Visit to Kashmir Valley - by Ramesh Bhushan

by Ramesh5. May 2014 02:21
Recently we(My self and Usha) had a chance to Visit Kashmir Valley.The visit was wonderful.We left by air on 21-04-2014 and returned by air on 25-04-2014.We took different flights.I had a plan to go by train to Udhampur from Delhi.Then by road to Banihal.From Banihal to Baramula by train and join Usha there for rest of sojourn.It did not materialise.I was strongly dissuaded for reasons not so difficult to guess.We stayed in Gingle and Srinagar.The local journey was by car.We visited URI-I,URI-II,Kishen Ganga hydro power projects. We had a chance to go to Kaman Post on Srinagar Muzzafrabad road(NH1A)We went right up to Friendship Bridge on river Jhelum which connects India on one side and POK on the other.In Srinagar we went to tulip garden and Shankracharya temple on a hill having about 300 steps.I picked up a Quran in Hindi and one in English being distributed free by some one near Chashma Shahi next to Tulip Garden.I asked him a question based on what I saw near Kaman Post on Friendship Bridge across Jhelum.On our side there is a big board erected saying Mazhab Nahin Sikhata Apas Mein Baer Rakhna and as usual there are four signs-Temple,Mosque,Gurudwara,Church.On the other side there is an equally big board declaring Pakistan se Rishta Kiya La e la il ill-ah.He looked blankly at me and we moved on.I am still wondering about it. We went to Gulmarg also from Srinagar.There we had ride in GONDOLA up to ist stage at MSL 14000 feet.We were advised not to go beyond to a higher altitude because of our age.We are now both +70.We had experience of troubled nature of state while travelling from Gingle to Srinagar at Baramulla.But it passed off peacefully however I could not perform train journey from Baramulla to Banihal and back to Srinagar as I missed my train at Baramula by five minutes because of stoppage on road in the city for about 45 minutes.It was not traffic jam but was trouble hinted earlier.I tried to catch the train at next stations as I was travelling in car but was not successful.So I returned and via Sopore joined others.It proved to be a blessing in disguise. I was able go round lake Wular and see Kishen Ganga project site and return to Srinagar travelling on the other side of Wular lake.I noticed that all state sign boards are in URDU and English.Hindi is visible only in Central signboards.In Delhi sign boards have four languages.Urdu,English,Hindi, Punjabi.What a waste of Public Money?I felt much more comfortable in IRAN than here,There is an uneasy calm all around.Although we came across many tourists. Missing of day train journey here is quite a hint.In Teheran I had a train journey in the night from Isfahan to Tehran.During both the visits we had some 'bandobast' on our side.In Iran I was in touch with Indian Embassy and had gone for some ITU related activity.There I had gone alone.Here also were in touch with local central authorities.I had also worked in J&K long back for about two years(1969-1970).Even that connection came to our rescue at Gulmarg. With love and good wishes from Usha and Ramesh

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Our China Trip

by Viren1. October 2013 11:13
I did not even like Chinese. This feeling was based on what happened in the 60s when after calling HINDU CHEENI BHAI BHAI then invaded Indian Northern borders , occupied Indian territory and stabbed India in the back.   With this background, I did not want to Go to China. When the group of close friends, voted to visit china, being a team player, I joined them. I am glad I spent two weeks in China. Following are my impressions of China as a tourist. By no means this is an authoritative commentary. We visited three big cities and a few smaller ones. Big cities included, Shanghai, Beiging  and Xian ( the home of( Terracotta Soldiers). Sujo was one of the smaller towns. along the Yangstze  river. There are too many Chinese in China. You hardly see people from any other nationality, except from us 'the tourists"  The cities are clean, and very disciplined. The traffic laws are observed. Infra structure seems be well developed. The traffic problem has been reduced by building several tier elevated highways.For read crossing elevated cross overs with up and down escalators have been built and are regularly used. Since there are too many cars, in Shanghai, one has to pay $13,000 to register a car . In Beijing, you can not even buy a car if your number have your number picked by a lottery. Even after that you have to wait  up to couple of years to get a number plates. This is done to discourage downing and driving ta car in the city. Shanghai does not permit out of town registered cars to be driven in town. People wear western cloths which are in fashion. Women carry themselves very well in trousers and skirts.    We also took four day Yangstze  river cruise . This showed the other half of Chinese people. most of the passengers appeared to be from a different China. Pushing cutting in the lines, not so well dressed, talking loudly . Apparently these people were new rich of china from the interior.  In the food line at the cruise ship, they gave the impression that they were super  hungry and as if they had not seen food before. I saw people topping their plates brimming over and falling on the floor and them trying to put some more into their plate.  One of the Irish American spoke of his experience on the food line  on the ship.The line for the fresh omelette. He waited patiently for his turn for about 15 minutes. He ordered his omelette. When the cook was ready to transfer his omelette to his plate a woman put her plate above the Irish American's plate and took his omelette.    The man got upset, he grabbed the lady's plate and transferred the food into his. I am glad we took the cruise, because it showed the other side of china. Chine has long way to go. Since 100% communist system did not work for them, they borrowed the capitalist system from the West and use the fusion of the two. People can own businesses, make money and they can do that as long as they follow Government mandated laws. The laws are strictly enforced. You do not have a choice.  No criticism of the government is tolerated. If you do that you could disappear for a long time and depending on what you have done, you may never be seen again. In Tinaman  square, there are hundreds  or God knows how many plain cloths secret service policemen who are listening to what people are saying about the government. We were warned  not to talk politics out loud, out at the square or anywhere else. couples and/or grand parents walking around with their only child.  It was quite a sight young couples and/or grand parents walking around with their only child.  One couple one child policy is strictly enforced. You are fined and certain privileges taken away, if you do not follow this rule.With so may Chinese in China and limited food supply they seem to eat every thing. We saw people munching on Chicken feet as a snack. In one of the restaurant, we saw the Chinese feasting on exotic insects. They had a pot of boiling oil and boiling cheese in the middle, they were dipping the insects in the boiling oil, then in the cheese fondue and some more sauces before transferring the food into their mouths with chopsticks.   I am glad I went to China. The company was very enjoyable, food very Chinese and delicious and unforgettable experience of seeing the two sides of China. The modern China and the China which has a long way to go.     There is so much Joy in Sharing

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