Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Floods in Kashmir : a trauma for lifetime !!!

It was raining for a week now in the first week of September 2014. But that's normal as we Kashmiris weren't aware of the consequences that rain water could cause. We were enjoying the rain sitting at home with family as the rain hadn't stopped and the lanes were filled with rain water. After 7 days of continuous rainfall, rainbow showed. We were thrilled to see a ray of hope, clicked pictures but we didn't know what's coming is worse. The water level started to rise, first slow then more. The river Jehlum had begun rising continuously crossing all the past records on the gauge metre. The water in our lanes started rising too even though the rain had already stopped. It couldn't make sense at first but then we came to know that Jehlum had breached. As the water level entered our gates we couldn't stop thinking about what's next. We couldn't sleep whole night and the next day early morning I could see the horrible nightmare coming true. Our garden was flooded and so was our car, the water was just knocking at our door. My uncle, my sister and my cousin decided to leave the place. The water was still rising and I couldn't decide. How could you just leave everything behind. Was it the end of the world when you just want to save your life and forget about all the other materialistic things? My parents didn't leave but they made us go. The thought of not coming back to the place you call home or not seeing your parents again was heart wrenching. All I could do now was pray to Allah for their safety. As we were walking in the waist up flood water, all I could think of was first the water was very cold and why did I leave my parents behind, I'm such a coward. The water was rising and the situation was getting worse, there was no cellphone network. But atleast the landline worked, so we could call our parents back home to see how they are doing. Finally, they decided to leave and now I could have a sense of relief, also my sister would stop crying atleast. Some good boatman had rescued 'em and my uncle, aunt and cousin from the house nearby. The water level had now risen so high that boats were rowing on the airport road. I couldn't believe what i had been witnessing. I still thought it was a dream and someone would just pinch me and wake me up. We lived at my maasi's(maternal aunt) place for a week or so. Thankfully floods hadn't reached their side yet. Every other day we would hear heart wrenching news about people who were worst affected. After few days, the water level stopped rising and now it was receding. We went out with our uncle one evening and the view outside, it was really depressing as it didn't seem like Kashmir. So many people on the road, some taking shelter in the masjids, some gurdwaras, some on the flyover, some on the footpath, some in the marriage halls, some walking, some telling happy stories to their children trying to cheer them. Some places gave a chilling haunting creepy vibe. The floods took everything with it, lives of people, houses, materialistic things, happiness, peace, prosperity, progress. All it couldn't take away was the will to rise again from the ashes, the hope of a better tomorrow. In shaa Allah Kashmir will rise again. 4 months have passed and everything is slowly getting back to normal but the traces are there and the scars remain. The traumatic experience can't be erased and it'll always remind us that we and everthing we own belongs Allah SWT and He'll take it away anytime He wants.

Some clicks durin' the flood:
Just Rainwater
A ray of hope
Water at our doorstep

Water at our gate
Pre flood picture
A view from the top of a flood hit area