I am missing home!

Syed Zafar Mehdi

Those snow-capped mountains, lush-green meadows, blooming orchards, gushing blue streams and romantic houseboats. I am missing home, my paradise. Kashmir, the Himalayan haven of alpine forests and crystal clear lakes is beckoning me.

I am missing Gulmarg, its lush-green sprawling meadows, where the world’s highest gondola lifts ferry skiers up to 12,900 feet. I am missing area’s emerald golf courses, where I, together with my golfer friends, would tee off in summers. I am missing Pahalgam, its rolling meadows, trout-filled streams, shimmering lakes, and mighty glaciers that feed the rivers below. I fondly remember the days we would head there for white-water rafting and fishing.

I am missing gardens of my land, home to a variety of flora and delightful water systems. I am missing Shalimar and Nishat, a visitors delight. I am missing Chashmashahi (Royal springs) and that spring of refreshing digestive mineral water. I am missing Harwan and its huge garden with a spectacular canal passing through its heart. I am missing Sonamarg, where we would go for trekking and mountain climbing adventures during springtime.

I am badly missing the scenic hill towns of Sonamarg and Yousmarg. I am missing winters and the sheen, and sheer fun of making snow caricatures.

I am missing those fine-looking fleet of houseboats lined up on boulevard. I am missing the thrill and excitement of riding a shikara (canopied boats) across the lake, particularly on moonlit nights when the waters reflect the town’s glittering lights and brooding mountains. I am missing Dal’s adjoining sister, Nageen Lake and its breathtaking vista.

I am missing the splendor of Royal Springs Golf Course, offering panoramic views of the Dal Lake and pine dotted mountain peaks. I am missing cricket and the picturesque SK Cricket Stadium, encircled by towering chinar trees.

I am missing Kashmir, the melting pot of religions and cultures. I am missing Dargah Hazratbal, Dastgeer sahab, Khankah Muallah, the revered shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, St Mary Church on the Residency Road, Chhatti Padshahi Gurdawara among others. I am missing the rugged beauty of Parihaspora, Harwan and Kanispura-Ushkura, one of the famed sites of Gautam Buddha, which still have ruins of Buddhist monasteries.

I am missing the palpable buzz of Lal Chowk, the ever-bustling Amira Kadal, the lover’s favourite hunting ground Partap Park. I am missing the remarkable quietude of The Bund and the commotion of Batamaloo. I am missing home food, the wazwan, haakh, gaadi. I am missing my friends, the whole gang. I am missing everything.

I am missing Kashmir, my home, my paradise.

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About Zafar Mehdi
Maverick journalist, irreverent rebel, travel freak, cricket junkie, reluctant fundamentalist, student of life, dreamer, believer.

One Response to I am missing home!

  1. Urmila says:

    A beautiful picture of Kashmir that I can see through the writer’s words while sitting so far in Bangalore in a cramped crowded office!!!! And that’s quiet a lot!

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