In tense Kashmir, people turn to fishing, carrom

Srinagar: Asif Ahmad, 19, who is pursuing graduation in a New Delhi college, had come to his home for a 20-day vacation early last month. Hailing from Srinagar’s old city, he did not move out of his house for two weeks since August 5 after the clampdown by the government, following abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. 

“One of my friends visited me last Monday and took me for fishing as I was frustrated sitting at home. Since then, I go for fishing daily,” Ahmad said, while fishing on the banks of Dal Lake near SKICC Srinagar.

 

Like Ahmad, most people in Kashmir are idling in their homes for the last over three weeks in view of the communication blockade and restrictions. Anxiety and stress level have drastically increased among the residents. A number of youth are seen these days fishing on the banks of different water bodies, playing indoor games, or watching movies.

Parents also lure little ones away from TV and laptop for a little fresh air in the evening hours. One such parent is Mohammad Shafi, a resident of Bemina, who takes his 12-year-old son along for fishing every other evening.

“My son is fond of cricket. He is suffering from anxiety after remaining confined inside home for two weeks without any communications with his friends or relatives. Now I am taking him along for fishing that may ease his anxiety,” Shafi said, while fishing on the banks of Jhelum.

Believing that fishing teaches patience and also relaxes one’s mind, Shafi said that he grabs a rod and heads to Dal Lake.

Hailing from Srinagar’s Zakura, Ashiq Hussain has been confined inside four walls, causing him distress and anxiety. 

 “He seems so frustrated that he does not know whether it is Thursday or Sunday,” his father Abdul Rahim, who is running a garment shop, said.  

“We don’t have yard, where my children could at least move few steps. I have now brought a carrom board from one of relatives and play with my son and nephews. We shall engage ourselves with some activity, otherwise the prevailing situation will have negative impact on our minds and our children won’t be able to focus on their studies,” he said.

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