Blockade freezes love bonds

Rifat Mohidin

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 19

Numaiza Mir, 28, from Awantipora has no news of her fiance Gowhar Ahmad, who lives in the Chattabal area of Old Srinagar for the last more than a month as the two have been completely disconnected after the communication blockade was imposed in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article-370 on August 5.

After deciding to get married early this year, the duo were set to go for an engagement ceremony on August 27, where all the family members and relatives were set to take part. But all the plans failed after tension erupted in Kashmir. Numaiza has been waiting for this event for a long time.

“It was through a messenger that we conveyed to them that the engagement cannot take place in such a situation,” said Numaiza, adding that she has not been able to talk to her fiance even as both are going for a love marriage.

The communication blockade has cut off families and friends and prevented any news from spreading. People are unable to contact their kith and kin living outside Kashmir, barring those having a landline phone. Even in emergency situations, like deaths, people are unable to contact their relatives living in other parts. The blockade has affected social gatherings as people have shortened their wedding functions. But most of all, the blockade has created an emotional void for people like Numaiza.

“It is very difficult to express that you are not able to talk to your loved ones in times of need and emergency. All excitement for the big events has gone,” she said.

Sobiya Jan, 29, from Chanapora in Srinagar was set to get hitched. Everything was finalised on August 4 when the family of the boy, with whom she is going for a love marriage, came to see her and it was on August 5 evening when a phone call would convey them the dates and the plans ahead but after the phones stopped working. The plans also halted.

“I have not been able to even communicate with my boyfriend. It is really a difficult time emotionally and mentally for all of us. It frustrates us that all sources of communication have been blocked,” she said, adding that both the families do not have a landline phone, which is the only source of connectivity in Kashmir these days.

While people have suffered due to being unable to hear the news of births and deaths amid a communication blockade, it brought an emotional trauma to young lovers.

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