A Journey to Kaptai

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We were supposed to be in Comilla by midnight. But the road on both sides of the Meghna bridge was blocked by a terrible traffic jam. We reached Comilla at 5 AM and Rangamati at 11.30 AM.

There were only two launches from Rangamati to Longodu – one at 7 AM and another at 10 AM. We missed both. Luckily, we came to know that a speedboat would depart at 2 PM.

Why Longodu?

Shorobor sells blankets. Some people purchase it for themselves and others purchase for distribution. Some customers ask us to deliver the blankets to specific places. We were on one such mission to reach the outreach hills of Rangamati.

Kaptai is one of the largest freshwater lakes in South-East Asia. It was created after a large area had been flooded after the Kaptai dam was built on the river Karnaphuli.

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The view was majestic – crystal clear water between green hills. The wind was biting and our body was freezing. We began to cover up with all the warm clothes we had.

After a while, we reached the Karnaphuli river. After passing Shuvolong, the hill lines got distant. Suddenly we passed the launch we missed!

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It was 2:40 PM. We reached Maynimukh bazar of Longodu.

 

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We took another engine boat from the bazar ghat. Those hills were again getting closer to us. 40 minutes later we reached a floating village. On one hillock, we saw curious faces looking for us. We realized this was the place we planned to be.

 

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 The name of the village was Mahilla. The famous Mahilla Khatme Nobyouat Madrasa was at the top of the mound.

 

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The Kaptai lake is close to the Mizoram state of India. Weather is much colder at this side due to geographical position. Rain is a common scenario and when it rains the temperature drops drastically.

Life is very tough here. One has to move up and down for every little chore.

 

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But then, you have a window with a view. Allahu Akbar, the place is so beautiful!

 

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Despite the beauty, people barely have enough land for cultivation. Very poor transportation and extreme weather –  people struggle for their survival.

But still, there are some Muslim brothers and sisters who didn’t forget these hill people. Why did they give us the task to go this far?

 

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The reason is to let them realize that they are not alone. Allah is always watching over them and they will get help whenever they need.

It was after Maghrib when people started to come. Most of them were old and weak. We talked to them for a while, comfort them about their hardships. Gave them the good news. Warned them about wrong deeds.

 

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Next morning, we started visiting the area with a boat loaded with blankets.

 

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The hills were lovely, dark and deep. But we had promises to keep. And miles to go before we sleep. We reached out to the weak and elderly by visiting all the islands.

 

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We saw a scene that amazed us. A little girl with her head covered was riding a boat very aptly with her baby sister. In the whole tour, we saw a very high sense of modesty among the Muslim women.

 

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We distributed some blankets among the madrasa students too. We encouraged them to work hard and learn their lessons properly.

 

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Finally, it was the time to leave. We used a boat from Madrasa and reached Mainy ghat. Then we used a motorcycle from Mainymukh bazar to Dighinala and from there to Khagrachari. It was drizzling and we almost got frozen in the cold behind the bike. But whenever the scene of the child walking happily by his father came into my mind, I smiled.

 

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The journey in Khagrachari was another epic episode. We are sharing our experience with this photoblog to let all those great people who purchased blankets from us know what we did to perform our duties.

We are still selling blankets. Each blanket will cost only 350 taka only. To purchase, please visit this link: shorobor.org/blanket

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