I was in my office on 26th, when it started. Initially it was drizzling just like everyday, but gradually it grew in intensity. It got our full attention when the power supply went off.
There is a hill facing our office building. On its slope are hundreds of hutments. Near the base the hills are also excavated for stones. This excavation has caused the hill to have a abnormal cliff formation on top of which the hutments start.
As the rains continued mini landslides started to occur. The houses which were just on the border of the cliffy side where increasingly becoming prone. Finally a whole room collapsed, as the ground beneath turned into slurry.
Meanwhile I and Prakash went outside to ‘enjoy’ the rains. While people were taking shelter beneath whatever they could find we ventured out without our umbrellas; wallets and mobile phones inside polythene wrappers. Ladies in white clothes would have really cursed their luck, as their wet look made ooglers out of many men. Walked back to my hostel and am living happily ever after.
One thing which I realized following this event is that death does not effect me much. Unless I know the person, it’s just a statistic. And I think I not the only one. I do not want to make a general statement like, “Everybody feels detached here”, because I cannot prove it. Maybe it is because deaths so much a part of our life. When there are so many people, there are also so many deaths. It is considered a good omen in our country if we pass by a funeral. Westerners would freal out if they hear of this. Afterall the word “Paarthiv”, used to denote ‘dead’ bodies literally means pure. At the least indians are not very scared of death. Also death does not have a morbid smell here. So is that why bomb blasts or floods do not deter people from going to their jobs the next day.
And since there is no power supply in my office building since that day, I am on a forced vacation. And thus safely cocooned from nature I have (un)luckily missed out on all the excitement, of being stranded on a double decker bus, of being without drinking water, etc.etc. I have got no tales to tell. Well, except maybe for a tiny one. Yesterday on my way to my friends flat who lives nearby, I saw the dead body of a dead puppy. It was lying not 5 feets from a tap where women were fighting to fill their pots. It had a collar cum chain made of a rag. The body was bloated. And a crow was picking on its eye. I felt like chasing the crow away, but realized a sec later that it was only doing its job. And maybe the other people also saw that. I am not sure if it was a sad scene or a powerfully real scene, but that was the only time I was moved.