By Ishfaq Reshi
SRINAGAR: The 6.8-magnitude quake that jolted Kashmir Valley on Sunday afternoon came as a pleasant shock to Arif Badoo. The young man’s cry-for-help was the first thing he spoke in nearly two months.
On February 21, which happened to be the International Mother Language Day, Badoo, fell unconscious at his home in Kreeri, Baramulla, in north Kashmir.
In his 20s, Badoo has been suffering from Epilepsy, a neurological disorder, since 2012.
On the fateful day, he suddenly fell unconscious while coming out of the washroom. Badoo wasn’t new to losing his senses; it had been happening to him quite often. But his return to consciousness was to have him discover that he couldn’t speak anymore.
His mother, the only one at home, called her husband, who had travelled to Srinagar with some work. And he rushed home to be with Badoo and the family.
Without wasting much time, they took their only child to Jammu, where he was treated by famous neurologist Dr Sushil Razdan for at least a week. And the family was told that Badoo’s loss of voice was a result of Epilepsy.
He was put on medication, but it didn’t help much; Badoo could not speak even a single word. Just when the family was getting deeper into the distress because of his muteness, the quake, which had its epicenter in Hindu-Kush, shook Kashmir Valley.
“I shouted ‘Mumma, me kar thaph, yelle ma traav (Mother, Mother, hold me, don’t leave me)’,” recollected Badoo, while speaking with Kashmir Reader.
“She held my hand, and suddenly both of us forgot the quake. We stared at each other like we were strangers.
“For several minutes, I was unable to understand what was happening. I just kept quiet. And then, I started speaking without any hesitation.”
Badoo doesn’t have enough words to explain his feeling.
“The situation is inexpressible, and the blessing unprecedented,” he said.
A student of Convergent Journalism in Central University of Kashmir, Badoo took to social media for expressing gratitude to his well-wishers.
“I am thankful to everyone for their greetings. Especially to my classmates, who made this day wonderful and made me laugh so much that my cheeks still ache. I thank my lovely teachers. This is a strange situation. I am short of words to express,” he wrote on Facebook.