Scaling the majestic peaks

Youth of the valley and their inspiring ascent to achievement

In the words of Allama Iqbal, "Zara nam ho to ye mitti bohat zarkhaiz hai saqi" , a profound sense of admiration stirs within me for the vibrant land of Kashmir and its remarkably talented and creative youth. Kashmir, with its breathtaking beauty and majestic mountains, has long been a cradle of art, culture, and intellect.

Within its picturesque valleys lie a treasure trove of gifted individuals, especially among the youth, who possess immense potential and a burning desire to make their mark on the world.

However, the geographical isolation of the valley has presented its fair share of challenges for these bright minds. Encircled by towering mountains, the youth of Kashmir yearn to transcend the boundaries that confine them and prove their mettle in the fiercely competitive world that awaits.

It is of paramount importance to recognize and nurture the untapped talents and aspirations of Kashmir's youth, granting them the wings to soar. Their unique perspectives, boundless creativity, and resolute resilience have the power to make significant contributions across various fields, be it in science, arts, technology, entrepreneurship, or social innovation.

The world beyond Kashmir eagerly awaits the emergence of these young stars, poised to embrace their ideas, skills, and dedication. Through their excellence and accomplishments, the true potential of Kashmir's youth will be realized, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage.

To facilitate this transformative journey, it is crucial to provide the necessary support, resources, and opportunities for these talented individuals to thrive. Investments in education, skill development, infrastructure, and mentorship will empower the youth of Kashmir to transcend the barriers that confine them and reach new heights of success.

Let us collectively encourage and empower the youth of Kashmir to fearlessly explore, dream, and pursue their passions with determination. May they be guided by the spirit embodied in Iqbal's verse, where even the slightest moistness of their aspirations can transform seemingly insurmountable obstacles into fertile grounds of accomplishment. As we witness the brilliance of Kashmir's youth shining across diverse domains, their achievements will not only uplift the region but also contribute to the progress and development of the world. May their journey beyond the valley be characterized by excellence, resilience, and commitment to creating a brighter future for themselves, their sacred land, and humanity as a whole.

As these young boys and girls venture beyond their homeland, they radiate like celestial stars, bringing honor and laurels to their names. Whether they venture into the realms of academics, sports, culture, literature, or even the mesmerizing world of Bollywood's music industry, their brilliance knows no bounds.

In India and across the globe, their talents shine just as brightly as their counterparts, leaving an indelible mark wherever they tread. The time has come for these remarkable individuals to embark on a journey that transcends the boundaries of conventional achievement.

Having proven their mettle in the challenging examinations of India, frequently securing top ranks, they are now beckoned by the world to conquer the most formidable tests of intellectual fortitude. From China's renowned GAOKAO, revered as one of the most challenging exams worldwide, to India's IIT-JEE, the gateway to esteemed engineering programs, opportunities for greatness abound.

Let the youth of Kashmir rise to the occasion and fearlessly embrace the gauntlet thrown by esteemed institutions such as the UPSC, where the Indian Foreign Service, the Indian Administrative Service, and the Indian Police Service await their exceptional talent.

They should not shy away from taking on the rigorous MENSA test, designed to assess the highest levels of intellect, or showcasing their brilliance through the GRE, which opens doors to renowned foreign universities.

The CFA, known for its uncompromising standards in the realm of finance, and the CCIE, a pinnacle of networking expertise, eagerly anticipate their arrival.

Moreover, the illustrious GATE examination, revered by prestigious Indian institutes, yearns for the brilliance of Kashmiri students. And let us not forget the historic All Souls Prize Fellowship Exam at Oxford University, where legends are made and legacies are forged.

Dear Kashmiri students, the competitive world beyond your homeland eagerly awaits your arrival. The brightest minds across the globe yearn for the opportunity to be challenged by your exceptional abilities. The stage is set, the platform awaits your triumphs, be it on sports fields, national games, Asian games, or even the grandest of all, the Olympics. The worlds of science, economics, literature, engineering, arts, and theater crave your brilliance, awaiting your transformative contributions.

In the face of these formidable tests, remember that within you lies the resilience and strength to surmount any obstacle. Let your aspirations soar high, your dreams flourish, and your determination shine brighter than the sun-kissed peaks of your homeland.

The spirit of Kashmiri excellence calls upon you to rise and illuminate the world with your extraordinary achievements. Believe in yourselves, for your sacred land has nurtured minds that are boundless in potential.

Embrace these challenges with unwavering resolve and unyielding determination. The time has come for all of us to seize the opportunity and shine amidst the fiercest competitions.

Do not let the fear of failure hinder your progress. Instead, view every setback as a valuable lesson, a chance to grow and evolve. Remember, it is through adversity that the greatest achievements are born. The timeless verse, "Tund e bade mukhalif se na gabra ae uqab, ye to chalti hai tujhe uncha urane ke liye," serves as an inspiring call to the youth.

It reminds us that in the face of adversity and challenges, one should not be deterred or disheartened. Just as the eagle does not fear the fierce winds; it uses them to soar to greater heights, so should the youth embrace difficulties as opportunities for growth and transformation.

This verse encourages the young generation to harness their inner strength and resilience, for it is through adversity that they can truly rise and achieve their highest potential. With each triumph, you will inspire generations to come and pave the way for others to follow in your footsteps.

Your journey is not just about personal success; it is about creating a legacy that will endure for generations. As you excel and achieve greatness, remember to uplift and inspire those around you. Be a ray of hope and a source of inspiration for your fellow Kashmiri youth, encouraging them to believe in their own abilities and strive for excellence.

Whether you are pursuing a path in science, engineering, IT, or the arts, setting and striving for personal goals is paramount. As veteran actor and renowned theatre Professional Mr. MK Raina advises Hrithik Roshan in the movie "Lakshya,"

“dunya mein koi be kaam karo, achey tara karna zaroori he, tum scientist bano, magar achey scientist na bano, kya faida. ghass kaatne walla bano, aur acha ghass kato, tou koi matlab hey”

(In this world, it is imperative that whatever path you choose, you excel in it. You can aspire to be a scientist, but the true distinction lies in becoming an exceptional scientist, not just an ordinary one. You could opt to be a grass cutter, yet the essence lies in being an exceptional grass cutter, for therein lies true purpose and significance.)         

The essence of this dialogue from the movie “Lakshya”, underscores the idea that the value of any course, job or task is not solely determined by its title or perceived importance but rather by the level of dedication and attention to detail that an individual brings to it. This message encourages individuals especially youth to approach their work with a sense of pride and responsibility, recognizing the intrinsic value of all jobs and emphasizing the importance of contributing one's best effort to every task, regardless of occupation, with commitment to delivering the best possible result.

Dear students, the world is your canvas waiting to be painted with your extraordinary talents, unwavering determination, and the deep heritage of your homeland. With these potent ingredients, you possess the power to etch an indelible mark on the global stage. Let your accomplishments stand as a testament to the boundless potential that resides within each of you, and may your stories of success resonate through the annals of time.

Much like the towering peaks of our majestic mountains, your dreams and aspirations do rise to remarkable heights, soaring far above sea level. Your innate talents and limitless potential, cultivated amidst the rugged terrain, are a testament to your unwavering resolve. Just as our mountains steadfastly face adversity, so too do you rise above challenges, proving that your abilities are on par with the world's finest. Your ambition is to leave an indelible mark on the global stage, to bring forth your unique perspectives and skills, and to reveal the uncharted brilliance of Kashmir to the world. Remember, the world eagerly awaits the masterpiece you will create with your talents and determination."

About the author

Shahid Ali Khan is an academician and economist who currently holds the position of Youth Welfare & Cultural Officer at the University of Kashmir.

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