HOPE ON THE HORIZON :Masses resolve to support Real Kashmir
Srinagar: Amidst civil strife, political violence,social unrest, and administrative apathy,Real Kashmir has been lost. For the last three decades or so, play fields in the entire valley have become battlefields. This, it seems, will change now. In a major development, cutting across party lines and political ideologies, it has been resolved that complete and unequivocal support will be extended to Real Kashmir. As Real Kashmir readies to battle it out with giants across the length and breadth of the country, they are buoyed by the fact that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir will be rooting for them; in their homes, on the streets and at the venues. Leading the brigade of supporters for the reclaiming of Real Kashmir are the youth and youngsters of the valley. Bereft of any iconic figures, they see their aspirations being fulfilled by the bands of next door neighbour boys, the local heroes using the feet to script a new course. In a surprising development, the support for the mission is also coming from all corners of the country. Most enthusiasts and keen observers of the great game are not only encouraging this movement but are putting their weight behind the Davids to beat the Golaiths. Even as the entire community and ever increasing fan base is praying for a win, they also believe that Real Kashmir is not about winning or losing; it is about changing the destiny.Whether they win on lose, they are winners; winning the hearts and minds of the people of state. They will be remembered as the new generation that dared to rewrite history and change the future of Kashmir. Even before they step into the arena, they have spread positivity around. It has ignited the belief in our people and passion in the souls of a bruised society. Most analysts see the emergence of Real Kashmir from a new perspective: a home grown story powerful enough to assuage if not alleviate the pervasive pain and paranoia. But above all, keen observers say, what Real Kashmir has done is to unite all of Kashmir; there is more unity in the end game, diversity in dialogue and intimacy in sharing joys and sorrows. Old timers, who have lived when Kashmir would captain and lead the country, get goose bumps on hearing the streets talk and sotto voce in the underbellies of Srinagar about the new movement of Real Kashmir; their achievements and conquests. That Real Kashmir has got international acceptability with engagement in Germany and Scotland, is a new ray of hope on the global horizons. Their support will go a long way in the emergence of Real Kashmir as a global institution.In this, the greatest push has come with a multinational sportswear giant, Adidas whole-heartedly backing this new wave of change. One that promises hope and positivity through sports. This global brand is now a partner which will help realise the dream of Real Kashmir. As Dave Thomas, CEO elaborates, “Adidas believes that sports can change lives and it resonates with the current positivity in Kashmir. We are proud to be a part of this change, one that you are bringing about in the valley.”
A CALL TO FOOTBALL!
A few decades ago when Kashmir was truly a paradise, not just because of its natural beauty but also because of the carefree and uncomplicated lives that people used to lead here, I would often see frolicking children play football. It was a joy to behold. There was obvious talent on display; discernible to the untrained eye. There was passion on display. And there was fierce competition even in a friendly game with stones as goal posts. We would take great pride in the fact that a Kashmiri was the captain of the national football team. There was no hype but Majid Kakroo was a household name. Masses would troop in to watch a game at the Bakshi Stadium or F&S Ground with a commitment that can be only second to religion. A good goal was applauded and a narrow miss appreciated. A loss wasn’t mourned but remembered to be avenged in the next game. As time went by, those days and their excitement, more or less, died down. A norm once, youth playing football, gradually, became an exception. Now, it seems that those days may just be returning. As an ode to the possibility of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) leading the way for this change,we are doing our bit. For the cause of returning our lost glory, for the cause of aspiring to excel and for the cause of giving our children a normal childhood, we break a two-decade-old tradition and take sports on our front page. We dedicate it to the hope masses have in RKFC to herald a new chapter in Kashmiri football and indeed Indian and global football. To all my young sons in the squad, I ask, as a father and a football enthusiast, give me a good game before I slip into oblivion. Give me hope that it will get better and better so that I can hang my boots with satisfaction. The future, on the field and off it, belongs to you. Go! The world is yours to conquer.