The Wedding Adventure…

Anees Zargar

It is not only snow abodes, gushing waters or green valleys that people of Kashmir are blessed with but this place is heaven for adventure sports. Apart from trekking in high mountain peaks, River rafting in fast streams, going for a wedding party in a curfew is yet another adventurous sport people prefer nowadays. I myself have tried it few days back and trust me, it is breathtaking and once in a lifetime experience. My cousin brother got married last week and I owe him for giving me this opportunity.

My first task after leaving for marriage ceremony was to face some ten to fifteen police and paramilitary force right outside my house. As I walked near they greeted me with words, “Tu kahan marne jaa raha hai? Where are you going to die?” I faced them and after a bit of hard work and passed them. Thanks to my “special” curfew pass. However, the chance for rejection of curfew pass is always 1/3rd. The next thing I had to do was to reach my cousins place on foot, which is a Herculean task.

There is an “old” saying in Kashmir, “A Kashmiri lives and earns for two events in his lifetime i.e. marriage and constructing a house.” So it was an important event for me as well and my temptation for waazwaan (cuisine) added fuel to the fire. I was walking on the silent road all alone, the huge deployment of troops gave a dreadful look but I still continued my journey. The tiring part of this adventure is that there are checkpoints after every 15-20 yards and one has to give full information about him and his movement, making this sport more difficult.

After walking a distance of about a mile the best part of this adventure came forth. This time I had to cross a bridge on which teenage protesters were throwing stones from below and the troops were responding to stones from the bridge with stones, tear gas and many other weapons I don’t know but can be differentiated with different sounds. It takes a lot of experience (from any conflict zone) and skills like dodge, duck, dribble, dives, slide etc (which easily outnumber any sports even football) to escape such a situation. After performing the aforementioned skills I was able to move ahead. Finally, I reached my destination with a bit of hard work through small alleys.

Another task which is associated with “the Wedding Adventure” is to bring the bride from her home. This involves 007 movies like rash driving and amazing car chases. Saving the car from stones and bullets requires awe-inspiring tactics. And during this we had to spend a lot of money for crossing some Kashmir police check posts. It is not bribe but a tip called “kadaltaar” given on this special occasion to Kashmir Police so that they allow us a safe passage.

Everyone does not pass this task without any headache. My friend who was also on this adventure the same day was made to sit for hours on a bridge with other guests as their curfew passes were rejected. One of his uncles was made to go to nearby police station thrice to renew the pass but it’s only after his fourth round that they were allowed to move.
There are other risk factors also associated but they present moments to cherish and remember for la lifetime. After reaching to my cousin’s place, I with my cousin brothers and uncles was sitting in the drawing room. The young were hearing patiently to the elder generation’s adventure in the early 90’s. Suddenly, we heard gunshots from outside our house and those who were speaking of their bravery began trembling and shivering with fear. Their immediate reaction was lying flat on the ground and then they started crawling towards the corridor. I and my cousins did not even move but we just watched their moves and when all of this ended we laughed our lungs out.

This kind of life can be lived in a conflict zone like Kashmir only. The curfew clad valley and the wedding season is prerequisite for this adventurous sport. The Hollywood maxim, “Living on the edge” can be the tag line. But unlike Hollywood, we don’t create atmospheres for this life, do I feel lucky?

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About theparallelpost
The language of words is more heavenly than the language of tongues and lips. The Parallel Post is a forum to offer a space for people who dare to speak through their words. The intention is to create an environment to share in words what we perceive in our minds...

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