Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Snowfall in Jammu!

I was in Jammu last month. The trees in the garden looked devastated, most of tress were leafless and leaves that were still clinging on to some of them looked rusty. I asked around if it was the work of locust or was it some tree disease.
"Didn't you read about it! It was the snow". And I remembered reading about it in papers and I remembered being told about it after a telephone conversation call from Jammu. It was the freak hailstorm - greatest in last twenty years - that caused it. I had often heard about the kind of destruction that hailstorm causes to the vegetation and standing crops, and now I got a glimpse of it. It had been almost a month since then and still the green here hadn't recovered.

On the morning of 27th January 2009, people in most areas of Jammu woke up to see the ground covered in about 6 inches of hail. Even as the warm sun came out, it took almost the entire day for the hail to melt away. During my visit to Jammu, I read an article written by an uncle of mine for a Kashmir Pandit magazine. He remembered snow of Kashmir. He remembered sheen'e bhagwan -  Shivling made and setup in courtyards and gardens from freshly fallen snow and he remembered snowman that children used to enjoy making from the first snow of winter, snowman that for its eyes had two pieces of black charcoal, Tchyin, often taken from a dead Kangri.

That article carried a photograph of a garlanded sheen'e bhagwan and a snowman made from the hail that fell down upon Jammu in the wee hours of 27th January 2009.

-0-
Got these photographs of hail from another uncle of mine.

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