Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"If there is Paradise on Earth,it is here,it is here,it is here"is what the Moghul Emperor Jahangir is supposed to have said about Kashmir-------and it is absolutely true.Those who have visited this Valley have fallen in love with it------the beauty of it's people,Nature--------even it's very Air is scented with a fascinating but elusive perfume!!!We visited this Valley in May,1983-------it was an extremely memorable Vacation------literally a dream come true for us!!!
Like all Tourists we too had an agenda of Sight Seeing------ the beautiful Ski slopes of Gulmarg being one of those on top of the list.On this trip we were also accompanied by a friend of Sudhir's and his family------Chhatre, his wife PushpaBen and his children---Sameer and Sonal.The 8 of us along with Mingoo and Tina had contracted a very nice man named Mushtaq to take us around the Valley in his Ambassador Car.It was decided to visit Gul Marg first because it was still covered by a thick layer of Snow---ensuring that the children could get Sledge rides down the Ski slopes.We climbed up the slopes and reached the top of the slope----gazing around with delight----we were actually on the top of one of India's favourite Film locations---both Pushpa Ben and I were busy pointing out the spots we remembered from various Bollywood Films!!!!Finally the moment to go down the slope arrived and much to my dismay I discovered that one had to sit behind those Sledgewallahs and hold on tight to them while they guided the Sledges down the slope!!!!
I just couldn't cling on tight to a man I didn't know from Adam------so I refused to do it---was extremely firm and adamant!!!Besides where was I to keep my two four legged Babies?????Finally the guy got the message and sailed down the slope----I was left alone on the top---with my heavy Purse and my two Babies.I'm a bit touchy about such things--always have been extremely conservative---add the influence of the Nuns and my Convent School background to it as well perhaps!!!
Sudhir was already ready to explode when he saw that I hadn't come down----all of them were looking like tiny Match Stick figures down below.I'm not a person who thinks too much in such situations---I act!!!So I tucked my Silk Sari tightly around my ankles(I wore only Saris back then),hung my purse round my neck,tucked an excited , wriggling fat Tina under my right arm and a nervous,tense wiry Mingu under the left arm and kicked off----my fat backside acting as my Sleigh!!!Just imagine the sight---2 squealing Lhasa Apsos with their ears flying back and a fat 90kgs+ Sari clad woman hurtling down the Snowy slope on her bum at great speed-----AND heading the wrong way-----straight towards a chasm!!!!
My poor Sudhir was literally crying in frustration---and was trying to rush up the slope in the soft Snow to pull me the right way---an impossible task because he weighed just 62 Kgs. to my 90+Kgs. and besides I was already in motion------I remember thinking of a way to throw my Babies and the Purse towards him while passing him----- when I suddenly changed direction-----to the right path!!!There was a Snow covered Boulder which broke my headlong flight and veered me towards the correct route-------guess as usual The Almighty had kept his eye on me!!!!
The next two days were spent just listening to recrimanations and and arguing back---a total waste of the limited number of days we had in Paradise!!!!Today also the record starts---so I don't bring up the Topic---a bit difficult even today to shut him up once he starts!!!!