Pic.: Azriel D'Souza

“Overcoming what frightens you the most
strengthens you the most.” 

MY wife and I had been to Kashmir on a nine-day holiday. We returned late last evening. The Paradise is really here on earth – in Kashmir, that is. Seeing is believing… You have to not only see it to believe it… you have to experience it, too.

Of the many amazing memories we have carried back from this picturesque land and its wonderful, stunningly beautiful and warm people is how we – both my wife and I - were reminded not to get scared…

Reminded by whom?

In Sonamarg, where we were towed high up the snow-slopes on a sledge, my wife began to scream, “Muje dar lagta hai!”

The witty young local, who was leading her sledge, calmed her with the famous Mountain Dew (Hritik Roshan) slogan… “Madam, dar ke aage jeet hai!”

I was behind my wife… and saw my fear melting away!

The return journey was smooth as snow… We had to just hold tight our respective sledgewalas… and, zoom, zoom, zoom… we were back at the bottom of the mountain… before our eyes  could even blink!

“I don’t mind doing it again,” was my immediate reaction!

“Dar ke aage jeet hai!”

Ditto was the experience while we were on our horses. The terrain was rough and rugged… The rain had ruined the long and winding road uphill at Pahalgam  as well as Yousmarg... We both were scared, that we might be thrown off the horses’ back… the horses might fall off the cliff… they might speed off, might lose their control… and all those fearful thoughts…

And we heard the same thing from the local ghodawalas… “Saab, daro mat… Aap ko kuch nahin hoga.”

In deed, at the end of the ride, we did feel like some great ‘Senapatis’!

At Gulmarg, where we were ferried through the cable car (Gondola) to a height of 10,000 feet (Phase 1), we tried a ride on the snow bike… The same experience awaited us… The local operator kept pumping in us the confidence… “Madam/saab, aap enjoy karo… Hum hai na.” We were encouraged to try the snow bike on our own…

And, yes, we both wanted to try it, once again!

“Dar ke aage jeet hai!”

On our way back, between my wife and me was a gentleman called Mr. Nair from Mumbai. As soon as the cable car started moving downward, this gentleman began to tremble uncontrollably… His mouth was tightly shut, eyes closed… I immediately started rubbing his hands gently and found myself pumping confidence in him… “Sir, just relax… Just loosen up… Just let go your fear… We have to do nothing… everything is taken care of… everything is under control...” I started talking to him about him, his family just to divert his attention from fear… When we landed, I felt good not only for my own experience, but also for the fact that I had made someone feel – “Dar ke aage jeet hai!”

Just as we got off the cable car, we met another couple of our own age. They were jumping with ecstasy. The reason: “They had not opted to come by the cable car on the way down… Instead, they both had sledged their way down…. Zoom, zoom, zoom… zoom… zoom… down!”

“Dar ke aage jeet hai!”

And, who tells this to us?

Today, was the first day of our PD course. When the young boys and girls came on stage to speak, they experienced what my wife and I had experienced while sledging or horse-riding in Kashmir… And, I was telling them the same thing… “Dar ke aage jeet hai!” I was pumping in them confidence with the same words… “Aap enjoy karo… Hum hai na!”

Is living life means overcoming our fears?

I would like to believe so.

We all have our respective fears. And, all that we keep doing in our life is that we learn to overcome them… one by one… one after another… all along our journey… and, keep growing, keep feeling stronger, victorious…

That’s all…

The ghodawalas and sledgewalas have never been to school and they have no aspirations to become public speakers… But, we need them to remind us, constantly… “Madam/saab… daro mat… Dar ke aage jeet hai!”



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