TV Star Rubina Dilaik On Himachal’s Disaster

TV Star Rubina Dilaik On Himachal's Disaster


‘Family, friends, far off relatives, almost everyone has been impacted by nature’s fury.’

IMAGE: A row of buildings in Kullu district collapsed on August 24 and hundreds of travellers were stranded in relief camps after landslides blocked the road to Mandi in rain-battered Himachal Pradesh. Photograph: ANI Photo

Rubina Dilaik is a popular face on television thanks to dramas like Chotti Bahu, Shakti — Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki and Punar Vivah — Ek Nayi Umeed, along with reality shows like Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 12, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10 and Bigg Boss 14 which she won.

The actress who made it to the British weekly Eastern Eye‘s 2022 list of ‘Top 50 Asian Stars’, ranking 31st, was born in Shimla, went to school and college there, and won two local beauty pageants, crowned Miss Shimla in 2006.

Understandably then, Rubina is disturbed by the natural disasters plaguing her home state since the onset of the monsoon this year.

Speaking to Senior Contributor Roshmila Bhattacharya from Los Angeles, Rubina says, “Each one of us is contributing to these natural calamities. We ourselves are responsible for incurring nature’s wrath.”


‘Family, friends, far off relatives, almost everyone has been impacted’

The news reports coming in from Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh of devastating landslides leading to roads and even houses cracking are terrifying and heart-wrenching.

Family, friends, far off relatives, almost everyone has been impacted by nature’s fury.

There’s been loss of crops, but by the grace of God, I’ve not heard of any loss of human life or even houses within our circle.

Of course, property has been damaged, fields too, and business have been majorly impacted.

But I believe that if a person is safe in the midst of all the death and destruction, then that’s a blessing to be counted.

I am currently in Los Angeles on a leisure trip. Once I am back, I will definitely visit my parents in Shimla. They were in Mumbai with me before I left for LA.

IMAGE: Police personnel and local residents gather at the site where a house collapsed due to heavy rainfall at Kotgarh village in Shimla. Photograph: ANI Photo

‘Our doors are open to anyone needing help’

In a personal capacity my family is extending help to neighbours and those in the surrounding village to the best of their capacity while the government debates on compensation which is a process in itself.

As public figures, both Abhinav (actor-husband Abhinav Shukla) and I have always reached out.

Our doors are open to anyone needing help.

We have also gone through a pandemic worldwide and it has taught us how to face a disaster situation.

Life itself teaches you how to deal with a crisis.

I’m deeply rooted to my birth place and culture.

The last time I visited Himachal Pradesh was in the first week of July.

Shimla is my home town and there are a lot of memories.

Even the Summer Hill, where a house went down the hill recently, brings back a wave of nostalgia because while in school, we were taken there for picnics.

I haven’t visited the Shiv temple which was also completely destroyed in a landslide, burying some devotees.

The news broke my heart.

The videos coming out of Mandi which has also been ravaged by flash floods and landslides are equally heart-wrenching.

My prayers and sympathies are with all those going through difficult times.

IMAGE: A bridge near the flooded Chaba power house in Shimla. Photograph: ANI Photo

‘It’s important to have a balanced view about both the economy and ecology’

Abhinav is a keen mountaineer and has successfully climbed the highest mountain peak in Ladakh, Stok Kangri, with his brother in 2017.

Whenever he has come back from climbs, he has spoken about how governments in every state are taking good care of these mountains.

They do not give permission for any climbs if they feel the mountain will not support them.

Mountaineers, like my husband, too are very responsible, environmentally conscious and planet friendly.

There have rarely been reports of irresponsible climbs.

We are living in tricky times and it’s important to have a balanced view about both the economy and ecology.

A state like Himachal Pradesh needs tourism to flourish, but at the same time it should ensure that tourism does not have an adverse impact.

Yes, what is happening there right now will create some fear, both among locals and tourists.

In a way fear is good because you realise nature’s wrath and based on this knowledge, can make wise decisions to build a better tomorrow.

But living in fear and not wanting any kind of development can also be counter-productive.

IMAGE: Collapsed houses after a landslide in Krishna Nagar, Shimla, on August 15, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

‘Each one of us is contributing to these natural calamities’

Experts have been blaming the present crisis on unplanned development and increased tourism, particularly in Shimla. I agree, partially.

If we had been more systematic in developing our infrastructure, maybe this might not have happened.

But that is an idealistic thought.

The town of Shimla was built by the British before Independence, so it’s too late to ponder on this.

What we can discuss is global warning which is affecting almost every part of the world.

It’s just unfortunate that it has affected my state more severely.

Each one of us is contributing to these natural calamities.

We ourselves are responsible for incurring nature’s wrath.

Our ego makes us believe that we are in control, but it’s high time we let go of our ego and realise that nature knows how to take care of itself.

Nothing, and no one, is above nature.

And till we realise this, we will continue to incur nature’s wrath.

Watch: Massive landslide in Himachal’s Kullu, several houses collapse


Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/