Friday, 9 November, 2007
Mission Srinagar: Touching the forehead of Mother India
Srinagar: For the Vismay Swaraj Yatra entourage, performing here was just like touching the forehead of and getting the blessings from the mother Nation.
While traveling from Jammu to Srinagar escorted by heavily armed security vehicles, anxiety burgeoned in their minds. Since there was a warning that vehicles decorated with tricolour images and inscribed with logos of Defence Ministry would easily invite attention of the insurgents, the concern only multiplied.
Sight of vigilant BSF men roaming in the shades of Chinar trees and the murmuring of the river Chenab could only add to the dubious hues.
If these were all manmade reasons of worry, the nature’s challenge was a 300 kilometers of precarious mountain trails for the entourage to cover. Narrow roads, hairpin curves edged by steep vales on one side and landslide prone hills on the other side remained remorselessly.
At least twice the vehicles had to halt for hours due to abrupt landslides. During such indefinite situations, escorting security personals gave care and encouragement for the magical visitors. Mohamed Yasin, Mohamed Yusuf, Abdul Rasheed and Mushtaq Ahmed of the J & K Police established an intimate friendship with the team.
Driver of the magic bus, M.V. Narayanan, called lovingly as ‘mama’, was the first person to receive praise for the safe and successful accomplishment of the mission Srinagar.