India Uncut

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Despatches 3: The big house

Periye Veedu is how Raja describes his house. Raja’s house is marked with water, a waterline of about six feet outside and five inside – you climb a step to go in – but the water clearly hit higher. A clock high on the wall is frozen at 8.40, and there are markings of water besides it. A shattered television set lies on the floor. There are many film posters on the wall, of Bhoomika and Vijay and Ramba. There is also a poster of a scene from nature with a large caption that says, “When fortune knocks, open the door.”

When misfortune knocked Raja was away at sea with his brother. Their wives were at home, with their kids, the 18-month-old Viswa and the 8-month-old Monsa. At sea, Raja did not notice much – tsunamis are not felt so prominently on the sea, and begin to rise noticably when they reach the shore. But when they returned to shore, their children were dead. And the clock had stopped.
amit varma, 11:41 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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