Every time I hear about Kashmir in newspaper, I feel high level of threat and negativity. It feels being unsafe in heaven and tense situation in the paradise on earth. Every day, some or other way, there is news about firing in Jammu and Kashmir border areas and acts of terrorism near army camps and across international border line. I am fond of travelling and it gives me intense pleasure to work and travel for official work at the same time. I have a role to communicate with my team members and dealers across length and breadth of the country and my job involves lot of travelling and doing seminars for upgrading skills and training our staff about new products.
This time I got the assignment to set up base camp in Jammu district and have talk with our clients and distributors and problems faced by them. Honestly I was trying to avoid the trip or delay it for time being but soon I realised that Jammu and Kashmir is new area to explore and I should challenge myself and take this opportunity forward.
I booked the Indigo flight and ready with my woollen clothes arrived in Srinagar. The weather was so pleasant and fresh breeze across my face with no pollution or dust in the air. I felt like reached a different place altogether. One of my client cab was there waiting for me to pick me up and soon recognised the signboard with my name.
In the cab, I had little chit chat about recent news and asked him about local conditions. The driver was very cool customer and told me that certain areas are affected by such crimes but in TV ,they are shown to just grab people attention and as a result tourism is affected and less people come to Kashmir. Next two days were busy meeting with clients and communication about business process and collaboration with suppliers and dealers. As the session ended early, I got 2 days to enjoy and explore kashmir.I asked my friend and our local dealer to arrange for cab and local guide to take me to nearby spots. Next morning, my journey started with sightseeing the Pahalgaum area and going through Anantnag and having a walk in apple farms and choosing the apple which I want to buy for myself.
I also got opportunity to trek my wall to hill top to mini Switzerland and across the hill, I could see big trees and some tree which had been rooted out due to excess of rain in that area. There was no sense of terror and I felt proud that our CRPF forces and jawans were present everywhere and because of them, there was peace in the area and Kashmir was no different from Shimla or any other hill station.
Next day, I went to Kashmir to purchase Kashmir famous willow bat for my son and dry fruits for my family. In the evening, I was back to hotel to catch the flight next morning and report to office next day. Overall, I felt satisfied with my purpose to visit Kashmir and have some memories of it.