I had no idea what lovers in Kashmir did in winters, when it snowed and everything was cold and wet and hard. Till Spring came and moods turned. This year the storm died somewhere in the mod of April. It is becoming an annual thing now. Winds. Rain in March. The tulips being washed away. The Botanical Gardens must be a sad place, despite the rains and lovers. But the rains will stop, punctually before the almonds bloom. Like always. It’s a relief Nature grants, the last one before summers.
I mean just look at it! Winters – of jackets, a couple of sweaters, gloves and red noses. Of walking on wet leaves. The smoke from street hawkers’ stalls. Cold and cough. And frozen pipes.
Love is a pointless emotion. I am so convinced of it at this point that in my memory of that spring all the blossoms of Badamvaer have been blown away. He had told me so, many times. But that was too many months ago. Years, even. It was spring and we were young and bored with Kashmir’s normal monotony.
But that was 2008 and it was all about to change.
It lasted exactly a season. The next season we spent in curfew.
I turn to his memory of looking out of the gazebo in Botanical Gardens. In my mind he is always staring at the almond blossoms. Always smiling. The fading sunlight glinting off his eyes. He is not interested in me. Not more than I am interested in the blossoms. Suddenly I laugh. This foolishness – of having found a person and imagining falling in love. Its all movie stuff. Until its real and then it doesn’t happen in Botanical Gardens, of that also I am sure.
I turn to his memory and ask, “Will you dance with me?”
…. to be continued….