A number of catastrophes seem to be happening one after the other. The floods in Jammu and Kashmir, the floods in North-east and now Hudhud in Andhra and Odisha. Yes last one has affected me the most.
Why? Because it is in Vizag that my parents live. It is in Vizag that my brother and his family lives. It is Vizag that has been my ‘land’ for the last 20 years or so.
To tell you the truth I came to know about the impending cyclone only on Saturday Morning. And I called up my mother. ‘Are you all set for the storm’, I asked.
‘Yes’, she said, ‘Children have been given a holiday, we have stocked up on essentials’.
‘Get some extra milk packets, store some water, charge up your mobiles’, I said. ‘And in all probability the cyclone will just pass away with a whimper because every one is so prepared’, I joked.
Vizag is used to thunderstorms. It does not have any ‘rainy season’ as such and there is rain usually when there is a depression in the Bay of Bengal. The intensity of the situation did not hit either me or her.
And then till Monday evening, there was no news absolutely. Scared, anxious, I sat online surfing through news, afraid to read the obvious.
Until I got a whatsapp from my sister they are safe.
I started breathing again. The glass doors had been unhinged. There was no power (still there isn’t). Water they have because they arranged diesel somehow and operate the generator now and then to pump the water up. Their two wheelers are damaged. Milk is scarce. But the important thing is they are safe and together.
But the city is devastated. The steel township which has been our lifeline has become a skeleton. The thick vegetation which surrounded it is no more. The Steel plant itself has suffered badly and if it does not start operations soon, will be a burden on the economy.
What is heartening to see is that so many voluntary organisations working on the scene. And so many others too. Residents who for once have stopped cribbing and started lending a hand, people have come out of their cocoons to strategize on finding out ways to come out of the situation.
Yes there are black marketeers, there are people who want to make a fast buck but today at least the people doing good far outweigh those who are selfish.
But then the thought comes to my mind who has to be blamed for such catastrophes, man, God who.
It is said that there are three-fold miseries of our lives adhi daivik (divine-problems caused by external forces) , adhyatmik (problems caused by self on the mental platform) and adhi bhautik (problems caused on the material plane, physical). And I am confused as to whether this is adhi daivik or adhi bhautik?
Isn’t it we who have destroyed our forest covers
Isn’t it we who have digged into earth incessantly?
Isn’t it we who are building so many structures? Often competing with each other in terms of how high my building is or how many buildings/ flats do I own.
In Bahrain we have witnesses so many landfilling exercises. So many areas have sprung up where there was previously the Sea. I am sure if we compare the picture of Bahrain 30 years back and the present, there will be no similarity at all. Doesn’t all this constitute an ecological imbalance.
So is this an adhidaivik vipada or an adhibhautik? Is this a misery caused by some external force or man made…..who knows? And does anyone care?