Jammu to Kashmir Highway — Photo courtesy: Steve Evans — Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir’s hasn’t been a safe visit in years. Just this week there were people killed on both sides of the border from shelling by the Indian and Pakistani governments. But when I travelled north from Jaipur to Jammu, all was quiet on the northern front.
The same couldn’t be said for the bus driver who careered up the steep mountains that dropped at a frightening angle hundreds of metres below. The Sikh speedster was either trying to break a record or had a hot date waiting for him in Srinagar. We swayed from one side of the bus to the other clinging for life, otherwise we would have found ourselves flat on our backs in the isles. I couldn’t admire the scenic vista from the bus window because each time my body squeezed against the bus with a sharp turn, my eyes travelled to the valley and I was sure our bus would end up down there.
As you’ve guessed, I survived the ordeal but how I don’t know because there were no railings along the road to prevent transport from toppling over.