Why Spring Showers Bring No Romance in Kashmir Anymore?

Bilal Handoo


Flooded Srinagar.
Flood in Srinagar in this file pic. Pic: Bilal Bahadur

Spring is a season of revival, renewal and rejuvenation that ends a wintry deadlock. And its showers are known to set off romantic feelings in Kashmir. But, perhaps, not anymore!

The moment it rains now, feelings like breaches, floods and water-logging instantly surface — and thus, instill a ‘weather trauma’ in public.

Many say such feelings have subdued ‘romantic feelings’ (if not have completely disappeared them), which otherwise are attached with spring.

Since Sunday night, Kashmir is in the grip of another shower. The overnight rains have triggered water-logging at many places in both city as well as in countryside — and thus badly hampered the pace of life on Monday.

Amid rainfall, many have set their eyes on upsurging Jhelum — that seems to ‘play prank’ with public since March this year by constantly changing its status. Many now fear: already breached banks might go berserk again, if it rains nonstop.

“Authorities must plug drainage loopholes and riverbank breaches on war-footing,” says Mushtaq Bhat, a local from Srinagar. “It has really become a nuisance. Earlier, spring shower would trigger romantic feelings around. But now, the feeling has been overtaken by weather shock or trauma.”

Kashmir, which is known to house many post-traumatic stress disorder patients due to unabated political situation, is now fast becoming an abode of weather-traumatic patients.

“As a society,” says Dr Arif Maghribi, a mental health officer, “we remain in denial mode.” You see, he continues, the fact is, last year’s September flood badly disturbed our mental balance—“and yet, we go on with this feeling that ‘all is well.’ This is really a dangerous sign!”

Dr Maghribi, who is one of the few Kashmiri doctors trained by Royal College of Psychiatry, London, says out of 10 patients he treats daily, “at least two of them, suffer from flood trauma”.

This is the reason, he says, showers now create panic in public—“as many could relate rains with those showers that shook them to the core during September last year.”

Though, he says, the ‘weather trauma’ is not yet full blown in valley, but in coming time, he says, it is likely to trigger mental crisis.

“You see, there are three immediate responses one can have toward any event—fight, flight or freeze,” he says.

“What happened during September floods is — that not many could fight or flight in the face of flood fury.” Those held hostage by floods, he says, did freeze traumatic feelings in them. “And now, the same suppressed feelings make one restive, whenever it rains.”

And yes, Dr Maghribi continues, shower shocks have indeed contained romantic feelings attached with spring season.

Not a happy news this!


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