When I asked him if he would like to come home with me Dakshesh only jumped up and down on the bed and said vehemently, "Na, na, na. Wahan fighting hota hai."
For quite sometime I had been wanting to introduce my 10-year-old son to the Valley. Somehow it is very important for me that the Valley and he get to know each other.
What will my city born and bred child make of his father's birthplace which lacks so many of those features exclusive to metros, I can't help but wonder.
So I confess that when I met the 10 year old Aditya it was more than journalistic intentions that prompted me to have a full fledged conversation with him. You see, this was like a survey and depending on the results I would or would not push for the Dakshesh -Valley meet.
Aditya lived in Sharda Colony in Jammu. From what his father told me, despite the couple of hundred miles seprating Jammu from Kashmir, the boy had only recently visited the Valley for the first time.
There is something in the air of J&K it makes people, even the children, graver beyond their years. Aditya a student of Army School Dumana got straight As, did not like toys, and not only understood Kashmiri and spoke it.
He told me he had seen Mattan, Devi Bal, Pehelgaon and the snow. He showed me his drawings. There was one of a house. "That's the house father will build for us in Kashmir." He showed me a poem he had written. One of the lines read, "Mein bharat ka wasi hun."
I felt reassured. I was worrying unnecessarily. When the times comes Dakshesh and the valley will be the best of friends.