Kashmir, a place where valleys accumulate the sound of guns and grenades, lanes covered in the screams of death and eyes sobbed in demise, that’s where Danish Farooq blows some kicks and score some goals as the whistle blows. Danish, who plays for Real Kashmir FC, has been a joint member of the Jammu & Kashmir Santosh Trophy team. Well, it’s hard to believe that Danish was once detained by the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) commandos, while he was on his way to the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar for a practice session. Danish pleaded his way through, but to no avail. Later, he was released after a senior officer recognized as he knew about the Jammu and Kashmir Santosh trophy team.
Danish is entitled as ‘Kashmiri Ronaldo’ by his fellow footballers. Apart from his looks, his dribbling styles and his game tactics have earned him this title.
“My teammates love my dribbling skills and they address them as Cristiano skills,” quips Danish. Danish who stands at 6 feet 1, an attacking midfielder, became the highest goal scorer for Real Kashmir FC in the I-League 2nd division with 4 strikes. Besides the goals, he had the most number of assists to his name. Danish is more or less the soul of the Real Kashmir FC. Real Kashmir will be making their I-League top division in the forthcoming season.
The achievement seems to be a little, but the struggle behind it is far more inspiring. A place where curfews are a regular act and where military fills half the population, Danish and his teammates have to struggle to get quality practice sessions.
“It’s not only difficult for footballers but also for every civilian of any profession. We take different routes whenever there is a curfew. By now, we know which routes to take to the ground in case of curfew.”
Danish hopes to showcase his talent in a way that the whole world should know that there is more in Kashmir that just blood-sheds, controversies, and curfews, that’s sheer potential among the youths and will to strive and play for their country.
Danish feels that football is a hugely popular sport in Kashmir and is helping youngsters to join the mainstream as their parents do believe that football might help their kids in becoming a sports athlete, a support to their family and an escape from all the problems associated with the word and a state ‘KASHMIR.’