Friday, November 14, 2008


Perhaps the only two things I truly miss about Kashmir are its snow-capped mountains and the fluffy-icy-powdery snow. Someone just called to tell me that it is snowing back home. The sight is awe-inspiring. Kashmir, in fact, is one of the few places in India where it actually snows! Imagine, for a heartbeat's span: You are cut off from rest of the world. As it continues to snow, you stay confined indoors. It is a very cozy, out-of-this-world, snuggled down, unwinding feeling. Nothing -- at all -- beats it!

There is no electricity. Consequently no TV. No games. No soaps. No inverters. No lamps and tube lights. You lit thy candles. Fusty style. You re-live the way of your ancestors. It puts to shame all the candle-lite dinners in swanky New Delhi lounges. There is a certain magical ring to it. Like an old harried painter appearing out of the woods and quietly sketching frenetic white silhouettes upon window sills and in the backyard and on the turnpikes. No potholes are visible in the snow. There are no drains. No runnels. Just running miles of endless, clean snow. Snow that came over night. God has stockpiles of it, I often doodle.

Snow packs up in lawns. It falls on old fences and the light less lamp posts. Upon little eggs in the eagle’s high eyrie, while the birdlings cheep happily. Snow makes an almost medieval swirling descent. The flakes fall headlong on still waters of the distant pond, kissing her stillness. It snows on locked temples and countless sand bunkers. In every orchard and onto each slope. Snow falls on fresh graves. On abandoned army helmets upon the lonely hillside. In wetlands. Old chimneys. It falls on the rooftops and topless rivers. God's confetti.

There is stuff that dollars can't buy: Like snow clinging to your nose. To your back. The snow-man with bits of charcoal for eyes. The snow-ball fight. Throwing small orbs of snow at each other. The fun of it. The rush. The pink of cheeks. Rouge of palms. And the quite wintry nights. The eerie silences. The snow-globs coming dancing down from the sky, in hushed whispers. On deer-backs. Upon trees. On defunct electric lines. In terraces. Upon doggy-snouts. Caressing the ladyfinger like icicles. On parched humans. Never failing them.

Warm hamams, warmed still by thick logs of wood. Harisa simmering. Envy the old world charm.

God, I love snow. I miss Kashmir.


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