And The Rain Stops: Bandaar – An Age Old Practice Believed To Be A Weather Changer In Kashmir

Umran Hussain

Incessant rains and dipping temperatures in the month of May, which is otherwise supposed to be a little hotter and dryer, has changed the whole scheme of things; from farming to travelling in Kashmir.

Gul Kak, an elderly man doesn’t believe in weather predictions and calls it a conspiracy by the westerners, who according to him are trying to take us away from the God.

When Gul Kak was young, no such technology existed and people would use the strength of their belief system and according to Gul Kak, Bandaar or Niyaz or Tehri – an offering in which hundreds of people would contribute and later distribute the rice among the villagers, was enough to stop the rains in their time.

This years’ month of May had lots of waters to pour and Kashmir witnessed incessant rains, hence affecting the crops and fruits.

Gul Kak wanted every village of the valley to offer Tehri, which he finally succeeded in, and almost every village offered it in their own way. Most of the offerings were reported by the media as well.

The village Gul Kak lives in, too in a ceremonial way offered it, with Gul Kak being the in-charge of all the chores. With children playing around the fire place, where the rice and meat was cooked, Gul kak’s face was lit with happiness as if he knew that the offerings were going to stop the rain.

Earlier this morning, Gul Kak was seen standing at a crossing where the passenger vehicles usually stop. Boasting about the ‘Old Belief System‘ Gul Kak, while taunting a few young boys about the weather predictions, advised them to stay firm and believe in the divinity of God, as nothing but a strong belief in Him [Allah] can change the scenario in a jiffy.

“It is not the Tehri which stopped the rain, it is the firm belief which has the power to overturn the worldly technology.” Says Gul Kak.

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