A Year After Killer Quake, Eid Fervor Grips Tanghdar

Oct 8 last year was the day when the dreams of thousands of people were shattered.

At 9.20 am Indian standard time on October 8 2005, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake, the worst the region has witnessed in a century, killed more than 75,000 people in Pakistan adminstrated Kashmir and more than 1400 on the Indian side.

The earthquake razed their homes to the ground and survivors were left with only the clothes they were wearing and nothing else.

The Eid-ul-fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was just weeks ahead. Children and elders alike had made plans to celebrate it with full religious fervor and put on new clothes with several delicacies being prepared and served on this day. Their plans never materialized as the earthquake struck and left them thinking about their survival with everything lost, including markets and houses.

A year after the killer quake, the people of Taghdar, situated 183 Kms north of the summer capital Srinagar in Indian administrated Kashmir, have once again started their life. They are holding their fasts and at the same time shoppers are thronging the local market here for Eid shopping which was not the sense last year when this market was deserted. There is a huge rush of customers in the market, coming here from far off places and buying new clothes, breads and other essentials to making this Eid a memorable one.

“Last year Eid was a mourning day for us as we lost everything and there was nothing to celebrate about as we didn’t even have clothes. But this year things have changed by the grace of Almighty Allah and we will celebrate this Eid as we used to, leaving behind all that happened to us last year,” said Mohd Anwar who lost his son in Law and daughter in last year’s earthquake.

In the main market of Tangdar supplies are being brought in from Srinagar and markets being decorated to attract more and more customers.

Suhail A. Wani is a writer from Kashmir. Suhail writes about local news and goings on in Kashmir, where he lives.