Majid Kapra

Boat Tragedy: Thinking unimaginable, distraught mother calls her son, grandson to return home before sunset

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Srinagar: Finding it difficult to believe that her loved ones are dead, Taja, the grieving mother, visits the boat capsize site on the banks of River Jhelum at Gandbal-Batwara everyday, asking her presumed-dead son and grandson to return home before sunset.

“Miani Showkat saebo, lajya moj balayi, katyu chukh (O my son Showkat, where have you gone…),” Taja calls loud as she dials his number on her mobile phone.

A boat with around 20 people onboard capsized in Jhelum after striking an iron pillar of an under-construction footbridge on April 16, leaving six persons dead and three others including Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, a mason by profession, son of Abdul Gani Sheikh of Gandbal-Batwara, and his minor son Jahangir missing.

Neighbors and relatives, who visit the residence of Sheikh, told ‘Kashmir Images’ that Taja could lose her mind since she won’t believe that her son and grandchild are dead.

“She doesn’t appear to be able to come to terms with the loss of her son and grandson. She has to be convinced of reality, and yet she won’t listen to anyone,” Waheed Ahmad, a Gandbal native told ‘Kashmir Images’.

Taja, whom locals call Boba, he claimed, visits the site of the boat tragedy everyday and spends time on the river bank, pleading with rescuers and bystanders to tell her son to come home as soon as possible.

“It is very sad to watch this mother, who never stops looking for her deceased son. It was a tragic incident as three persons including Showkat, his minor son and one more are still missing,” added he.

“I am waiting for my son to come home, but he doesn’t. I’ve heard that the boat overturned, but I know that my kid is still alive and will not abandon his distraught mother,” Taja told ‘Kashmir Images’.

“Showkat is the only son I have after four daughters. He works as a mason and had built me a palace. He always accompanied his son to school and got home early because he knows that I will be worried,” the wailing mother said.

She said her son had got a new mobile phone for her and asked her to contact him anytime. “I am trying to call him but his phone is not responding…!

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