This paradise on earth has a tremendous appetite to fulfill vast genre of perspectives. This place seems like a giant mirror where one sees what one himself or herself is. Over the years I was always enthralled by a simple question as to how would it be to be in this paradise on earth, as they say the things you are curious and eager about to experience take their own sweet time and so was the case with me and it took me better part of a decade to experience what was it like to be in Kashmir.
It was a whirlpool of emotions, the days prior to my designated day to first see Kashmir by my naked eyes. There is not a single narrative which exists about Kashmir rather numerous of them and surprisingly all of them seem logical from their own periscopes. When I first saw Kashmir it was magnetic akin to a very strong pull. Physically it was so mesmerizing yet it felt there is so much more to this place than its physical beauty, flavor of saffron and markets full of Pherans. Kashmir seemed to me like Hogwarts school of magic, with that I mean so much is already read and heard about this place from so many aspects that every individual has created his own imaginary mirage of Kashmir and I was no different and though my physical imagination of Kashmir matched to the reality but what I failed to imagine and realize was that this place was far more than what these naked eyes could see. I personally felt that a large part of it being referred as paradise was in the essence of this place and the warmth of vast genre of population blending to make a flavor of human spirit so beautifully amalgamated in these serene surroundings.
For me, it was the first time I saw a place beyond what was actually visible and it all started and sunked in me when I was sitting in my gypsy travelling along the NH1-A staring at the snow capped mountains when I suddenly noticed a young baby in the lap of her mother and my eyes met his glaring beautiful little eyes and I immediately removed my sunglasses to look more curiously at that baby and while I was doing so this young kid waved at me and I waved back and that very moment I got a feeling that this place is as beautiful and serene as the visage of faith of that young kid. World often refers Kashmir as Switzerland of India but I firmly believe that anyone who has been here and seen the place and felt the essence and spirit of it would largely agree that Switzerland should be referred as Kashmir of Europe.
This visage of faith is not just seen on a kid’s face but in various shades of combats moving alongside road, walking through same shades of camouflaged jungles, it seen in small flat grounds beside mountains in youths playing together, it seen in the olive-green vehicles and white sumo taxis together giving way to an ambulance, it seen in the patient wait of barren branches of apple orchards to bloom once again soon. So, all that remains to be said about this magical land is when you come here and have stared enough on those magical mountains and hypnotic orchards look around and see the things that aren’t visible and if you want to truly experience that paradise on earth look for that visage of faith.