...No one crept out of their trucks until the sun was fully up and all the leftover popcorn was swept up and thrown away. Almost immediately, varying stories started circulating around. Some, fairly inert, while others were downright absurd. The best we could figure out was that overnight it was discovered that the telegraph lines that connect the military along the line of control were down and that opened up the defences for an infiltration of Pakistani militants. At least one person was killed, probably an army person, numerous injuries were incurred and quite a few arrests took place...

By midday, the roads were reopened and the trucks started to queue up. My three friends and myself took up residence in the back of the truck as we waited our turn to proceed. After a bit, while peering out of the side slats, we noticed some army officials examining our vehicle.

They kept looking up at the top of the truck and pointing, then would confer amongst themselves in Hindi. A few more minutes passed when they ordered our drivers out of the cab. Immediately the soldiers started harassing the two men. They were being shoved forcibly with gun butts as the commanding officer yelled at them, pointing out something on the top of the truck. The drivers kept shaking their heads and pleading with them. The harassment started to escalate as more soldiers started to surround and intimidate our two friends. Mere shoving around by the back end of a rifle gave way to fisted hits and slaps. Before long the drivers were kneeling down on the ground as Indian boots eclipsed Kashmiri faces.

photo(c)TwoFeathers 1999
~A trip to Srinagar for a foreigner can at times be limiting in where you're allowed to go safely. The Moghul gardens were a delightfully colorful attraction with it's beautiful array of flowers and massive pools where many a romantic serenade was expressed over the centuries~