With snow something else also falls in Kashmir – and that is misfortune. Not the only place that receives snowfall, Kashmir actually receives moderate snowfall compared to many parts of the world that are developed. But there is a strange mathematics that follows. Even a heavy snowfall, with more frequency in places like Europe, doesn’t throw life out of gear. In fact there are hardly any disruptions. Roads are open, planes take off and touchdown, offices work normally, homes are as cosy spaces as they otherwise are, even the spaces for socialisation remain up and alive. Here in Kashmir, a moderate snowfall after a good gap of dry days, throws life out of gear. The first casualty is the electricity. As if it is a scientific imperative that no electricity is possible when it snows. Though some areas in Srinagar city, and may be in some town centres, are lucky enough to experience less disruption on this count, but there are areas that say goodbye to electricity for days together. Now come to the roads. Snow clearance is always a problem. Then we have snow banking on the margins of the roads, and puddles dotting the roads. This leads to a constriction of space and a consequent traffic jamming. This is the fate of the people who live here. Now take those who plan to travel outside at a time when snowfall starts.
The lone surface connection, Srinagar-Jammu Highway, is closed. For days, mind you. And there are no flights that take off. You are stranded. Doesn’t matter you have scheduled you journey onwards and want to join your duties. No one cares that you have applied for some exam, or interview – you are stuck. The only option is to endure the pain of it. And then if you have some emergency healthcare need to go outside; you can only pray that your condition doesn’t deteriorate till the air traffic is restored. And they call this place a paradise on earth! The people outside are told to come here in winters and enjoy the snowfall. Who would tell them that there is nothing for a common person, here in Kashmir, to enjoy about snowfall. In fact the color of snow for us is anything but white.