Sunday, May 04, 2008

Caught in the Storm

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd May were the dates fixed for the 3 day Jamaat (of Tabligh) from our mosque. It was actually due for the last week of April, but we couldn't get our Jamaat ready. Our destination was a village called Diabari. You might be thinking that it's so far away from Dhaka, instead it's just a 15 minute rickshaw ride away from our home. That's right, there are quite a few villages very close to Uttara which may one day become part of the city through urbanization. This village is located to the immediate west of sector 12 of Uttara, beyond the vast sands. The sands are the future site of the proposed new sectors of Uttara Model Town. Anyway, I went with the Jamaat, couldn't stay though, as my classes were on. On the second day after the Maghrib bayaan, me and some other brothers were just having a chat on the veranda of the mosque, while preparing our dinner. And then, within just a few seconds, out of nowhere came the storm. As I've already mentioned, the mosque is just beyond a huge field of sand, the storm brought with it a veil of white sand which within a seconds engulfed the surroundings. We rushed inside the mosque as soon as possible, but still we found our whole body, face, eyes, ears and all washed with sand. We witnessed the onslaught of the wind through the closed windows. The sheer sound of the wind and the trees being bent was deafening. It seemed as if the very foundation of the building was getting lose by the tremendous force of the storm. The fiercest period lasted for about 10 minutes I guess, and then it slowed down a little, although the wind was still blowing in tremendous speed. The lights went out soon after the storm started. So the situation was pretty horrifying indeed. It was a fearsome, yet splendid feeling to see the terrible force of nature up close. As we were almost in the middle of a field, in the midst of a village, the effect of the storm could be felt much more strongly than in the city.
Anyway, after the Isha prayer I had to come back home as I had class the next day, 3 other brothers also needed to get to their places. But the wind was blowing pretty strongly still, with the rain also starting to fall. Despite the condition we decided to go, straight through the sand field. The experience of this of this walk was absolutely thrilling. The cloudy dark skies up above, the storm still running strong all around and the rain falling, the dimly lit vast field of sand below, and the distant silhouettes of the trees of the village gave me a slight taste of the kind of adventure my heart craves for. After about 10 minutes of walking we reached sector 12 at a place called 'Khal-par' (খাল পাড়) where my car was waiting for me (my dad was also in the car who had 'come to the rescue'). I was back home within a few minutes.
The storm that hit us at first was thought to be Nargis, the cyclone which threatened to hit Bangladesh, but fortunately for us changed its direction towards Myanmar, unfortunately for them. Instead, it was the typical Kal Boishakhi (কাল বৈশাখী), which are expected in this time of the year. The walk through the storm would be an experience to remember.