A Muslim family from here has presented an example of hospitality Jammu and Kashmir is known for by opening door for a Pune-based film maker’s group which got stranded in Dooda district after sudden announcement of the lockdown across the country.
The documentary maker, NachiketGuttikar, along with his team members, Shamin Kulkarni and NinadDatar were planning to leave Bhadarwah valley after completing their shoot for a documentary when the lockdown was announced.
The filmmakers had arrived in the district on March 15 and the crew was scheduled to board a flight back home from Jammu on March 25. However, due to the nationwide lockdown for 21 days, the group got stuck in Bhadarwah.
“Not only were flights suspended, but even hotels closed doors on us. There was no public transport plying on the roads. With no place to stay, we didn’t know what to do,” said Guttikar. “We were fortunate enough that the family at Gatha village graciously offered us to stay with them.”
“One thing which really moved us emotionally was that after two days of our stay, administration took us to hospital quarantine. Aazim (landlord’s son) volunteered himself to stay with us for 14 days there so that we won’t feel alone. Perhaps this is Kashmiriat that we have heard about,” Nachiket said.
“It has been now 32 days since we have been staying with this Muslim family. They are so friendly that we don’t miss our families, not for a single moment. I’m quite sure that one can ever experience this thing in any other part of the world. This is real Kashmir,” said group member, Datar.
The family which offered their home to the travelers considers itself fortunate for getting an opportunity to help strangers in the times of crisis.
“It is not a favour. If tomorrow our children get stuck somewhere in similar kind of circumstances, someone will surely extend a helping hand to them. So my appeal to everyone is that in the given circumstances, we should go an extra mile to help people in distress,” said Nazim Malik, owner of the house.