It was the morning of 9th May, 2013.
I woke up instinctively before the alarm could buzz off. I had been through hundreds of mornings in that place. A typical routine: “ The alarm goes off, I wake up to the noise and switch it off before my roomie (Shashank) gets up. I quickly get ready and dash off for my classes while my mate is busy in yoga sessions. After spending a few hours on studies, I come back for lunch and then move again for the practical sessions. Finally, after a hard days work I stroll by the canal with friends and spend the rest of the night playing games, watching movies or chatting with friends.”
However this morning was different from all those, there was no hurry. It seemed like I could wait for an eternity. This was my last morning in this abode (IIT Ropar). Four years lived and now it was time for goodbye. Whatever begins one day has to end some other day.
I packed my bags, bid farewell to whoever was awake and left my abode, without looking back. Cause if I even looked back once, moving forward would have been ten times difficult. With memories swarming in my mind, pulling myself and my luggage, I reached the main gate for my final check out.
The Chandigarh airport was pretty crowded at my arrival but soon became empty after a few takeoffs. After a wait of an hour I boarded the SG121 for Srinagar. I had heard a lot about this place, both from my parents and from the news and was excited about the journey. The skies started clearing off and I could see majestic mountain ranges with snowy tributaries. Across these ranges, there rests a valley, the Srinagar valley. The jet began to descend as it was about to land. It was time to check out this heaven on earth.
It was pretty cool (relative to the weather at Chandigarh) with the thermo at 23 degree Celsius. There were mountains all around and in the middle lies this valley which I was standing on. The Airport is located inside the Air Force Base, which in turn is located inside the Army Base. Hence, security is very tight. My dad was there to pick me up and soon I reached my home.
Due to obvious reasons, I can’t divulge many details in my description here but I will try to give you a glimpse of the region. First comes the airport itself, due to its closeness with the base, the runway is open for transportation. Some of the best memories of Srinagar are those of riding my bike parallel to the runway and competing with the Boeing 747’s taking-off/ Landing. Planes taking off into the sky just like WE are going to reach the skies now (Graduation Over).
The city needs no description. Its beauty is beyond compare and no words can describe it, only way for you to know is to visit this heaven for yourself. But in spite of this fathomless beauty, Srinagar also bears some deep sorrows in itself.
Just the day when I arrived, I heard news of 3 Jawans being killed by terrorists. The irony of the situation is a common fact for the residents. On every crossroad one can see Armed Army Jawans patrolling the region. On top of tall buildings are snipers with the “00” authority. This is no movie I am talking about, they have got the license to kill – “Shoot at Sight for any suspicious activity”. All this security can beat the crap out of even Hitman and seems scary at times but just one look at the horizon and one’s mind is soothed by the beautiful scene.
“AJEET HAI, ABHEET HAI” is the sign you can read inscribed on the mountain pass bordering the army base. Human determination is after all very powerful. The soldiers are determined and the militants are also not giving way. Only time will tell…..