MY STORY OF SURVIVING KASHMIR FLOOD
DAY: 5TH SEP, 2014
It was the morning of 5t h September when I heard my phone ringing on bed, “HELLO!” ,i said , and there was this beautiful voice came from the other end, “HAAN BETA KAISE HO?”, it was my maa on the other end, and I replied with usual , SAB BADHIYA , AAP BATAO!, I don’t remember the whole conversation but ya I remember exactly what she asked me in the end, KOI DIKKAT TO NAHI NA? , I wish I had a glance of what was about to come and changed my reply, but instead I said, “HAAN MUMMY KOI DIKKAT NAHI HAI, SAB MAZE ME..(ALL IS WELL), AAP APNA KHAYAL RAKHNA!” and that was the last time I heard the voice of my mom before that disaster struck us shockingly.
It was just like a usual rainy day like it has been from past couple of days and tension of our mid-term exams that were approaching and since we had no television or proper internet facility in our 2nd year hostel in N.I.T Srinagar , we had no clue what’s going in outside world, and that was the afternoon we were totally disconnected with outside world, when our cell phone’s network went down, everyone thought that it was just a coincidence and nothing serious and took it lightly, and went to play football in the rain and had fun like another teenager would do.
We all were sitting and chatting on several issues mostly about the water logging problem we were facing in college after three days of continuous down pour, that is what left in hostel full of guys if you don’t have network in your phone, it was evening we went to get dinner and burst with anger when we saw the food, we asked “what is this? Where is the paneer?” to the person serving us food as it was the day of paneer in mess, and he said “PANEER IS NOT AVAILABLE TO US, SORRY !”, it ended up with a small argument but what can you do after all, the answer to that paneer unavailability was about to come to me.
We returned to our room, with our half filled stomachs and heads full of anger. When after sometime we saw our seniors coming with their blankets and luggage to our hostels, I was surprised and so was everyone else in our hostel, I was just wondering what was happening when a senior whom I knew came to me and asked, “ROOM ME JAGAH HAI, 2 BANDO(GUYS) KE SONE KE LIYE?” and I replied “YES, OFCOURSE SIR WE CAN MANAGE.” But what is happening sir? And he replied DAL(name of one of our hostel) is getting submerged in water. No one even had a clue what he meant then, until he later explained to us that water from DAL LAKE has started to enter in our hostels, and the water started to fill in rooms in ground floor, it was not as horrifying in listening than the actual sight of it, which we later got in the next morning when we couldn’t stop us to go and see the hostel.
DAY: 6TH SEP, 2014
It was not a usual sight for us, seeing our seniors, folding their pants carrying heavy luggage on their heads walking in knee level water to save their stuff, and then we went in to help them, we helped almost everyone from dal hostel in saving their luggage. We still thought that it was just a normal problem of lake overflowing because of rain and will be fine by tomorrow when the water will recede, that what the technical thing of an upcoming engineer tells them to find the technical explanation of things going on. We went to our rooms which now was not just our rooms were sharing our hostel(Chenab) with our seniors and the stress of network not showing up in phones started to grow in. Then like any other bunch of college students everyone was thinking and talking about all the possible solutions to the problem, that what engineers do, when we heard the outbreak that water hasn’t stopped and instead is vigorously increasing and that’s when the problem started for our another batch of seniors living in Tawi hostel, our hostels are named after rivers that was ironically the disastrous flood in Kashmir, tawi is a totally ground based hostel and hence we knew that if the water will not stop, everything in that hostel is going to get washed away, our seniors started to move their stuff to another hostels preferably mine which was Chenab , coz it was near and has 2 floors, which was expected not to get hit by the water much, I sometimes wonder, I was so foolish to under estimate the power of Nature back then. Our seniors were moving their stuff to rooms in Chenab and staying there as a prevention, we all were in Chenab which was much like a fish market by then, sound of people chattering, screaming each others name, searching for their stuff and much more, Everyone thought that the water is not going to affect much , so do our college administration. The rate of water rising was not so abrupt , it was as silent as a cobra when its waiting for its prey to get in range. We didn’t had any lunch that afternoon , and it was evening by then , some of my friends and me went to canteen to eat something, and then returned back to room, it was more than a day for everyone since the last time they called home. It was not the worry of seeing and facing this shortage of food and lack of entertainment that was clearly showing on students face, but it was the thought that “how much worried their parents and for me, my mom would be?”
Everyone knew by then that its more than just a water overflow in DAL LAKE, and we all had a pretty much idea that its flood, till we got the conformation from the college administration, the rising water was not as bad as it was in other parts of Kashmir, where the river water destroyed everything in its way. Still we consoled ourselves and went to bed with the thought that it can’t reach our hostel. And we were so wrong
(..……….……..………… to be continued…)