There is no place as beautiful as Kashmir”
My grandfather’s voice still echoes in my head.
I was a little kid when he used to sing songs in praise of this place which was as beautiful as heaven.
Being a poet and a folklorist he had written many stories and songs about it.
I, being a kid, used to ask him – If it’s so beautiful then why did we run from there Daddy?
And he, with his eyes full used to reply – Don’t you worry about that child. You will know, someday, how beautiful it is.
I lost him when I was in 1st standard.
Fortunately we visited Kashmir after that and every word he had ever said started to make sense.
The beautiful landscapes, shikara ride at Dal lake, prayers at Tulmul mata, the beautiful chinar trees. Could anything be any more perfect.
That was the time I realized – everyone was right. My grandfather’s face was in front of me, as calm as a stream, and he was saying –
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast