Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Flood in the village.docx

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 3 Ad

More Related Content

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

Flood in the village.docx

  1. 1. A ladleful of daal (pulse soup) in her plate had now become double. But she could not complain. Actually, there were two reasons for that; firstly, it was far better for her stomach could have food security for two days, and secondly, it was far better than standing in a kilometer long queue again. But whatever may be the reason, the daal mixed with rainwater always tasted awful. Her little fingers could not grab the rice, which was now dripping from her fingers like soup. Somehow she managed to hold 4-5 grains of rice, put it in her mouth and without chewing she swallowed it instantly. The moment those grains touched her gut; time took her a week ago. A week ago… “Maa, I am very hungry. Please bring the lunch fast.” shouted an 11 year old Rani. Her salivary glands and gastric enzymes were now in full mode when the fragrance of daal-bhaat (pulse soup with rice) reached her nostrils. For Rani, her mother was the best cook and her menu was daal-bhaat for every lunch. So, every afternoon when she returned from her school, the countdown for that delicious dish used to start. Actually, Rani used to live with her mother in a slum colony on the banks of river Yamuna. Her house was a tarpaulin hut and her school was a 50 year old single room structure. She lost her father at the age of five. He worked as a daily wage labourer on a nearby construction site. One day he left home, but never to return. Only a news came that the building had collapsed and 7 workers were killed, taking away her father too. But she was now happy and content with her life. Her mother meant the world to her. And that day too was a very ordinary July day when her mother, like always brought in a steaming bowl of daal bhaat and fed her with her hands. “Maa, you cook such a delicious food. I love you.” “I love you too beta” her mother replied. That day was partly cloudy, but by the advent of evening, there were thick black clouds in the sky – worst nightmare for a slum dweller. Rani’s mother warned her: “Rani, the weather does not seem in our favour today. So, I am going to cover the roof with another sheet of tarpaulin. You stay nearby only; I may need your help” “Ok Maa!” she replied with a cute smile. Both ladies finished the task within an hour. And the moment they stepped in, a heavy downpour started. But Rani’s mother knew and was relieved that her house was now safe. What she never knew that it was not going to be an ordinary rainy evening. Present… It was raining till today and Rani had no shelter to eat her food. That’s why there were no solids left on her plate. Only yellowish-whitish liquid was visible. She had no choice but to swallow that awful stuff because next meal would be available tomorrow only. “Hey girl, get aside. Minister sahab is coming.” A push threw away her plate in the air. Before she could understand anything, she saw everyone was rushing to a car decorated with a beacon. In another few moments, the beacon became invisible by the heads of the people. Rani did not know what a minister is
  2. 2. and why is everyone rushing to him. So, out of curiosity she too proceeded towards the crowd. Eventually she reached the spot where she could not move further. Crowd had blocked her way. Out of choice, she chose to listen only. But what she could hear was only a chaotic noise.”Sahab, my home swept away…” ”Sahab, my daughter is missing” ”Sahab we don’t have anything to eat..” “Sahab..” “Sahab..” “Sahab…” She couldn’t understand a word. But what she could make out was this person called as minister was there to help them. Without any delay she rushed forward. It was extremely hard for a little girl to get through such a massive crowd. But somehow she managed to get into the front. Sahab was a man in his 60s with a bulging tummy. He was wearing a crisp white kurta pyjama. “Look friends, don’t worry. I will do whatever possible. After all you have given me your precious votes.” There was a silence in the crowd with his assurance. “Sahab!” A feeble voice cut through the silence. Minister looked downwards. A famished girl with muddy hair, dusty body and food ridden hands was looking at him. Her eyes were shining with hope and were looking odd to her profile. “Yes beta! What happened?” “Sahab! Please find my maa. She is lost since a week. Please sahib! Find my maa. Please…” “Don’t worry beta I will find her.” Before they could talk any further, the crowd pulled her behind again and the noise regained its momentum. But this time she was relieved that the man would find her maa. She went out of the crowd, picked up her fallen plate, reoccupied her place, and was again in the thinking mode. Again… A week ago.. 10.00 pm… “Rani, looks like it’s not going to stop tonight. Before water enters the house, I think we must collect all the items at one place.” Rani’s mother told her worriedly. It had been raining heavily since evening. The sound of raging waters of Yamuna was clearly audible now. What they could do at best was to cover their household items and put them at height. “Oh God please stop this rain”, she prayed. “Rani, Let’s sleep. Come here.” They lied down on an old cot and within minutes Rani slept. 12.00 midnight… The rain had become more intense with every passing hour. There were loud thunderstorms. Rani was in a sound sleep. But sleep was nowhere to be seen in her mother’s eyes. Her fear worsened with every passing moment. “God! Please save the dam.” Although the Yamuna had rarely overflowed in past years. But living just 10 meters away from its banks always gives you a sense of fear as well as creates a need for safety. In the light of this need, the local people had created a 10 ft high sand embankment on the river. Normal city rains had never troubled much. But the situation was different this time. The sand had been washed away and only 2 feet of it was protecting the colony. Moreover, everyone was unaware of the situation. Within a few minutes, everything was going to be changed.
  3. 3. 1.00 am… A loud gusting and howling sound broke their sleep. Before they could understand anything, a wall of water came in crashing and they went under. Their screams were only in their mind now. Rani held her breath, trying to kick herself out of water. But knowing no swimming threw her efforts to vain. With every moment she had to fight with her natural reflex to breathe. She tried in vain to swim upward. But ultimately, in a deadly battle of human reflex against reason, Rani’s breathing instinct overcame her ability to keep her mouth closed. She inhaled. Water came crashing into her lungs and she felt like she was burning from inside. Within moments, everything blacked out. 6.00 am… “Hey are you alright??” Rani opened her eyes. A man was staring her with curious glances. “Yes I am fine.. Where is maa?” “Who?” ”My mother!” “Sorry, I found you alone in the water. Your mother was not there.” Having said that, the man rushed away to help other people. Rani was in intense pain. Her chest was burning. Still, to find her mother she tried to stand but could not manage beyond sitting. To clear her vision, she rubbed her eyes. But the scene in her front was something beyond imaginable. She was sitting in an open ground amidst hundreds of other people- most of whom were dead. There was a chaos. People were running. News reporters had gathered like a swarm of bees. Everyone was talking or shouting, but their voices were nothing more than noises. She looked around, her eyes searching her mother. But to the limits of her vision, her search availed no results.

×