched, subsequently which terminated with the bursting of the hideout and neutralising 4 terrorists. Warlike stores including 50 kgs of explosives, Kalashnikovs, machine guns and grenades were recovered. Later on, it was confirmed by our own agencies that the explosive was planned to be used to target the Amarnath Yatra.
Initially, the family faced a lot of criticism and even death threats but they eventually sailed through the rough winds and today they are treated as the most respected family in the neighbourhood. Both the twins stay together. Their kids have grown to become doctors and engineers. The latest one in the third generation has a keen interest in cooking and is a professional chef in a multinational chain of restaurants in Srinagar.