One day when I was sitting in Court in the Supreme Court I saw about 30-40 boys and girls, apparently about 18-20 years of age standing at the rear of the Courtroom. I did not know who they were. Later, when I was walking back to my chamber during the lunch interval my peon came running to me and said that these young people had come from Kashmir and wanted to meet me. I immediately said that they should be brought to the hall where Judges have dinners, where there is sufficient seating arrangement for a large number of people. I also sent a message to my friend, Mr. Altaf Ahmed, former Advocate General of Kashmir and former Additional Solicitor General of India to join us.
It seems that these young people associated themselves with me as I am also a Kashmiri, and so they felt an affinity towards me, and were proud that a Kashmiri was on the bench of the Supreme Court.
When the young Kashmiris came to the hall they told me that they were law students from Srinagar. I entertained them with some tea and snacks, and told them that I did not know Kashmiri language ( it is very different from Hindi), though my wife does. I told them how Kashmiris had migrated to the plains of India about 200 years back, getting jobs in the Court of some Maharaja or Nawab because they were highly proficient in Urdu and Persian, the Court languages,my ancestors being one of them.
At that moment Mr. Altaf Ahmed came and I introduced him to them. He spoke to them in Kashmiri. They were very happy in speaking to him in their own language. I told them that Mr. Altaf Ahmed is a senior lawyer who is highly respected. I used to joke with Altaf in Court whenever he appeared in cases coming from Tamilnadu or West Bengal,etc and ask him how has a Kashmiri travelled to Madras or Bengal ? He would reply " Just as Your Lordship travelled to Tamilnadu " ( I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court from 2004-2005). The students went away very happy.
On another occasion when i was at home I received a message that a group of about 50 young people had come from Kashmir and wanted to meet me. I invited them to my home and met them. At that time my wife's brother, who lives in Canada, was also staying with me. He and my wife spoke to the boys and girls, who were also about 18-20 years old, in Kashmiri ( which I cannot speak, except a few sentences). My wife had prepared some non vegetarian dishes for them ( Kashmiri Pandits are non vegetarians), and they enjoyed eating them, and went away very happy. Although they were away from Kashmir, they felt a home atmosphere in my house, speaking to my wife and her brother in Kashmiri.
If any of such young Kashmiris who had met me in Delhi read this facebook page, will they please send me some photographs which they took on their mobile phones to my email id email@example.com ? I do not know whether they can also send them on my facebook page, but if that can be done, please send them . I would be very happy.