Love Letter to Kashmir

Dear Kashmir,

I have been dreaming about you for so long. I have heard so many stories and tales about your people, culture, the delicious food and your naturally stunning beauty. I wanted to come and meet you in person and you were so welcoming, beyond my imagination.

Thank you to the generosity of your people for looking after me with such kindness; I am forever grateful to these souls.

I met various parts of you. The people I met, showed me how you exist with three different religions and are able to respect each and every one of them, from Hinduism to Buddism to Islam community. They shared stories about what it is like to live in turmoil of your current situation.

I felt responsible to write this letter to you as I feel it’s important to spread a message to the wider world about the pain that you feel inside. It’s my responsibility to shed light on you, Kashmir, because the world should see you for what you are: Not only from the outer beauty but to understand your pain within. I am committed to the truth and I wanted to see yours.

I saw the pain. I saw depression. I saw hopelessness. I spoke with artists who are in the heart of the turmoil trying to make a difference, holding onto hope. I met those who are OK with the situation and have accepted what is. I met a journalist who showed physical markings of a rash from the conflict. Then the scent of greenery from you could be deeply inhaled, the taste of fresh mountain water, and the stillness of lotus flowers on the Dal Lake.

Your people are incredible people. I met one great man whose name was Amit. His positive mindset, his views on life, his continued wishes to help, give and promote you, is breathtaking. He taught me a few things:

  • He shared his truth about the fact that within our lives there will always be one component that will always be out of balance. Why else do we live?
  • He also shared the most important factor in choosing a life partner is that they should provide you with peace of mind.

I met one of your most renounced painters, Veer Munshi, who inspired me to be a good person. How? Undoubtedly, by doing good. He followed his heart throughout his career. He did what felt good and what helped him feel at peace with what was happening within. He was part of the flow and he encouraged those around him to do the same.

I met another young spirit who was filled with beauty and left me questioning, how you are looking after your youth that are so close to the turmoil that is happening within? What about their mental health from seeing pedal stones marks on their skins or girls with shot eyes? How is this affecting them? What are the values you would like them to take away? What could be done about those who want to help, but feel so hopeless?

I have asked myself a couple of times whether your people truly want freedom? Is Kashmir ready for this change?

You are a rich territory. I have not seen anyone begging nor any homeless. Your community is well looked after.

What is your character Kashmir?

You are damn charming.
You are caring.
You have a fighting spirit. 
You are intelligent. 
You are humble.

I’m grateful for what you taught me:

  • A sense of appreciation for a present time.
  • The joy of your people. Quality of conversations.
  • Work is Workship. Rest is Rust.

Thank you, Kashmir, for opening up to me and showing me your true self.

With Love,
Gintare