Many put weddings on hold as flood water inundated Kasmir valley

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Srinagar, Sep 21: The devastating flood in Jammu and Kashmir that forced people to put their lives on hold, has also hit wedding plans for many in the Valley.

The day Sajad Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Rambagh locality, was getting ready to bring his bride home, he got a call from his would-be in-laws that the marriage had to be postponed in view of flooding in the area.

Sajad was among many who had to postpone their weddings in the wake of the worst ever flood in a century, that has so far claimed at least 277 lives.

"As I was putting on my wedding costume, I came to know that flood water has entered the house of my bride. Her family had to be rescued after their house got completely inundated," Sajad said.

He said initially his would-be in-laws were busy shifting their household items to the second floor of the house, hoping that the water level would not reach there, but little did they know that soon they will have to run for their lives, leaving everything behind.

Sajad and his friends were planning to go and help his bride's family, not knowing that within hours he will have to seek help to save his own house.

"All of a sudden the priorities changed, from brining the bride it was to save her family, but as we were about to leave our house to help them, water started entering our house. So we now had to struggle to save our own lives," Sajad said.

Sajad says bringing the bride home was the last ritual in the wedding and a day earlier they had already served marriage feast to around 400 guests.

"The flooding in Kashmir postponed my wedding and we will now announce the new dates only after the situation here become normal," said Sajad.

Similar is the case with Karanjeet Singh Raina a resident of Allochi Bagh locality. He was to get married on September 28, but following the floods his family too had to postpone his wedding. 

"We had just finished distribution of invitation cards for the wedding. All the preparations were in place. The marriage function was to start from September 23 but following the havoc caused by the floods we were left with no other option but to postpone the wedding," said Karanjeet Singh.

He said the area continues to be submerged under three to four feet of water. "We lost most of household items in the flood. Water reached till the first floor of our two-storey house... My parents took shelter in a nearby school," he said. The authorities in Kashmir say that thousands of planned weddings were postponed following the unprecedented flood in the Kashmir Valley.

"The priorities have changed. The people who were making preparations for marriages in the families, had to run for their own lives and now the same people are struggling with the aftermath of the floods," said an official of the Jammu and Kashmir government.

"Dark future lies ahead for many people who lost their houses in the flood. Majority of them had to postpone the marriages indefinitely, marriage has now taken the back seat and now it is the struggle for survival," the official said.


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