Generally, life is tougher these days. But when your plate is full and more and more is pounding on, seemingly breaking your spirit, and cornering to push you down the abyss, a step forward at that point in time is what defines you. In the last two years, the people of Kashmir have seen it all. The life in the valley has been challenging. Lockdown, pandemic, lockdown– this is what life has been since August of 2019. And now as 2020 is behind us, 2021 has started with a great challenge as a huge snowfall and a bone-chilling chillai kalan is making life harder than ever. The poor segments of the society who were already managing their lives with great difficulty are being thrown another challenge at, courtesy of this bleak weather. Amid all this, people are miraculously living through and managing their lives somehow. That is what makes Kashmir so unique. The people here are born with a tendency to face hardships with a grin. They set examples of brotherhood, social service, and camaraderie that are hard to find in this age. Kashmiris may be known for the hospitality but there are many other qualities that they possess. Qualities that help them to live their lives with dignity, respect, and help them to face challenges upfront. Not just this, it is amazing to see how despite all the hurdles, people in Kashmir are able to compete at international levels and create a mark for them. We have seen how photographers, writers, doctors, engineers, businessmen, and students from Kashmir are making a mark and proving their mettle at the international level. More people from Kashmir are writing, more are able to represent the valley on international podiums, more are able to show that despite all the hurdles, will and determination can defy all odds. We know that life will remain tough and there will be more challenges ahead. There will be more adverse times in the future, however, we can always find a way out of such times. Adversity never leaves, but most adverse situations do end. Life can never be a smooth sailing, there are high and low waves, and calm seas awaiting us. And the horizon can be beautiful one day, and gloomy the other. The storms will rattle, and even sink some of us, but the circle of life will go on. Even the Holy Qur’aan talks about how happiness and adversity follow each other. That if one is there, it is soon going to be replaced by another.