FROM THE EYES OF A TOURIST!

By mpvmuthu

It was an elated evening 
Full of excitement and emotions filled,
when my flight was landing
Welcoming climate was pleasant but grew chilled

It was my very first visit to Srinagar
Which is acclaimed as a paradise on Earth
When a taxi took me, I looked out very eager 
On my own mission to ascertain and to unearth

Reality of life in this lovely valley
As mysteries and myths were doing rounds
On seeing the heavy security en-route, one may fley 
As peace as well as tension, simultaneously surrounds

I had seen such type of security arrangement, only in cinema
Also I seen woman standing single, looking at passing vehicle for a lift
Again seen few women alighting peacefully from passing vehicle, without stigma
This first trend pacified me, as life here looked safe as well a gift

Trip started with Gulmarg, that is never forgettable
Cable cars to this highest point, makes journey pleasant and easy
Welcoming drizzle in the cable car itself, hinted snowfall as possible 
With protective clothing, what I felt on reaching was more than fantasy

Slight snowfall caressed my heart
Ever first experience, it was soothing and soft
With this beauty, life demands to begin with a new start
My words failed to narrate the Master's mastery and craft

Now snowfall slightly rised its force
My joy too raised as ecstasy of every tourist was like a child
For joy of tourists, various snow games were the other source
Copious snowfall changed the tune, from being mild

Fast and furious was the speed
Little difficult to bear, yet enjoyable to brave
Standing in the open space, sets the joy to breed
Enthralled like this, one may easily end to enslave

The L.O.C was located nearby
That shown sensational security action
As the entire border area is covered threadby
Surely words wane, over such soldiers' devotion

I had seen a squad of soldiers running from one post to other,
Like snowfall, heart too becomes heavy, on their service to motherland!
Though protected, threat to own life, they hardly bother
Their gallantry, each citizen should see here, firsthand

These young soldiers were in their uniform
Well protected and equipped with modern gadgets,
and set to stay here, bravely bearing such snow storm
What India deserves more than such consistent cadets! 

On seeing such courage and gallantry, my blood got hot
Of course, the climate was unbearably arctic and adverse
Aimed at infiltrators, they stay ready anytime, to shoot
For their sacrifice is not suffice, even if it were this universe!

While climbing down, I could see many bunkers 
Spread across the entire ranges, to protect homeland
What a noble service they render, to protect citizens from troublemakers!
Even after a year, I continue to cherish thoughts of this wonderland

Next mesmerizing was the ride in the Dal lake
You may thank God for this birth, on wondering the bloom and beauty 
of the snow clad hills during the ride, as no other thought shall overtake
Two eyes not enough when the hills glitter in grandeur with sunlight, like deity! 

Thus I missed my lunch, tho' I never felt
Amazing was what lovely food I got at banks of the lake itself 
As good as I could get in my home belt
Such joy of such ride, I wish, not to be missed by oneself

Next was the visit to various Royal Gardens and parks
With terraced lawns, cascading fountains and fascinating flowers  
Better to the heaven, each soul shall award to this site, more marks
Becomes the true paradise on Earth when the snow slightly showers!

In one such garden, I could see family of an Englishman
Playing with their kids, with joy and jubilance
It provides a new atmosphere to live, like a layman
In the present style of life, hardly one get such a chance

Close by is the pristine white marble "Hazratbal Mosque"
Which is blessed to house a holy hair of the Prophet Muhammad
You could enter inside, to pray, surely an experience, truly unique
When its elegance is reflected in the water of the lake, you may feel glad

Trip to Pahalgam was full of amazing and awesome sceneries
I could reach unto the last village of the valley, on this way 
The Guide bid me adieu, which too stay in my memories,
wishing "Allah hafiz" which rings in my ears even this day

Relating to Kashmir, there were and are many Reports
With the true account of my trip during April 2016, I do add this, with nostalgic
If one seeks reality, above picture from the eyes of a tourist, surely supports
As above, what I had seen, observed, felt and perceived, is sociologic 

Shooting, shouting, stone throwing and other disturbances,
widely reported in media led me to visit with lot of hesitation
As I too deliberately disregarded my earlier two chances
This poem purports to record feelings of my hearts' reflection

Taxi services in the valley, seen to be good
Till I reached home safe, with concern, my taxi driver contacted
Many depend on tourism, for their livelihood 
Such facts facilitate fabulous and fascinated tourists to get attracted

Majority of population is Muslim but everywhere hotels are vegetarian
I could see almost all name boards, displayed only in English
People were so contented, calm, cordial and disciplinarian
A large number of English medium Schools here, shows their wish

When women get a lift from any vehicle fearlessly, safely, I was elated
Even in isolated spot, young women were waving for such a lift
In whole India, women here were able to move free, safe, as protected
Number of cars, self-driven by women here, was also a sizable lot 

It is normal and easy to endorse someone's view
It is hard to ascertain and to arrive at a judgment
My experience and emotions as above, may lend a preview
One may refer few more memoirs, for a better assessment!


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Copyright 2017 mpvmuthu
Published on Sunday, April 16, 2017.     Filed under: "Personal" and "Poetry"

Author's Note:

It is the poetic presentation of the tour undertaken by the Poet to Srinagar, India during April 2016
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