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The Flamboyant Buses of Kashmir


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Apart from the mesmerizing Dal Lake and its awe-inspiring Mughal gardens Srinagar is unforgettable for its old yet resplendent buses! What set these buses apart is their sheer splendour and ornate designs and interiors.  The buses ply daily between Srinagar and the neighbouring towns like Anantnag (aka Islamabad), for instance, on a daily basis. You just cannot ignore their presence on the roads. Though a little slower than the fleet of more modern buses these buses are a visual delight!

I was awestruck seeing them for the first time on my way to Gulmarg!  A lot of people in Srinagar rely on this mode of transportation on a daily basis. However, over the years other commercial vehicles like Chevrolet Tavera and Mahindra Scorpio have replaced these flamboyant buses. The treacherous and curvy nature of most roads in the state means these resplendent buses will become a rarity sooner than later.

The most fascinating thing about the buses is the way the owners get the decorations done both inside and the outside. These buses signify a unique connection between the humans and machines. The creativity with which the owners decorate their buses talks a lot about the creative credentials of the people of Kashmir. Besides it also underscores their strong need and passion for artistic expression.

In some years we may not see these buses on the streets of Kashmir; however, I am sure the artistically gifted people of the valley will invent newer ways of impressing the outside world with their penchant for creativity and artistic expression!

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