Quiet Saturday but much was amiss
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Quiet Saturday but much was amiss

Ganesh Ganj: 12.30 PM .KB Lal reached out for his medicine, found it missing and sent for his son. His wife peeped from her balcony to check whether any milkman was around. He, too, was missing.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 01:06 IST

Ganesh Ganj: 12.30 PM
KB Lal reached out for his medicine, found it missing and sent for his son. His wife peeped from her balcony to check whether any milkman was around. He, too, was missing.

Khyali Ganj: 1 PM

Professor Jalees Ahmad Hamidi was itching to go out on his routine visit to his friend's place in Aminabad. He called up his friend first who advised him not to venture out. Prof Hamidi found enthusiasm missing.

Kaiserbagh Sabzi Mandi: 5 PM

Radha Sonkar was sitting on the hard bed. Her fruit shop was closed. The buyers were missing.

Moulviganj: 6 PM

Ghulam Abbas (name changed) wondered why there was hardly anyone at his shop for muamma (crossword puzzle). Virtually everyone, from students to retired teachers who used to frequent his shop for muamma hadn't turned up on Saturday. The intellectual gathering was missing.

Kaiserbagh Police Station: 7 PM

The station was full of cops from Unnao. They had come here on VVIP duty a couple of days before the President's visit. They expected their relieving orders immediate after the President's departure. The orders never came. Now, the cops were waiting for their duty list from a sub-inspector so that they could take up their duty around Kaiserbagh. The coordination, they say, was missing.

THESE ‘MISSING’ links sum up the post-riot situation in select localities of the city perfectly. Anxious women and children from both the communities stayed awake for most part of the night on Friday. Saturday nights, they said, too would see them awake. The rioting may have been controlled, but fears remain.

“For the firsttime Kaiserbagh sabzi mandi has been closed. It was not closed even when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru died. This clearly has been the worst aspect of the riot,” said Naresh Sonkar, a fruit merchant. Prithvi Raj Sonkar, another trader butted in, “We were awake yesterday, we would be awake today too.”

One drove a little further and found Javed telling his friends who was to be blamed for the riots. “Who,” we asked? “Some mischief mongers and evil doers. Otherwise both the communities have been living in peace for so many years.”

Fair enough, we thought and drove ahead. At Aminabad crossing we found another group chatting. “What has Bush lost? Nothing. Imagine all this was carried out in the name of a foreigner,” he said and found the group nodding in unison. The markets were closed. But one could see people, mostly youths, chatting furiously amongst themselves in groups.

Everybody, it appeared, wanted a reason to stay together. “What would we do inside? There all that we see is frightened faces of our family members and that puts us off even more,” said a trader.

But the saving grace was the fact that in the hour of crisis everyone was out there to help his/her neighbours. So, one saw flour, bread and vegetables being provided to those who had run out of these necessities. In several areas where both the communities live jointly, one saw, the community in majority around the area, taking caring of the minority. Four deaths later, the spirit is still alive!

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 01:06 IST