Friday, August 19, 2005

The deluge and after....

The deluge is behind me, us rather. Some time ago, the tsunami struck the eastern coast of India. We, in Bombay even made jokes. Said, the tsunami can never strike Bombay, because it is a protected harbor.

That was a tsunami from above. Yes, the water fell like a wall from above. The memory remains. The mind is filled with horror at the slightest rain, the body shudders at the touch of water, the mind numbs when the skies look dark.

It was horrendous. People trapped in their cars and dying a cruel death from suffocation. Many thought they were safe in the upper storey of a double-decker bus. No, they died too. Many waded through neck-deep water for miles. A woman collapsed immediately as she reached home after walking the whole night and died. The epidemic claimed a thousand more lives. So many sorrowful stories.

The photo I published below really happened. Only a friend morphed the face on the actual face. A man carrying his child on his shoulder. They could fall into a drain and die, the water is rising. The people in the background have horror in their eyes. That speaks the condition they were in.

Now there are intermittent showers. The roads are still covered by a black slush, and cratered with a thousand pits, wide enough for a car to sink in. Many cars have been damaged.

What does all this teach us? The backlash of man's rapacity against nature is manifesting itself at last. First the tsunami then the floods, water, the prime force of life, the life-saving liquid. Now it has made a deathly tomb for many in Bombay.

Many houses were submerged. Their valuable certificates, shares, photographs, furniture, food articles lost for ever. The villages along Raigad have been hit the worst. Many villages have lost their crops, their granaries were flooded. Many died. These are simple folks. They live on what they get from the fields and the skies. Now the skies have turned mercenary marauder. They didn't have wood to cremate their dear ones. They sprinkled kerosene and lighted the pyre instead.

Many, many, such stories tumble out. Would man learn? Would he amend his ways? Will the rapacious rape of nature stop?

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