New Delhi, Sep 15: When floodwater entered Indian cricketer Parveez Rasool's Bijbehara residence 10 days back, his first reflex action was to drag his two cricket kit bags upstairs on the first floor but little did he expect what followed after that.
"For the last 11 days, I was literally cut off from the society as none of the telephones or cell-phones were working. There was no internet connections. It was a helpless situation for me and my family. We were staying on the first floor as the ground floor was filled with flood water. I would like to inform all my friends and relatives that we are safe," a relieved Rasool told PTI from Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, which has also been hit by the floods.
"I am able to take this call as I am getting mobile signal some 2 kms from my residence. I came to know that there were rumours that there is no trace of me and my family due to floods. That's wrong. Yes, situation was terrible but it's better in Anantnag right now. I am planning to come to Srinagar within next two days. I haven't been able to contact my Jammu and Kashmir Ranji teammates," he said.
Rasool then narrated the harrowing time he had during the last 10 days. "The worst part was one of my favourite bats was left in my car along with a costly backpack. The car was totally under water and my mother was against me going downstairs. I still went there neckdeep in water and got those two stuff," said the 25-year-old Jammu and Kashmir captain, who has already made his ODI debut for India this year.
Rasool said that he also took part in relief work with a local NGO which was helping the people affected by natural calamity.
"In fact, a local NGO over here did tremendous work as they reached out to people with food, essential medicine and clothes. In fact, we also received help from the NGO as we were stuck inside our house. "After watching them work for three to four days, I also joined the relief workers and did my bit in helping them. In fact after days, when the first bus from Anantnag left for Srinagar, there were senior citizens, who held our hands and thanked us. Can't tell you how I felt after that," said Rasool, who is now shuttling between his uncle's house and his own residence.
Asked about the situation, Rasool said,"It's not only about me. I am only 25 but people, who are of my grandfather's age said that they have not seen anything like this in their lifetime. There were times, when we were taking water from the overhead tanks and boiling everything as there is a chance of spread of infection. Couldn't take chance with old parents at home."
For the India international, what he finds painful is the condition of the poor people. "By grace of God, I have access to facilities which a lot of poor people don't have. I only hope that by next week, things change for the better as the people from the economically backward strata are the ones, who have been suffering a lot. You feel pained watching their plight," said Rasool, who is itching to get back to training.
"It's never happened that I have missed training for two weeks. I have to get back to training," said Rasool.