A flood that was…

Time: 1Am

Day: Saturday

Date: August 3, 2013

I was lying on the couch and rambling through my mobile phone. I heard a sound of siren coming off the loud speakers of the mosque in our neighbor. Such a sound always implies an important announcement. And there it went, “It has been learnt that a flood is rushing towards our residential area, so you should all take precautionary steps.” Surprise! Surprise!

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I went out of home and saw a group of people talking to each other. I went over one of my neighbor and asked him what really was going on. He told me that news had it that a wave of flood was coming towards our homes. Nobody seemed to believe the news because never before such a thing had happened either in our area and surroundings or in Karachi city. Hardly 15 minutes had passed that I saw a gush of water speeding its way towards us. Making loud noises, we flashed towards our homes to make all-out efforts to save whatever we could. I took the generator and placed it upstairs, followed by TV. While I was lifting my personal computer up I felt something cold beneath my feet, what I saw was the flood water that had made its way inside my home, in fact in everyone’s homes. PC was the third and the last thing I could save. I was alone because my family had left for the village on Friday. I went over the rooftop and found everyone on their respective roofs looking at the flood going through the street below. In less than 15 minutes of its entry, the torrent was 3 feet above the ground. The next thing we were witnessing was the assembly of cars, jeeps and other vehicles flowing down with the water. Almost everyone was witnessing the natural mishap for the first time. We spent the later part of the night all awake, looking down over the water. The water had touched the level of around 5ft in few hours time.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

In the early morning (6AM) the water started to slip down, which was a sign of relief for all of us. The most important thing I had to do was to get to the almery where lay my books and my academic and professional credentials. Losing the credentials in original would have been troublesome. I went in there and started fiddling through the bottom of the almery. I grasped the documents’ folders and took them out. “Thank God, they are not totally destroyed.” I sighed. Those fully plastic-coated were fine while the naked ones were wet enough to be soaked up. Then I called my wife to ask if there was anything important that I needed to extract. She told me there were and I took them out too.

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It was only hours after the sun had revealed itself that the rescue teams (army and non-government) came with boats and other stuff to evacuate the people safely out of their homes. The water kept gushing in with terrible sound which left everyone in trepidation. Everyone was awestruck. People just couldn’t take their eyes off the stuff inside their homes and the cars lying scattered around. Meanwhile activists from two charity organizations, Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (Peoples Service Foundation) and Falahi Insaniyat Foundation (Human Welfare Foundation), arrived at the scene with bottles of water and some edibles. Since it was the month of Ramazan, the activists also brought the food for aftaar in the evening. The day ended with water level down to 2ft.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Ok. No more water. But all I could see was mud and mire both inside and outside. Everything was covered with mud. At first look I just wondered how I was going to clean that up. To cut the story short, as I just can’t write about it anymore, it took two and a half persons two and a half days to clean the jumble.

The episode wasn’t without experience off course.

Now there is no flood, no mud. But it’s gonna take some time to get things to where they were before August 3, 2013!

This post also became part of Weekly Writing Challenge

The Vagabond

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The Vagabond

Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river –
There’s the life for a man like me,
There’s the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field –
Warm the fireside haven –
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Robert Louis Stevenson

To the mountains and back

In June 2012 I wrote about the Wanderlust. And I didn’t really have any solid plans to materialize that lust. But it just happened out of blue.

Chapter 1: Karachi to Islamabad

I was nominated for a 3-week official training in Islamic Banking at NIBAF Islamabad. When I was asked whether I’d like to go for the certificate course, I didn’t think twice and said yes as I had never had any course in Islamic Banking before and that it was opportunity to rove around too.

After my village, I must say, the other place I’m in love with so far is Islamabad. The city is well planned and has almost everything to offer, especially the natural landscapes, wider roads, less or almost-no traffic jams, and better law & order situation. One has the freedom to stroll through the roads anytime of the day and night. Though the markets in Islamabad shut down well earlier than in other big cities, yet the city never sleeps, its well alive with its serenity and stillness.

The course happened to be, quite contrary our assumptions, tight-scheduled. Every day the classes lasted till sunset (sometimes even beyond) accompanied with the tests every next morning at 9. However, this didn’t stop us (Umair, Ali, Babar and me) from having fun and making most of the time we had away from our workplace. While most of the participants remained stuck to their rooms, we walked out to a near market for a cup of tea every other night. On a bright sunny Sunday (first weekend) we were driven to Monal (Pir Sohawa) for an officially- sponsored brunch. I had never been there before. I enjoyed every bit of journey and stay at the site. I did little trekking, took photographs, enjoyed the scenery, but didn’t quite like the food. It was a Sunday well spent.

The Monal Restaurant

The Monal Restaurant

La Montana - The restaurant that failed to attract visitors

La Montana – The restaurant that failed to attract visitors

The Hut

The Hut

(L-R) Ahsun, Umair, Me

(L-R) Ahsun, Umair, Me

One fine day it was raining softly, I asked the three to go out and have lunch. They agreed and we headed towards Rahat Bakers for pizza. We had it out in the rain. The pizza was hot, spicy and awesome, and so was the weather.

Enjoying Pizza

Enjoying Pizza

Next Sunday we went to Lake View Park, the park had not much to offer, still we roamed around and had some pictures taken. Then from there we headed to Jungle Café where we had a very nice cup of tea. Sun had set and we walked towards Jinnah Super Market. Another Sunday went just fine.

The Park

The Park

Lookin' at ya

Lookin’ at ya

all by itself

all by itself

@Jungle Cafe Tea was perfect

@Jungle Cafe Tea was perfect

Chapter 2: Islamabad to Azad Jammu & Kashmir (On Bike)

Umair hails from Kotli, AJ&K. No sooner did I express my desire to visit AJ&K that he asked me to go with him. It was a dream-come-true. And when he told me that we shall be going on bike, the excitement doubled as it meant to be more adventurous. We left NIBAF at 1330. I enjoyed every moment of journey. I adored the zigzag, low-high-low road through the mountains and the elegantly built homes over the hills. It was first time ever that I was driving through such a lavish landscape. Having had two short stopovers at villages for tea, we finally reached the destination Kotli at 1700.

Ride on bike

Ride on bike

Back home

Back home

The road well travelled

The road well travelled

Crossing river

Crossing river

Didn't know water was ssssoo cold

Didn’t know water was ssssoo cold

Homes by the bank

Homes by the bank

Perfect

Perfect

 

Joy forever

Joy forever

:)

🙂

I can see that bus over there

I can see that bus over there

Driving through mountains

Driving through mountains

Nature at its best

Nature at its best

 

The hot water

The hot water

Something to eat

Something to eat

through the rocks

through the rocks

Arty

Arty

Good Night

Good Night

Besides all the scenery and adventure, the most beautiful thing about AJ&K was the hospitality that I received from the Umair’s family, friends and relatives. They were all so welcome and kind. They were all so loving and so caring that I felt at home. An unforgettable time-out it was.

🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

Everytime I visit my village, I walk a little away and out in the fields and have a panoramic view of the village. 

the Sky above,

the people picking up the tomatoes,

the green pastures,

the buffaloes,

the hay,

the school,

the mosque,

the houses made of mud and the ones made of cement,

the fish pond,

the way through the fileds,

are all there, all mine! 

Life, so close to Nature