Thankfully I realized on time that this blog was yet to be posted. I am so behind with my content that my blogs from 2016 are still pending.
Last year, I travelled across Himalayas to contribute my help to the NGOs working towards the maintenance and restoration of local ecology. This journey took me to Leh, at an NGO which was developing ways to create a sustainable balance between the locals and the Snow Leopards who’d often kill their livestock for food.
My experience there is something to be recounted in another blog post. A month and a half which I spent in Leh was filled with surprises that I’d have never experienced otherwise. One of these moments was when I got to see the Independence Day’s event at one of the highest parade grounds of India open for the public.
I have spent three years in Delhi and haven’t been to a single Independence Day or Republic Day Parade. I used to find flag march at my school highly boring where elders had no regard for the life of children spending two hours in harsh sunlight. But witnessing the same in Leh was something different, something really beautiful. Despite the fact that the local politician who was also one of the chief guests, decided to spend more than an hour counting achievements of his government while the children stood in harsh sunlight on a verge of fainting. But everything that followed after was out of the world.
Since I haven’t been to many Independence Day parades so from my experience this was probably the first one where the girls led the charge instead of boys who generally do it. The troop of armed forces and paramilitary forces displayed an amazing feat of discipline. Following this, every school’s troop marched in the similar manner.
I personally feel that I found the group of girls from a local religious school (Madarsa) the most charming one. There is so much misconception about Kashmir and areas around that we often end up believing whatever media feeds us. So as a small group marched with their heads and hijab held high, they broke at-least 80% of the stereotypes that I had known of in the past. Also, this little girl smiling at my camera has to be the cutest thing ever.
This blog is an attempt at showing that there is more to write about Ladakh than the regular touristy spots. This is one such post that will probably make up your mind to do something different when you visit this gorgeous destination the coming summers.