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Experience in Kashmir

E-mail from Kalpana Chetty


I had been to Kashmir few days back. it was an enchanting experience. the place cannot be described in words each place is distinctive yet similar. every place over there carries a scar of terrorism and hatred. for me living in Bombay I rarely get to see army men but out there seeing the men in such huge numbers was simply overwhelming for me.

I waved at each and every army men out there and I could see genuine smiles on their weary faces. they too waved back with same gusto. and there was this one particular incident which I cannot forget.

I had gone with a large group and few of them had fallen sick .the driver took them to the doctor and parked the vehicle on the road side. It was dark and the place is not safe at night so you find army men at every nook and corner. I had turned on the light inside and one of the army men came and started enquiring about our whereabouts. The man was so frustrated about the local people on their nexus with the militants that he called Kashmir hell and advised us not to stay in the area for long as there were more women in the group. My mom got down to thank him for what he is doing for the country and for us and said she had no words to describe her feelings for army people. the man got so emotional that he said now I have no regrets for laying down my life for one kind word you have spoken.

All of us just couldn’t speak to each other till we reached our house boat. That emotion in his eyes made me feel like an ant in front of a giant. This is something that made me feel even more proud to be an Indian and Kashmir deserves to be a part of India especially since so many people have laid down their lives defending it.

I too want to do my bit in showing solidarity towards the jawans so could you send me the Kukri of Honour so that more people can become aware of the unsung heroes of the killer valley.


Kalpana Chetty