Saturday, August 18, 2018

Fear And Panic In Kerala

By Shevlin Sebastian

George Mani raised his hands in helplessness. “The water has entered my home in Alappuzha,” says this staff member of a club in Kochi. “They called me frantically, my wife and mother. I told them to put one bed on top of the other and sit there. My son is working in the Gulf, and I am unable to go because there is no transport. ”

But what if the water rises? “I don't know,” he says, shaking his head. “All the people in the area are in the same position. They have all called for help and are waiting.”

Panic. Fear. Anger. These are the emotions that are swirling through the hearts of 3.5 crore Keralites as an unprecedented and non-stop rain has destroyed the State. There is only one conversation everywhere: What is the progress of the water, let loose by the opening of the shutters of 34 dams? Where is it going? Will it head in our direction? To our homes? To our workplaces? Will it destroy our livelihood and families?

So much has changed. When earlier, we would look with a beaming joy when it rained, now there is terror in our eyes at its fierce force. Where earlier, we would look at gushing water at the many waterfalls that dot the state with wonder, now there is horror.

The psychological impact is devastating, not to mention the financial calamity. As people come to terms with their dear ones lost to a sudden landslide, as houses, in which huge investments are done, vanish in a few seconds and businessmen ponder the loss of their valuable products, all swamped by water, more water and finally, too much water.

Will Kerala recover?

Only Time will tell. 

(The New Indian Express, Kerala editions)

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