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Snow visits Srinagar at midnight

It seems a little more special
12:10 AM Feb 03, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
snow visits srinagar at midnight
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Aiman Khan

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The gentle showers paved the way for snow at midnight. Roads cleared off the dust, snow reclaims its spot in the nooks of Srinagar. It’s snowing in Srinagar, while silence becomes the witness of the moment. It snowed in Gulmarg and other hilly areas some days back but snow visits Srinagar at midnight when people are in deep slumber. And, the nostalgia hits - as children waking up to marvel at the snow blanket was one of the most beautiful winter memories. Looking from the window to assure yourself that it has snowed before running for shin-jung (snowfight) was enough to keep us going. No one waited for the perfect snow picture or selfie. Everyone waited for a snowball of joy.

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With electricity being absent most of the time, Kashmiri songs and Bollywood beats played in a loop. ‘Sheena Peto Peto, Maamaa Yito, Yito’, with its echoes of history reflects a common longing for snow and has traversed the borders of time. It seems that despite the problems snow poses, this Kashmiri song has become a delicate expression for one and all seeking snowfall. It’s worth paying attention to how all the misery now comes with is melted down in these few words.

This winter, the dry spell seemed to mock us. While there are reasons for the dry spell, the sun wasn’t a happy sight. With a heavy sigh each morning, Kashmiris yearned for that thud of snow falling from their roofs. The burnt grass added to the misery while the shortage of water made us miss snow a little more. Not to talk about the children restricted to playing games on their phones when it’s the most carefree time of their lives to make shin-mahniv (snowman).

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And, in between all this yearning and longing, people came to pray together. Tears overflowing, hands joined together to seek forgiveness. This, perhaps, is another aspect of being a Kashmiri and before that, a Muslim. You witness nature not following its course and you sense Allah (SWT) is not happy. In Islam, rain is mercy from Allah (SWT).

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This winter, the snowfall wasn’t witnessed but it allowed people to reflect on themselves. Sas-Ras, a special meal preparation done during extreme climate changes was a common sight in many places. It’s said that it was mostly done as a way of praying during heavy rainfall. And, people also offered Nimaz-e-Isitisqa, a Sunnah prayer seeking rain in various mosques including Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta, Srinagar. And, now when we got season’s first snowfall here in Srinagar too, it seems a little more special. It’s the reward of millions of prayers, tears, and repentance. And, let’s hope it’s the blessing pouring down on us.

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Power cuts and roadblocks will interrupt our routine a little more but nature’s balance needs to be taken care of. The cracked and parched soil needs snowfall. Because, snowfall isn’t only for tourists and aesthetics, it’s the source of water, glaciers, and livelihood here. The circle of seasons in Kashmir can never be completed without a proper snowfall. Let’s say Shukur Alhamdulillah as Allah bestowed us with His Mercy, once again.

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