Kudwani: The nightmare of being holed up in a kitchen sink (soender) -along with his wife and three kids-to avoid getting shot was not even over for 45-year-old Muhammad Yousuf Wani when he sensed that his house was set on fire and the only way to survive now was to run outside, into the bullets being fired left right and centre.
Wani is yet to come to terms with what he and his family has endured the past night and shivers – feigning a smile all along – as he recounts the horrid details of the encounter.
“The firing started at around 10:30 PM, Tuesday night,” Wani said, “We-my wife, two daughter and a son-were preparing to sleep,”
Sensing danger, Wani said, he tried to run out from the kitchen window of his impoverished house, to safety.
“But some government forces personnel had taken position at the window of the house right next to my kitchen. They asked me to remain indoors or I will get shot,” Wani said.
For the next hour Wani and his family ran from one room to another, unable to decide which one was less dangerous to sit in.
Unable to find a safe place, the family of four finally sneaked into the cement washbasin of their kitchen and stayed there for the whole night.
“You can see the size of that basin and we were four people tucked in there,” he said. By morning the fire fight intensified and the family stayed put in the wash basin.
But at about 1:00 PM Wani sensed something happening and he had to make the choice. The choice was to run outside right into the bullets, or get charred wherever the four of them were staying.
“They (forces) sprinkled petrol on the house next to ours (where the militants were hiding) and on my house as well. And then they set both of the houses on fire,” he said.
At this point, smelling petrol and feeling the house has been set on fire, Wani picked his kids and asked his wife to run behind him.
“Ducking-as if ducking would have made the bullets less potent-I miraculously managed to take my family out to safety,” Wani told Kashmir Reader. He said that his family, including his toddler son, is yet to come out of the shock. A labourer by profession, Wani is now confronted by not only the shock of the horrific night he spent in the sink but the future of his family as well.
His house has suffered substantial damage and now he will have to work doubly hard to provide for his family and to make sure his family has a decent roof over their heads.