Amir Khusro, once glorifying Kashmir said, “If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is
this.” And yes, there can be no better words to describe it.
Are you wondering that out of nowhere, why am I suddenly talking about Kashmir? My plan to
visit this place this year was a complete jinx. Well, what happened was a bit unexpected!
With Covid subsiding, we were rather too optimistic to plan a holiday. We almost believed that Covid is dying down. Obviously, these days airports have a rigorous check for Covid test reports and masks. So, we
were too busy preparing. As for our itinerary, Mom and Dad had planned to leave two days earlier with their friends and we were to join them later in Srinagar with our grandparents. Keeping the safety checks in mind, all of us drove to Apollo hospital and got ourselves tested. While the results came in, we also had to make sure that we had packed enough warm clothes because while summers were settling in Delhi, Kashmir was experiencing heavy snowfall. Thankfully, all the reports turned out to be negative and our enthusiasm got growing!!
Meanwhile, intrigued by the extensive history of this beautiful state, my parents started reading about it . That wasn’t surprising because both of them like to delve into the antiquities of their next destination. What was new to me was the fact that Kashmir had, had a very dark past and to be truthful, a fascinating one. I had always imagined Kashmir like a destination where you can attain ‘Nirvana’.
But I hadn’t really given much thought on what it had to go through to become one. My sister Suhaani and I also started making interesting videos on whatever information we could dig through on Google. Little by little, every fact enthralled me more than the last one.
A day before my parents were to leave, everything was set for our visit and although we were supposed to join our parents a few days later, we were so excited that it was hard for me to sleep at night. Little did I know that our plans would go up in smoke soon!!
All of us were tired with all the hard work, especially mom. However, after my dad came home, we all sat together, chit-chatting about the green and beautiful valleys and the snow in Kashmir. The three of us were particularly eager to go Skiing in Gulmarg. As for me, I was already daydreaming myself falling straight on the white slush and chuckling.
We had a wonderful time discussing about all the adventures we will have. My eyes turned red and my belly hurt as I laughed! It all seemed to get real. After all the research, booking, packing, and planning that we had been doing for the last month, we were finally set for Kashmir!!
And BOOM!!An hour later, my mom who was extremely tired by the end of the day had low grade fever. She was herself convinced and had also persuaded us that it was pure fatigue. Nevertheless, my dad wasn’t entirely confident and suggested that we get her tested in the nearest lab. Even though I was helping them call various labs to get her tested in the middle of the night, I was so sure that it is what my mom said – JUST FATIGUE.
But the reality was that to my utter disappointment, we had to cancel our vacation because it didn’t
feel right to take such a huge risk. I almost felt that the sky had fallen! Even though they consoled us
and promised me that we would soon plan another trip to Kashmir, I was sulking.
Like they say, whatever happens, it happens for a good reason. A few days later, my grandparents including mom and dad were, infact, tested positive for Covid. We got back into routine, with us managing the house, all the elders were locked up in one corner. And frankly, with Covid on the spread and no hope to get out of the city, we almost forgot about the vacation. I was only grateful to God that all of them recovered from it.
Last night, my Grandma was watching “Kashmir ki Kali” on television which is what reminded me of
my jinxed Kashmir trip. My mom tells me that she was only four when she went there and does not
remember a thing. Now she will have to wait longer to see the beauty of this heaven. I hope I am
luckier and don’t have to wait till I turn forty.