Apr 22, 2012

Darjeeling: the Fire smothered!

The town of Darjeeling in west Bengal is a tourist hub that recently had a close encounter with impending doom. At that time, a few hundred volunteers of Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing were camping close by. It was about 1:30 am in the morning that some members of the Shah Satnam ji green 'S' welfare force wing staying at the Regent hotel woke up after smelling smoke and looked out, they saw the building opposite their hotel engulfed in a ghastly fire. They went around their hotel , alert other guests to evacuate, telephoned help from the official fire tender of the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing that always accompanies the entourage of Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.

The fire started in a small shop that probably stocked woolens. The adjacent building that got engulfed was a multistoried one and housed cylinders of extremely flammable gas at several levels. At 2 am a blast ricocheted through the town as 2 cylinders burst and sent burning shrapnel flying hundreds of feet across. By 2:30 am whole market that consisted of petty shops, made largely of wood was aflame. Over 150 shops were on fire, with their wooden structures serving as cannon fodder. The fire tender belonging to the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing was the first to reach the scene and start its operations in right earnest. All Volunteers of the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing organized themselves in to different teams. One team cordoned off the area to keep civilians at bay. Another team started taking out the salvageable good from the partially burnt shops and returned them to their rightful owners. The lead team plunged itself headlong into fire to beat the blaze.There were three dozen odd cylinders that were trapped inside the blaze. If a blast of a single cylinder could engulf 150 shops, if the remainder were not salvaged to safety, probably the entire city would become a tinderbox.The army and the local police hastily made announcements for the populace to stay clear of the buildings as they were time bombs that were ticking away.The Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing firefighters directed their energies to the locations where these petroleum gas cylinders were kept, directing their barrage of water towards those sites. At 5 am 3 volunteers of Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing , tried to enter the building which had 3 cylinders on its top floor without any special protective gear. No respirators, no masks, no helmets, no fire retardant clothing, only the motivation of Guruji pushed them to persist. On the fourth floor, visibility improved somewhat and they finally reached the sixth floor. The three had no tongs or chains to pull the cylinders(looked red hot) with and in a jiffy, they yanked them up with their bare hands. With Guruji's meditation on their lips, they glided back through the same blinded stairway and hobbled out. It was an ordeal that lasted a good several minutes of painful descent. Finally they emerged to a cheering group of locals. "How could you, guys! What stuff are you made of?" asked the locals. "The Guru, is the doer, he bears our pain," the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing Voluteers lads coolly answered. In the meantime, SBS Gurjant Insan made it to the basement of the same building and pulled out a couple of cylinders with improvised metal hooks. One cylinder had already burst in the same location earlier. Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing teams rushed headlong into where the remaining cylinders were. An hour later, the total count of the cylinders pulled out stood at thirty. Military persons were heard exclaiming in private conversations, that they wouldn't do such a thing even if they had orders.The indefatigable warriors' of the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing had fought the blaze since 2 am in the morning till the forenoon. There were other miracles unfolding too. The smaller fire tenders brought in by the other agencies were emptying out at regular intervals and would rush to get water from the inlet points. But the fire tender of the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing did not require a single refill because it never became empty. God was at the work. Driver recounts that with the smaller nozzle, the tanker could never last beyond 3-4 hours. How it battled the blaze incessantly for 8-9 hours is a real miracle. Those who know of Guruji's grace also know that such miracles are common place in the life of a believer. When Guruji also reached the serve of the blaze. Hundreds of people lined the roads with folded hands, their eye moist with gratitude "“ " You saved our city, your volunteers saved our lives" they chorused in unison. They recounted tales of bravery of the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing volunteers, How they had rescued children , recovered valuables , extricated cylinders , in choked voices. Guruji humbly said that almighty God was the doer and his children were his instrument. He went from door to door, counseling those again by the loss of properly, gently reminding that maternal losses could be earned, but the life that God had spared was immensely were precious. Slogans of "Long live Guruji," rent the air. These were students, business men, housewives, tourists and people of all hues who had only one common refrain had if not been for Guruji's five tender and Guruji's valiant band of fighters. Darjeeling might not have lived to see another day. Because close to that concentration of 30 cylinders were small households and shops having another 300 cylinders of cooking gas. If the first thirty had not been extricated, it would have cascaded into doomsday.