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Lost to the Cyclone

Not far from the modest port city of Paradip,  there is a small village called Govindpur. Surrounded by the pine trees, the village is native to a small group of fishermen and their family. The village knew nothing of the modern world, till the year 1999, when super cyclone hit the coast. Although the devastating cyclone taken many things  from the villagers, but have brought change in image of the village. It was all due to (whatsoever little) support it got from post cyclone development schemes carried by the Government.

Although the standard of living has increased for the villagers after the cyclone, but for Anaam, the Cyclone took away his most precious things. He lost his old Father, Mother & his love, his wife, Kusum. Only he and his two year old daughter Kanchan could survived the devastating cyclone.
 It has been thirteen years since the fateful event has occurred but the memory is still afresh as a deep scar in his heart.

It was 28th October and the authorities were alerting everyone to move to safer places and the radio news was continually broadcasting for safety of the people. Cyclone as such was never been a serious phenomenon for the fishermen of Gobindpur. They were sea people and a little wind and surging waves were the part of their life and profession. The warning was ignored by the villagers. It was the time when there was no Pucca house in the village. Few alerted persons thought not to take risk and moved to the nearby school building. Among them was the family of Anaam. He ensured that all his family move to the school building. Kusum, his wife was reluctant to leave her beloved home. It was after marriage with Anaam, she had made the old dilapidated hut to a decorative home and each and every item in the house was her contribution. She did not want anything to part her away with her abode.

'How could I leave my house?', Kusum asked in tearful eyes.

'Don't be sentimental, life is more important that the house. If we shall be living we can do better houses together', replied Anaam as he persuaded her to move to the school building.

Anaam also managed to take his weak mother and lame father to the school building, the only pucca house in the vicinity and it was over crowded.  All the time he held his daughter, Kanchan in his protective arms.

The night before the fateful day the speed of the wind was not that high and it began its momentum by the early morning. The people in the village and the school realized the effect of cyclone is far more than the average. It was by the noon all of a sudden the wind stopped and sky became little cleared. There was cheer on the faces of the people. People started heading to their houses. Kusum was excited to see her belongs at the house. Anaam left Kanchan in custody of his parents at the school and followed Kusum to the house. When they reached near their house, they found the hut's roof was blown partially and the items were dispersed everywhere.  As Kusum began to collect the valuables in the house, all of a sudden the sky  began to become dark and the wind started gaining its speed. It was actually the period of brief lull as the eye of the cyclone was passing by. But people thought the cyclones has weakened. Anaam asked Kusum to hurry to the school building. As they were comming out a gust of wind broke nearby coconut tree and it fell on the hut itself. At a flash of moment Kusum was buried alive under the debris of the house she loved to her heart. Anaam could not do anything, just helplessly tried to move the debris. He knew, he has lost her beloved. When the wind gained further momentum, he ran to the school. The wind was so powerful; at times he was thrown up to distance and injured his leg. But anyhow he managed to reach the school. As he reached the school building he realized, it is not him alone who have lost his near one, many who have went outside of the school at the brief lull period have lost their lives.  Anaam took kanchan in his arms and cried like a child. His parents realized that they have lost their dear daughter -in -Law.
It was after the cyclone, there was outbreak of disease and both of the old parents lost their battle fighting it. Anam had almost lost little kanchan also to the disease but the kid did gave hard fight and was released from the clutches of the fateful event.

Kanchan has grown up to a beauty, and have completed her Secondary education. She is darling of Anam. She reminds Anam, about her wife, who was beautiful & wise like she is. She plans to study science in the Government College and awaits her matriculation exam result.

 Anam has left fishing and have bought some agricultural lands where he cultivates vegetables and sells in the city market. He has gained acquaintance with educated people in the city. They tell him not to marry her daughter early, but let her study more, as she is good at studies. But his fellow villagers keep on suggesting him, to find a suitable groom for her and give her in marriage. They even bring marriage proposal for Kanchan, which he humbly declines.

For Kanchan, her mother is a distance memory, it even difficult for her how she looked like. Once she even asked Anam.

Baba, how Maa was like?”

“Look yourself in the mirror” replied Anaam with a smile.

“naa, you used to say, she was beautiful, like a Devi” Kanchan reverted back.

“And you are like a monkey, you want me to tell that”, Anaam said as he teased her.

Kati, I am not going to talk with you forever” Kanchan said as she pretended to be angry with her father. But she was happy inside because, she knew she is beautiful like her mother.

Thus will be daily drama between the father & daughter and at dinner  both would happily dine.

It was the night before the result for matriculation was to be declared. Kanchan was sleepless in anxiety. Next day early in the morning, he made Anaam wake up from his sleep and said,

“Baba, get ready, have you forgotten that you have to go to Paradip today?”

“No, I Haven’t. Why so early?”

“It will be very much rush there at the internet center”

“And what is that?”

“Baba, even I don’t know, last year, Head Sir’s son, got the result from it. It is somewhere near the main market”

“Is it?”

“Haan Baba, You take this”

“What is it?”

“I have written my Roll no, Name, & the Website Address in it”

Anaam took a quick bath and then had a little Chura Breakfast, which kanchan prepared;  and then quickly  went for the city. Finding the internet center was easy. There was a huge gathering at the center. Anyhow Anaam managed to hand over the paper to the person at the center. After few minutes, person came out and cried out loud

“Who is Kanchan Majhi?

Anaam raised his hand.

“You are Kanchan Majihi’s Father?”

“Haan Babu”

“You are the luckiest father”

“Your Daughter has scored, 724 marks, and is among Best Ten”

The crowd around the center congratulated, Anam, and it was the proudest moment for him.

 He rushed back to his home. On his way back home, He took sweet for his daughter.

Back home Kanchan was eagerly waiting.

As Anaam arrived home, Kanchan rushed to him.

“Baba, what is the result?”

Anam thought to keep it casual and pretend as nothing happened and said, " Wait Wait"
"I Can't Wait, Please tell Baba"

"You are among Best Ten, You made me proud"

There was tears in Anam's eyes and Kanchan Hugged her baba in ecstasy.

He wished, Kusum should have been alive!


Sareeta said…
Life is a strange roller-coaster ride. We get attached with people, things we get after a lot of struggle, we cry out with pain....Yet amid all drudgery, we somehow learn to celebrate good moments and overcome the bad.
Though it's a simple story but taps hard on our most dreaded memories-the super cyclone, a sweet father-daughter relationship, moments of loss and joy of success. It's Soooo filled with emotions. Keep it up bro!
Daisy GHOSH said…
Ur writings are incredible, they straight away stir the strings of heart. Few drops of tears rolled out reflexly towards d end ....
Daisy GHOSH said…
Ur writings are incredible, they straight away stir the strings of heart. Few drops of tears rolled out reflexly towards d end ....
Great compliment Indeed!
Thank you for the review

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