Winds of The Dark!

7 minutes read

I belong to the border region of Andhra Pradesh–Odisha on the coastline. It’s a wonderful zone. The ambience is fantastic. Hills, jungles, the national highway, the cool sea beaches, the wonderful Chilika lake, the cross cultured Odia and Telugu families, the numerous wonderful temples, and small yet beautiful towns with real simple people and what not… However, this zone is a real struggler when it comes to having a stable life. Every other year there hits a cyclone, sometimes severe and sometimes mild.

Just yesterday we experienced a mild cyclone, “Roanu”. It was just normal. There was nothing new for us. But, I made sure that whatever we experience this time, comes into picture of most of my friends and acquaintances. I know, most of them just felt bad seeing this. Some of them must have prayed God to protect us. But, some just said some terrible words again. The prime purpose of writing this post is not talking about the natural calamities or the problems of the people over here, but to enlighten the mindset and perspective of the people who face these and the rest of the people, who never see this side of the world.

I have somehow become a frequent traveler. In the last few years, I have encountered many places, which are equally prone to natural calamities. Some face frequent earthquakes, some face droughts, some just get heat waves and some get completely unexpected floods. There is no single place which is ultimately the safest, where there is a life guarantee. Sometimes the safest place gets hit by a random lightning-thunder from the sky.

In the years 2013 and 2014, the coastal regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were hit by two really big cyclones, namely “Phailin” and “Hudhud”. These were two of the most devastating cyclones, I have seen so far. The worst was the 1999 one, which was completely unexpected. People were not prepared at all. After 2 days of sudden heavy rainfall, it turned out be a super cyclone. Winds went overboard, and rains did not do any mercy. They together just crumbled the lives of tens of thousands of families. Still, if you fail to get any picture, let me go on.

In the night of powerful winds and extreme rains, there were minutes of continuous wind blows and tornados at 250+ kmph speeds, which took some large trees out of the grounds, broke them into pieces of 1000s of kgs, and the pieces were literally flying and banging onto our houses. It did not happen just for a minute or two, it sustained for several hours that night. There were electric poles gone completely bent to ground. This horrible, the experience was. My family was a big victim too, although we all were unhurt and alive. Luck, Destiny or God’s grace, we were still alive. That night was the most terrifying night, I have ever had. We were disconnected from the world; we did not see a night with light for more than a couple of months.

I have seen the death roaring at us, not just once; it has been a double dhamaka in my decently long life so far. Yeah, these calamities are probably the darkest parts of nature. I do feel at times that the mother earth is getting angry at us. But, I sometimes question to myself, “When people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are among the least contributors to the pollutions, then why are they getting punished the most?” Moreover, if we extrapolate this to the global scene, India is one of the least contributors to pollutions in the world (if you accumulate the data of last few decades), yet it gets most of the dirty experiences. I remember the famous hindi kahawat, “Karey koi… bharey koi…!” At times, I strongly feel, she (our mother earth) should punish only those who are doing the damage. May be I am wrong; may be the rule of life is not fair. May be, she does not know about our constitution, which tries not to discriminate among us based on religion, race, caste, sex, descent or place etc. May be, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are no more her children, may be she just abandoned us. I am probably deviating from the main point, which I wanted to express. I will speak these thoughts out, may be some other time. Let me just come back to the maincourse. By the travel I have done so far, I have come across many people with varieties of qualities, attributes, hobbies, habits, beliefs, views etc. Let me share one instance of a darker side of my experiences. I was badly hurt by this, which I am about to discuss.

When I was away home, my family and my people were experiencing one of these calamities, I was extremely worried. My family was in complete misery, and I could not be with them when they needed me the most. It was the “Phailin” time, when I was in Hyderabad. First time I was away from my family and people, and there was something really terrible just happening. I did not get to connect with my parents for 2 long days post this disaster. However, some of my best friends visited my home and ensured that everybody was OK. I just somehow came to know that everybody was OK. There was no connectivity; there was no electricity. It took several days to get everything back to near normal. The bureaucracy and the governance did not leave a single chance to restore all back to normal. People struggled; they were all brave and big hearted. They faced everything, yet fought back.

Meanwhile in Hyderabad, some really “bothered” people saw me in depression and asked me why I was so worried. I just explained my situation. They responded really weird. I quote them here, “Why all you people(fools) stay in Odisha or Andhra Pradesh, specifically those coastal areas, when there is always a cyclone hitting every year?” And again, it is not that I faced this kind of situation just once or twice, this has iterated like an infinite while loop, numerous times, numerous places. These people do not have the broader perspectives may be, may be they are just so cruel, may be they do not have sentiments. But, some of them are really cool people. I admire them for the work they do. Moreover, most some of them are really good human beings. They indulge themselves in some really great stuff. But, I was really hurt by the views they had. What they meant was like… when you find one of your hands dirty, you should just cut it. But, there are only two hands we have got, how long can we go on cutting? I stopped talking to them in anger and contempt for a few days, of course I moved on. I just moved on.

This is it, let me end it here. I am left with not much to write. Sorry!

Bye, see you!

Let me leave you with a small set of natural photos and time-lapse films, I have captured and processed just recently. These are from and around my district “Ganjam”. I believe, you would like them. It takes some effort and jugaads to get these produced and of course my iPhone gets credits too for the versatility.

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