As they say you can only visit Vaishno Devi when she calls you and I felt the same with Kashmir. Kashmir called me!
I left India at a very early age, had no chance to travel different parts of India, though I always wanted to take my mom to Kashmir as she wanted to buy real shawls from there. But she left us very early and since I couldn’t get her a shawl from Kashmir so I didn’t buy anything from Kashmir in this trip, it was my first ever trip to Kashmir.
It was kind of sudden decision as I said Kashmir called me. I didn’t wanna go there for sightseeing, I’m quite healed at my home with nature around me in Japan so I don’t need much sightseeing to heal my soul or refreshing my body. I wanted to contribute what I do the best, taking transformational sessions. But I was asked by my near and dear friends not to visit the place for this work instead sightseeing is safer they said. But I’m a stubborn soul. I do what my soul wants me to do! I was taking sessions around North India so took my flight to Srinagar from Chandigarh.
My calling for Kashmir! My journey starts! I felt as I was going to a place with different energy, being a spiritual person I can feel energy and energy attracts me too. I was on the flight and saw different faces than us, yeah, they are Kashmiri, and people used to come to my hometown during winter to sell winter clothes, these faces took me to my childhood. I used to enjoy conversation with them with my broken Hindi. I smiled thinking about those days.
I slept a bit and dreamt I’m with apple trees, woke up and found out I’m still flying, was flying alone to the land which called my soul. Arrived and took a deep breath and collected luggage. Then saw my phone isn’t working. I had prepaid sim and which doesn’t work in Kashmir. There was no wifi so I couldn’t use my Japanese phone as well. But I had to make a contact with the person who is waiting to pick me up. I felt insecure for a moment then I saw a man from force, smiled and explained my situation immediately he helped me and made me talk to the driver. I thanked him and admired his dedication towards my motherland.
When I came out someone was waiting with my name. Kashmir with my name, I took a deep breath. But surroundings were different, saw people with traditional Islamic attire mostly and my car started for the destination.
My eyes are outside the window with lots of curiosity just like a child. I’m in paradise, where every Indian wants to visit once in a lifetime. I see same nature, same shops, and same kind of river then what that making me feel uncomfortable even though I’m inside the car. I felt sadness everywhere as Maa is upset with her children and sitting quietly keeping her face on the other side, she just needs a tight hug and love when she’ll cry for a while hugging you tight. She’s saying I lost a lot, heal me. With that energy and tears in my eyes, I reached my destination and I saw a pear tree. I’m in Kashmir, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and smiled big.
Oh, this is Kashmir, I told myself. Courage fascinates me, since childhood I have been an Indian Army fan, wanted to marry one also but fortunately or unfortunately I had no direct connection with them and before I even think about marriage I left India. But through my Army show I met so many wonderful people from Indian army. When I take interviews they don’t wear uniforms so when I first saw an army general in uniform it was a totally different feeling, found some young men in uniform answering my questions with the same tone of voice, yes ma’am. So all together it was a different world for me.
My first session was at the Army public school, army’s own children along with locals. I touched their hearts which was my purpose. Vice principal said people come here with lots of slides and our students sleep most of the time and you came with nothing and you stole our hearts. It was the biggest achievement for me; I could see excited children weren’t ready to let me go even. It was my first day in the paradise. And when I was invited on the stage I wasn’t called Nupur Tewari but Nupur Sharma by mistake.
I was asked to do a few sessions which I had no idea about, my photo was on social media, got many calls from friends from Delhi stopping me not to go there and do those sessions. I got scared and told the authorities that I think my safety is in danger. I was convinced by Major General that why I should do those sessions…
And those innocent eyes of Kashmiri youth changed my perspective, I didn’t feel that much positive vibes in anywhere as I could feel from those negative humans who were sitting in front of me, coming close to me, talking to me like small children and crying holding my hands. I even didn’t know I could do those miracles. Love can bring the best out of you. And within that short period I could heal them. I wasn’t prepared and even didn’t know who I’m going to meet, had no idea about anything but God had own plans. I had to promise them that I’ll be back again soon and will travel Kashmir with them.
Did many more sessions in colleges where I could see girls are in Burkhas which I wasn’t used to with, sessions started with Islamic verses, I was watching and observing a new environment. I was invited for my session at the oldest college in Kashmir, Sri Pratap College in Srinagar. I took a bit to speak my yogic philosophy of motivation and healing in front of hundreds of girls who were mostly covered in burkas, I closed my eyes and spoke my heart out and those directly touched their hearts, just the way I wanted it. And the hall was buzzing with the sounds of clapping, got fearless questions mostly from girl students. I felt my purpose was solved to serve the humanity!
And the most beautiful thing was when a girl student gathered the courage to ask me a question while shaking, I could feel how much courage she needed to ask that question, I came down, hugged her, she hugged me tight and started crying, I felt Bharat Maa was hugging both of us, one is wrapped in a saree and Bindi and another is in burka, the best picture of Indian integrity.
Did back to back many sessions where I could see bright eyes in the end of the sessions. Only two places I visited, one is my Mahadev, Shankaracharya temple and Hazratbal Dargah. Had very limited time, went back to my guest house, packed within 10 minutes and had to rush to the airport. Looking at those apple trees, went closer and hugged them saying I’ll be back again.
Almost three days passed so fast, I touched the soil, did Pranam, put some on my forehead and started for the Airport. Rushed to check in but stopped one more time looked back, closed my eyes, Kashmir, I saw paradise on earth and saw those innocent eyes.
My plane was taking off and mother (India) had tears in her eyes but that was tears of joy, love and hope.
(Author is an internationally acclaimed inner transformation and mindfulness coach. She is also the founder of HealTokyo and HealIndia movement, known internationally for award winning transformation and mindfulness coaching