The index of ‘normalcy’ in the tumultuous state of Jammu and Kashmir must never be measured by over-simplistic indices like over-booked flights and tourists on the Boulevard in Srinagar. Every government has made that fatal error, only to discover that turmoil, violence and the rage of the street can make the tourists vanish as swiftly as they arrived.
The new ad-film released by the tourism department of the state discloses the wild charm of J&K. After the relentless and caricatured demonisation of the ordinary Kashmiri by prime time prejudice, here is finally an alternative view that humanises and validates the warmth of the Kashmir we know and love.
The video — already a viral phenomenon on the Internet with millions shares — chronicles the vacation of a young couple in Srinagar. The twist in is the tail when, in a case of mistaken identities, the couple discovers that the man who has spent his day shepherding them around is not the driver they hired, but a stranger who has made time for them. As they huddle around a fire soaking in Kashmir’s majestic beauty, the tagline appears: Jammu and Kashmir: ‘The warmest place on earth.’