The influence of sociocultural factors on human beings is so different and distinct that the sway of certain instincts will always characterize them. The inherited traits are palpable to bring forth who we are and how we are accustomed to handle the different affairs of life. Those habits will never go away and cannot be forgotten so easily. They reveal and represent us. We are deeply engrossed to do what we have learnt or what we feel is right to do. Whatever habitual inclinations we have acquired over a period of time, finally becomes our identity.
Wherever we are, we the red cheeks can never play hide and seek. We are explicitly recognizable. We are so obsessed with our own set rules that we hardly care about other things that coexist with us. We never feel any lesser than a King. We have made the mark of our culture and character across the world. We have proved our worth and spread our wings. Sometimes, in a lighter vein, we are also good at throwing tantrums that shows how humorous at times we can be. We make unceasing efforts to keep our funny bone tickling so that others will cherish our company. It’s our escape from the mental trauma that we have been incessantly subjected to.
We have always lived a king size life and never stopped sharing subtle humor to unburden our worries. We do our best against the odds and don’t give up so easily. We least bother what others think about us but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t introspect. Circumstances might have turned hostile but that doesn’t mean we should complicate the things and make things impossible for others. We should value our resources and make every effort to use them in the best possible way and also usable for others. We shouldn’t destroy anything so as to vent our anger and arrogance.
It was bone chilling on 5th Jan 2020, when I was traveling in train from Budgam to Banihal. The moment it halted at Nowgam station, sea of commuters rushed inside in one go. Within no time, it was jam packed and passengers could be seen yawning, having power naps in between, some sitting on their haunches, others busy in munching peanuts and occasionally there were shouts at someone to switch off the transistor. Once you are in, it’s too hard to snail out, get off before the final stop. The scene stupefied, and instantly reminded me of Khushwant Singh’s novel ‘Train to Pakistan’. I was surprised to see how some people managed to get inside the compartment through window panes that too in winters when they had put on so many layers. I wondered how people can be so hard on themselves. The way they managed the horizontal entry of passengers through the window panes was astonishing for me. Everyone was in such a hurry as if they were running for their life.
This train has become a mess. We had rendered its seats to shreds. There was dirt and dust everywhere. The lavatories were complete pit. No one could dare to enter inside and bear that nauseating smell. We have kept the things in a very ugly state which doesn’t go well with the sweet and sacred talks we preach about morals. By the time we will start cogitating, everything would have been destroyed and disappeared. Just for the fare of Rs 50 from Baramulla to Banihal, doesn’t mean we hold the license to turn so brutal and justify the outrage by the bush behavior to wreck the valuable assets?
Amid severe pushes and pulls I managed to get off and finally had a sigh of relief at the last station. At Banihal, without wasting any time, I booked my seat in an Innova to cover rest of my journey without having any idea about the road that lies ahead. For hours, the traffic moved at a snail’s pace and all we could do was to wait for our turn to cross safely the most dangerous spots. The landslides and falling shooting stones gave us goose bumps but we weathered the storm. Even when we were stuck in a bad situation, we couldn’t stop laughing, the moment when someone cracked the joke “These mountains are afflicted with ‘Stone Cancer’, (Yemun Pahadun Chu Stone Kunsar Gamot).We were famished and sustained the terrible day on biscuits. We were fortunate to have been stranded for more than 5 hours only. Finally we crossed the tragic locations and stopped at a restaurant for dinner. The co passengers treated themselves with the feast of Yakhni which was out of elements. Others gorged on delicacies of chicken. Given the size and taste, they felt as if ‘Kawwa Biryani’ was served to them.
I was rather feeling chuffed but dead exhausted, by the time, I reached Bathindi, Jammu .I couldn’t believe the way this place has been developed. Just few years back, there were only two villas visible from the main road, one belonged to the grandfather of my cousin Illyas Abass, and another was the mansion of Abdullahs. Next day in the afternoon, I planned a visit Wave Mall, which is located nearby. On the way I encountered frequent traffic jams, reason being winter rush from the Valley. As usual, here also, they stop in the middle of the road. They get engaged in the side talks and cause inconvenience. Inside the mall, I pursed my lips to see hundreds of Kashmiris strolling around. I could only find them as potential buyers.
On my return, near Makka masjid, I heard cries and there was a lot commotion in the middle of the road. Amid the crowd, I could notice that a lady was hit by an intoxicated biker. Only Kashmiris came forward and took her to the hospital. They attended her and did what they could do. As a matter of fact we all are in pain, but we could never see anyone suffering. We are one of a kind who are known for generosity. It’s too hard to be happy but we can’t cease to be helpful to others. Future may be uncertain but that doesn’t mean we have to be hopeless. Being vulnerable, doesn’t mean we have to beat the drums of victimhood. Always have firm faith and never stop doing your bit; as for good deeds the rewards are always in abundance!