By Sahil Hamza, Stawa 03-20
Kargil district is located in the youngest Union Territory in the country. The district is dominated by mountains covered by snow for more than six months each year. Ladakh as a whole and Kargil is one part of it remains disconnected from the rest of the world for almost six to eight months each year due to heavy snowfall on the mountain passes. Kargil has a complex and multi-ethnic culture. Interestingly, most people outside Kargil, associate this district primarily with the 1999 Kargil War.
It seems to be a daring act to leave this frontier region during one's childhood in order to pursue one's dreams in the capital city. It is said that nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without some sacrifice and true greatness only comes to those willing to pursue it. I am thankful to my parents who are always available and accessible for me even when they are in Kargil and I am in New Delhi. They patiently listen to my grievances be it about my academics, co-curricular activities, or life in general.
I am just entering my teenage years. It has been very hard for me to leave my parents and my hometown for an unknown period from such a young age. I don't even know if my departure is for a limited period only or if it is permanent. I have many emotions attached with my grandparents, close friends, skiing in the winters, fishing in the summers, trekking in the mountains, enjoying cultural activities and many other memories.
At the same time I feel lucky to be in Delhi, and the feeling of being a Delhiite. There is a famous proverb that argues that winners don't do different things, they do things differently. This is one thing that every person learns in Delhi sooner or later. Being on my own makes me feel independent. I no longer feel like ma-ka-ladla (mother's pet) and baap-ka-sher (father's lion).
My mantra is to create my own world and to be the star of my own life. In Delhi, I go from home to school and return according to my daily schedule. When my parents return to Kargil, I do everything on my own from preparing breakfast and packing my lunch to washing and ironing my clothes and school uniforms, to cleaning the room and arranging my books on shelves. Each of these tasks would have been done by my parents when I was living in Kargil or when my parents are here in Delhi.
All of this gives me a sense of pride, confidence and self-belief. I am a self-taught cook and still struggle with deciding what I should cook and eat for dinner but I am working my way through these challenges too. Life is all about our experience. In my opinion doing everything by oneself does make you an independent person. Life is completely different now. I have gone from those freezing cold nights in Kargil to the hot summer nights in Delhi. Similarly, I have gone from month-long internet disconnection to high speed phone internet in Delhi. There are a lot of things I miss about Kargil even today but I try and focus on the new experiences I have on a daily basis.