A Lady Tourist from Gujarat India Talks About Kashmir
My name is Miss Maitry Mehta. I am from Surat, Gujarat, India. By profession I am an interior designer and free lancer.
First I visited Kashmir in June 2017.
Well, from childhood my parents and my maternal grandparents were used to tell, Kashmir must be paradise, people talk a lot about its beauty when they go and visit, but sad, they never been there so finally I decided to visit Kashmir on my way to Ladakh-Kargil 23 Days solo trip.
First time I just visited Patnitop and Srinagar and Sonamarg and I was stunned by beauty and specially people. If I will start writing about Kashmiri people I can write whole book.
My another trip was in September but unfortunately I just landed in Srinagar and the same day evening I came to know about my mother’s fragile health, she had to go through surgery and next day I took a flight from Srinagar to Mumbai.
My 3rd trip was in December when I visited Srinagar, Kangan, Aru Valley, Pahalgam, Betaab valley, Drung, Gulmarg.
My4th trip was 21 Days long from 16th January to 5th Feb. in this trip I learnt basic Ski 15 Days and explored so many small places.
Yes, I always traveled solo to Kashmir. I’m a solo traveler and I traveled more than 7 states alone in India and never went back to same state or particular place again except Kashmir, this line itself speaks everything about Kashmir.
Believe me, in India 22 years old beautiful girl can never feel safe everywhere but Kashmir is exceptional. Kashmir is the safest place I ever visited. Kashmiri men don’t have dirt about women in their mind at all. Kashmiris would go out of their way to help you in their land.
The news about conflict, we use to watch on TV, I never seen that portrayed Kashmir any day, believe me..!
Kashmir is my second home, I promised myself no matter what I would, visit Kashmir and my dozen Kashmiri (Handsome) friends at least once in a year.
Whenever I think about Kashmiri people sitting in Gujarat I get Tears of Happiness in my eyes with smile, Kashmiri people kindness, care, love and most important Mehmaan navazi (Hospitality) is out of anybody’s imagination.
From fruit sellers to medical shop man to shared sumo co passengers no one would forget to greet you with smile and care, you won’t believe Kashmiri people make sure with you that if you’re not falling short of funds (money) when you’re traveling for many days..! Like really, have you ever seen such good people in your life ..!? If you got some health problem in between your travel they won’t show you route to hospital they’ll take you to hospital. If it’s late co passengers around you will tell you not to travel to your destination and stay at their place (yes, not at hotel) and have dinner with them. Most beautiful and smiling people of most beautiful valley. They all the time just make sure you’re well, you’re safe, you’re feeling good etc. I have never seen people like Kashmiris and their culture.
While learning ski I got some serious skin infection, frozen bites and snow blisters on my face and other parts of body and I was not going to doctor and one Kashmiri elder brother just took me after seeing me in fever and these many problems and he told me just to lock my mouth and not to make any excuses not to go to doctor.
In Anantnag once I fell down in main market, I was going to pahalgam, was already in fever and low blood pressure and travelling, just bunch of people came to me and were ready to take me to medical shop, fruit seller Uncle gave me an apple, someone bought water bottle for me. I cried a lot on call with my mom on call after I reached Pahalgam with happiness I told my mom if I was in fever and BP problems in Surat even you won’t take care like today some people helped.
And so Many incidents are there obviously..!