Sharjah boy confronts Kerala deluge on first day of college
Dubai - To make things worse, many students were unable to contact their parents as the network was down.
When Amaan Iqbal left Sharjah for Kerala last month to pursue his medicine course, the last thing the Indian student expected was to get caught up in a natural calamity that is currently gripping the south Indian state.
Amaan, 18, said his first day at a medical college in Mukkam, Kozhikode, was a 'devil's dance' as he, along with his friends, had to wade in neck-deep water before they could be evacuated by boat.
"It was terrifying, especially for us NRIs (non-resident Indians) as we are not used to the deluge," Amaan told Khaleej Times over the phone from Kerala.
He moved to Kerala in July this year after finishing his schooling at Our Own English High School, Sharjah. His parents Sangeeth Ibrahim and Sunayna Iqbal are long-time residents of the UAE. The couple has a daughter, too.
Narrating the ordeal, Amaan said students decided to leave the water-logged campus when rain intensified on Friday.
"We were around 100 students in the college, and 10 students from my batch alone were from the UAE. None of us are used to this kind of weather and deluge. We started panicking when the hostel warden told us that Mukkam is flooded and getting isolated from the rest of the district."
To make things worse, many students were unable to contact their parents as the network was down.
As they felt that things were getting out of hand, Amaan got a friend to drop him off at the farthest spot possible from his college.
"When we reached a bridge, it was completely submerged and there was no way to move farther. Roads had turned into rivers and we waded through neck-deep water to reach a safe spot. Those were moments I thought I would never make it home again."
He and other students were evacuated by boat.
"But at that point, the ordeal was not yet over for us as trains were not running, and there was no way to reach home. I wanted to spend Eid with my parents who were in Kozhikode but, instead, I had to go to my grandfather's house in Thalassery."
Amaan is still waiting for his college to reopen as heavy rain continued to lash many parts of Kerala.
"One thing I understood is that as NRI kids, we are strangers to such natural calamities and other everyday problems in life. I was impressed to see how random people sprang into action to help those who were marooned," said Amaan.
Amaan's father said they felt 'completely helpless' when Amaan was fighting a deluge to reach home.
"Though we were quite scared, we are grateful to all those who helped our son," said Ibrahim, an HR professional in Dubai.