Bouncing Back: Story of Spirit and Survival

Kashmir has sprung back to life aided by tremendous self-help and community compassion since last fall. Signs of devastation unleashed by the deluge might not be there anymore, but the memories still trail behind. This fall with sun shining over Kashmir, Bilal Bahadur makes a comparison between Then and Now through frames

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Then: On September 6 last year, few breaches were seen in Srinagar’s Rajbagh area. Slow spillover of Jhelum was enough to make people edgy. Well before the dawn of September 7, breaches had become floodgates, deluging the area. At other side of Jhelum, Jhelum View Park was living up to its name, spilling discharge all over.

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Now: A year later, Jhelum is back to usual. Some loopholes have been plugged. And the park is reverberating with the usual buzz it is known to create.

flooded affected area nehru park at dal gate area as Kashmiri rows his Shikara on the Dal Lake during day dal lake in srinagar,.hundrends of houses damaged due to the floods in kashmir on 18/9/2014 photo /Altaf Ahamd

Then: It was a perilous spillover of famous Dal Lake’s last September. Shikaras for the change were all over Boulevard Road.

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Now: A year later, everything seems normal. Boulevard Road is back to business. Dal Lake is in grip of another tourism fall. And life, moves on.

A View of Clock tower at the Flood city centre after devastating flood hit valley on Thursday 18 September 2014 PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Then: Kashmir’s Red Square this day last year was slowly turning into a huge cauldron. Besides being a vessel, cauldron is known to be a situation characterized by instability and strong emotions. That was Lal Chowk this day last fall.

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Now: Even the back-breaking deluge couldn’t break the spirit of Lal Chowk. And since then, it has resurrected itself back to business hub.

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Then: And thus began the water-borne passage lasting for weeks together. On these waters, people shortly floated jugaad boats, many referred as Noah’s Ark, to carry rescue and relief operations.

Near Fly over (1)

Now: A year later, this stretch of Srinagar is back to routine: honking its way to usual jams. One observation though – Even flood couldn’t change certain pesky features!

PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Then: Once the water receded, many parts of Lal Chowk like Lambert Lane looked alike as if bombed! With filth all over, people could hardly salvage anything on face of furious Jhelum.

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Now: And now, everything appears hunky-dory, as if nothing had happened. This resurgence is the serious dent to those who were quick enough to denounce any hopes of revival. So, hail the spirit of revival, resurgence and rebuilding.

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