Tag Archives: Migration of Kashmiris

NATURE THE BEST TEACHER

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Like migrant birds, a good number of people move out of the valley to escape the chilly weather that forces people to wrap up in many layers of clothing. Nature is a good teacher as the birds travel thousands of kilometers all the way even from Siberia to the warmer regions including Kashmir- in search of food and congenial weather conditions. Once a person lands outside the crucible valley, he finds relieved by shedding the layers of clothing, additional heating devices like kangri—fire pot, hot water bottles, blowers, hamams etc. To add to all these miseries the erratic power supply makes a person frustrated.
In the recent past people living in the old city of Srinagar in the closely huddled houses with narrow lanes having at least 2 ft. thick walls made of sun- dried bricks lined with fire- burnt bricks on the outside and mud plaster from inside. Wooden ceilings and mud flooring, mud plaster, wooden skirting up to window bed level, smaller windows with paneled/ jail shutters were more comfortable with lesser heat loss during winter. The narrow lanes were also serving as a barrier to heat loss in winter or exposure to the direct sunlight during hot summer days.
The present day cement plastered / tiled/ marble floor houses located in the open areas are devoid of such facilities causing orthopedic problems to people and frequent exposure to people accustomed to hamams. People using hamams can not stay away from these for a long period. In short our lives have become more uncomfortable as compared to the simple living conditions of our near past. This is despite the fact that that much advancement has been made in the technologies for providing heating system to the structures.
It appears that the pinching weather conditions combined with deprived facilities and the political/economic instability, all contribute to the peevish nature of an unfortunate Kashmiri.
When looking back from an outside country, one wonders how and when shall we be able to catch up with the fast pace of development of infrastructure like 6 lane roads, high- rise buildings, uninterrupted power supply, effective traffic control of the increasing population, the development of gifted tourist industry, antipollution drive of the water bodies and exercising of free mind to creative thinking. This would pave the way for our physical, mental and spiritual development.
Allah says, ‘The destiny of nations cannot be changed unless and until they rise to change themselves.’ Besides ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ This is a universal principle and that is the only way open to us, if we want to live in a better world.
Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili
Chief Engineer (retd.)