Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News

Winters and hours of distress

By Nasira Jabeen Who would like to have unpleasant winters if they could help it? Winters, of all the seasons, have been a hard struggle for us Chitralis from the onset. Set in the season, and the dwellers’ trepidation begins:temperature, the colder with the fall of snow; roads, the more rugged, travelling the riskier and lights the rarer. Though thank God the formidable winters of the early times are only things of the past now. The thick soft snow, sinking one up to the knees, rendered the connections to the neighbouring villages and the towns hazardous and the one to the city, Peshawar (the Lowari Pass) and its hairpin bends, an extreme peril as to the being of life when travelling through it was ventured. And as for the long stoppage of the transport of viands to the district from the city through this pass, the need of it was never felt. The locals had sufficient of local products to feed them. The folks, thus completely shut inside the houses had to pass the long stretches of winter hours, if with a pleasing employment, to their enjoyment of it, if not, to their boredom. And the piles upon piles of snow thrown in the front and back yards from the roofs above, to keep them from dripping,reaching an enormous height, would serve as ladder for the children and elders alike to easy step into the roof for warm sun basking.The days, bright of sun or of flakes of snow or gloomy with clouded sky and the lanterns-lit nights went with people waiting; waiting with speculated plans to cheer the spring. With the electrification of the district and later with the opening of the Lowari tunnel, the nature of spending winters gradually underwent an easing change and with further advancements in the area, there came a decrease in the fall of snow by degrees, not surprisingly (environmentalists better explain here). Now years after these last, winters are nearly mild in the temper comparatively. And these last couple of years snow has almost not fallen in some of the valleys and even if a little falls that is devoured instantly by the earth. But nonetheless, what stands these winters out as an eternal torment to the occupants of those villages, having no local electricity and seeping in the supply from Reshun is the frequent and exhausting load shedding. (Spare me the cliché so liberally used nationwide). None but these people only who taste the ordeal know its intensity. The two months of the season are spent with days displaying two different schedules of lights alternately with punctual succession. So accurately the timings (of lights coming and going off) are followed that even the careless youngster remembers them with precession. No meeting goes by without the mention of lights; no visits considered complete without pouring out hearts of indignant curses, flung at the particular management; no neighbouring ladies’ pass gossip without indulging in the elongated lights talk. For who could be as good as hold their tongue in check in the face of an urging situation. From five to eight hours full no lights can be seen neither in daytime nor at night and their appearance is as though breaking of some good tidings. And gleefully the chorus goes up in cries: ‘Bishlihani’ . There then begins the hasty preservation of it. Every usable device is plucked in and the light chargers, above all, used until they give out and are fully exhausted, are plucked in in no time. TVs are as briskly switched on, and news channels intuned. For what might have happened during the lapse in as unpredictable a country as ours, where of late terrorism has afresh erupted, which cares for no season, warm, cold whatsoever, remorsefully. As even there the sacrificing populace slowly gets used to the adjustment of nature, where they cannot cure it. In this quarter, trifle by comparison, not yielding to the adjustment is simply out of question. People have become accustomed to getting along without lights, for what else they could do but to adjust themselves accordingly. Thus as cold December days passed into a colder January and a pouring February and March, the tribulations of the inhabitants of Chitral catch pace in the form of cold, risks, the confined living (to an extent), lights and the like. But added to these an equally active trouble inflicting the mentioned section of the district (those having no local electricity) is their deplorable lights condition. So miserable they make that bringing the plight forth becomes due so as to impress upon the authorities to contemplate any possible action to ease the folks of such trouble. And nevertheless, it’s not an all bleak landscape laid before us, rather Shelley’s “If Winter comes, can spring be far behind?’’ is what should be one’s reliant driving force.]]>

You might also like
1 Comment
  1. Hassan says

    Sadiq and Amin and PPP MPA Salim Khan. This is a story of a month back when the said MPA in his press conference at Peshawar Press Club declared if the Lowari Tunnel is not made open three days a week by 10th February, he would resign from assembly seat. Three weeks have passed but the already allocated two days have been further reduced to four hours. Where is the MPA and where is his promise?

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected!!