Kerala has just gone through a phase unparalleled in its long history and is slowly but steadily limping back to a life. True, the flood waters have receded, but the magnitude of the devastation it has caused is unfathomable.
Kerala is known as ‘God’s own country’ and it will continue to be known as that. Natural disasters are something we are not used to. We had seen this happening in other states and in other parts of the world. We had read about such disasters and the damage they cause, but we were always thankful that none of these calamities touched us.
We are blessed with a superb weather. Every year on June 1 the monsoon rains hit the Kerala coast and they are welcomed gleefully. Normal life might get affected for a few days, but we accept the hardships for a greater good. All this is part and parcel of the magnificent phenomenon called the south west monsoons. Everyone is usually grateful for the month-long cool showers. By that time the monsoons are over, they would have filled its 44 rivers, streams and other water bodies with a fresh supply of water.
But alas, that was not the case this year. The rain clouds – heavily pregnant with tiny droplets and hence immobile – stayed back resulting in a torrential downpour of unseen proportions. It was so heavy and relentless, that rivers started to swell and mercilessly swallowed the low lying areas. The massive rescue operations that were undertaken, thanks to the selfless services of many, will be written in golden letters in the annals of our history. But for them, the catastrophe would have been beyond human comprehension. The fishermen from the costal parts came voluntarily with their sole means of livelihood, their boats, and did a commendable job with their rescue operations. Now hundreds of thousands are living in refugee camps, many of them having lost their entire savings and solely depending on the generosity from others.
There are no words to describe the magnanimity shown by the UAE government. Likewise, there are many noble souls who are contributing a lot to rebuilding Kerala. Keralites are known for their resilience and their capacity for hard work. It might take a little long, but, for sure we will bounce back.
- The reader is a resident of Abu Dhabi.