A few hours ago, I was thinking of telling you all about my wonderful neighbour who inveted me to share their meals on Christmas day. But, the recent events kind of disturbed those plans.
Mother Nature acted up this morning leaving South East Asia in total chaos counting her dead by Thousands.
My day started pretty well. I woke up late considering I went to bed at 2.30 am. I had breakfast, and then started watching some Friends rerun on TV.
At about 3 pm, the house servant's wife rang at my door asking me to switch my TV to a Tamil Channel. I thought she was getting bored and wanted to watch TV at my place so told her I was following some series, but she sounded really distracted. Since she doesn't speak English very well, it was even harder for her to explain. I understood the world Death and Chennai, so I ran to the TV switched on Tamil News for her. The pictures were speaking for themselves. I saw a flooded beach, thousands of people running like crazy here and there, taking corpse out of the water. I asked her what happened but she couldn't find the words. Thanks heaven there was some English subtitles and I could get that there was apparently an Earth Quake at sea, but where....?
A few minutes later DBF called me from Bangalore asking me what was going on and to check if I was ok. I described what was on TV for him, then seeing my neighbour a bit calmer I asked her what was going on on TV. She managed to ask me if I didn't feel any shaking of the house this morning. I told her I was deep asleep and had felt nothing.I ran to the computer to know more, found out that it reported Thousands of death in India and Sri lankha alone but that Thailand and Indonesia were touched too, managed to get more about the earth Quake and it's epicenter in Sumatra. I learned it was 8.5 and than later 8.9 on the Richter scales which alone made me gasp for it's really high. A little more investigation and I learned it was the most violent one on this planet in the past 40 years. At that point my neighbour had her whole familly in my bedroom watching the Tamil news channel. So, I First wrote an email to my mom letting her know I was ok and that my area suffered no damage, even though I live in Chennai. We live far from the beach.
As soon as the people in my home left, I switched to the English national news channel and got tons of info, appart from seeing the alarming fact about the death toll going higher by the minutes. I Stayed shocked for a while. Seeing Marina Beach completely under water is unbelievable, for it's a really big beach, about 13 km long, and 100 meters wide. I then realised in horror that I could have been there walking in the sand when all this happened. Dbf and I go there on Sunday mornings sometimes, because the place is peaceful and safe (until this morning). DBF being away is most probably one of the only thing that prevented us from being washed away there.
I then thought of all those fishermen who lost their lives, leaving their surviving familly members with nothing, not even a home, for those where washed away by the killer waves. How could it be that it required only 7 deadly waves to leave those who already had not much with nothing?
My mom came online scared that she had lost me forever, she was really panicked, speaking non sense about me not going to the beach (things I wouldn't do without my BF anyway). Then asked me if I needed anything, apparently not getting the fact I was living far from sea and was totally unharmed. It took me 10 minutes of telling her so before she could realise that I was indeed fine and safe. I asked her to do a donation to the charity program set in place in Switzelrand because people down there will need everything possible in the next few weeks. She called the entire familly to break the new. She apparently really thought she had lost me forever because she couldn't call me on the phone (some problems apparently on her side). After she left I watched more TV, alarmed to see the death toll going higher and higher. The last time I checked, before writting this, it was a total of 6000 souls gone all over South East Asia, but as I write those lines now it must be more, nightime not helping the rescue teams. They will probably find more tomorrow.
I was shocked when 9/11 happened because it was an act of cruelty beyhond imagination, but what I saw on TV and the number of dead person is far more important and shocking today. And I'm actually living in the middle of that crisis. It's not thousands of kilometeres away, just a small 10-15. I've been spared while some where not. I'm living in a place that is now counting and morning their dead. And there is only Mother Nature to blame for this one. You can't point your finger at a couple of bad guys to find relief in your grief here. Nature spoke, her voice is louder than anything and her acts difficult to condemn; impossible to judge in court. Is it to remind us how small we are and how humble we should be that she sent such a poisonus and deadly Christmas gift? I don't know, I can just bow my head and pray for the victims and their families for now.