Even though it has been 8 months since the earthquake of October 2005, people I meet still talk about it... The picture they draw of the experience is horrific and horrendous. It seems that the experience has definitely punctuated the lives of the people strongly, making them think about life and its purpose, seriously. Thank God that I have not heard of any casualties of people that I directly know of with the exception of Shahnaz Kapadia, a middle aged widow, who lost her elder son and is struggling with the life of the younger one. The stories of the fall of margalla towers only is enough to realize the unpredictibility and uncertainity of life. Fate has been really cruel to some people, and there is no rational justification to understand that why those innocent people had to lose their lives or thier limbs, and in such harsh manner, fighting tons of rubble. I do not know of any direct stories of Bagh, Muzaffarabad and Balakot (the whole city was destroyed). But I did hear stories showing the best and the worst of humanity. While so much aid came from all over the world and the country and so many people went to help with the relief work, there were people looting the crushed houses, abducting children, merchants hiking prices of even such things as the shrouds for the deadbodies. I could not believe that the price of KAFAN would sky rocket as the demand surged all of a suddent. In that moment of national disaster, I would have thought that KAFAN prices should have come down!!! Anyway, it seems that in terms of relief and rehabilitation, no stone was left unturned.... My friends and other people who visited the affected areas said that there were enough food, clothes, blankets and medicines etc. One friend commented that she has never seen such nice blankets in her entire life. Thanks to the international community for their immediate support. And, thanks to America too!!! A special mention is needed as I heard stories of special efforts of the American army, doctors and nurses. Someone said that most of the relief and search efforts would not have been possible without American assitance and their sincere support. But alas, the people of Kashmir even then fired on american aircrafts!!
Well, coming back to margallah towers in Isloo, the whole tower, even thee portion that was unaffected looks haunted. Noone lives there now, a place which used to be one of the most expensive places to live is frequented by ghosts now...the broken tower breaks your heart everytime you look at it reminiding of all the people who were burried under tons and tons of rubble, never to come back or only to survive sans arms or legs or both. How fragile and strong are human beings!!