Winter in Kashmir: Boon or Bane?

Winter in Kashmir: Boon or Bane?
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Kashmir is blessed with seasons that are pronounced, poignant and so eloquently sublime that one can only be thankful to Allah Subhana Hu Wa Ta’ala and praise Him in wonder and humility. Be it the preening summer, or the luscious spring or the sublime autumn, each season has something wonderful to offer. What has been elided here in the list of seasons is winter: a time of the year that most people in Kashmir either dread or are at the sufferance of. But, this need not be the case. Winter in Kashmir is and can be one of the best seasons of the year that people (not merely Kashmiris but all) can savor, enjoy and cherish. The aura and ambiance, in and during winter , in Kashmir is surreal: the snow clad mountain peaks, the falling snow and its effects, the cloudy skies that impart a surreal hue to the valley, the brisk cold , and the fresh air, can all potentially be enjoyable views and the experiences thereof can be worth cherishing. But, alas, the reality is more prosaic: because of the abysmal lack of facilities here, winter becomes something that is, at best, endured by the people of Kashmir. This is a travesty for the bounties of nature that Kashmir has been abundantly blessed with , are neither enjoyed nor counted as a boon just because of manmade structural flaws. It may also be stated that winter in Kashmir can be economically vibrant and its benefits can percolate to the masses if not just facilities but the season and its sublime beauty is marketed deftly, astutely and ethically. But, alas, here too, Kashmir, because of negligence, ignorance and perhaps lack of imagination stands occluded. Ideally, winter, given the availability of facilities, like uninterrupted electricity, heating for the less advantaged people, good economic conditions, should be a festive season in Kashmir. This is still possible. But, for the condition to crystallize, an attitudinal shift is required. However, this shift would be incomplete if there are no accompanying complements by way of facilities for the people and even for tourists. The bounties that Allah has bestowed upon on Kashmir are manifold and multiple but it is we humans that have rendered these into a bane. With will and determination, Kashmir can be a place that reflects the glories of Allah in all seasons, including winter.