Monday, December 26, 2005

One year on...

One year ago, on this day, a killer tsunami struck the coast of Southern India causingmassive loss to both life and property. I was watching NDTV just now, and they carried a special episode from Karaikal, on the eastern coast of India. Actually, all through the day, NDTV has been airing specials on the aftermath of the tsunami and taking a look at how life moves on for the people affected by this terrible terrible disaster.

Even though I wasn't in any way affected by the wave, I know a classmate of mine, originally from Cuddalore, whose family business was ruined by this wave and its taken them quite a while to rebuild it from scratch again. Another friend of mine had a narrow escape on ECR on Dec 26th 2004. There have been numerous people who were affected both directly and indirectly by the tsunami. As I was watching NDTV, A.R.Rahman and his troupe of singers including Sivamani, the percussionist were performing in Karaikal free of cost, just to bring some joy among the locals living there. It was really nice to see the children smiling again, the people thoroughly enjoying the music and for a few hours atleast, leave their troubles and agonies behind and savouring the moment. Another story that I saw on NDTV Profit was from Nagapattinam and how the government had set up a fixed deposit of Rs.5 Lac for children who had lost both parents in the disaster and Rs.3 Lac for all those who had lost one parent. Also, many offers have poured in from generous minded folks willing to sponsor a child's higher education. I believe that adoption is also an option, but the government is playing safe and letting NGO's, and reputed ones at that, handle the entire situation.

In Cuddalore, there was a story of a 9 year old boy, who had lost his entire family except his little sibling,all of 3 years old. The problem here was they had been separated on the fateful day and the baby was handed over to the first person who was willing to take her. Now, Tanveer, is on a mission to find his sibling.

On one side, we have families trying to rebuild their lives, and moving on with things, living in government provided shelters and waiting to move into permanent houses, and on the other side, the darker side, we have stories like Tanveer's, for whom the bitter and painful memories of Dec 26th 2004 haven't diminished. Such stories do tend to move you and I can only hope that no further hardships occur and that these people will also be able to lead a normal life and most of all, enjoy living! Sometimes, I wonder, at how fortunate we are.

Today has been a day of mixed emotions, some good, some painful, a day of remembrance, a day spent in saying thank you to the Almighty for having helped these people tide over the last one year, a day of hope, a hope that the souls of those unfortunate people rest in peace, a day of sorrow and grief for some, a day of happiness for some, happiness in the sense that one year has passed and that things can only get better from now on!!! Its a sad memory indeed!

One year on....


Anonymous said...

I watched that show too..and Thanveer's conviction that his brother is still alive had this powerful effect on me- I can't describe it though.

By the way-you have one hell of a blog here!This is Hamsini of fame!;) Hope it's okay that I barged into your blog.

Abhi! said...

hi hamsini:
Yeah, was an amazing show! Even if these news channels are sometimes accused of prioritising useless news, some of their stories are amazing!
Shall visit ur blog asap! am not in town now and hence limited internet access