A fortnight back, quite a few districts in Tamil Nadu were ravaged by cyclone Gaja. Well, cyclones come and go; most of the times, they will play havoc with the seaside towns. That was my complacent, wishful thinking of cyclones. Even a day before the cyclone, the day was full of sunshine and calm whether; well, calm before the storm (as proved later)! As usual, we cracked jokes on the weather prediction, well, predictions on GAJA!
In the early hours of the next day, violent winds started blowing. The cyclone lasted for about five hours. It destroyed thousands of coconut and jack fruit trees, cultivated in thousands of acres of land, by farmers small and big in the delta region of Tamil Nadu. It has been predicted that it will take at least a decade to relish coconuts and jackfruits of these areas.
The cyclone attacked Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai Districts, damaged Manappaarai and Dindigul, roared and ravaged upto Kodaikanal, a famous hill – station.
Thousands of electric posts were uprooted. Thousands of trees including big banyan, peepul and tamarind trees were pulled and uprooted as though by Hulk. One couldn’t imagine how such big trees could fall. There was no electricity for days. It came only after a week in most cases.
As the saving grace, many voluntary organizations came forward to alleviate the sufferings of the cyclone victims. They helped the affected people with cloths, food, blankets, candle and with other needy things. The government too swung into action, helping the victims in myriad ways and boosting their morale.
During the power failure, even the towns plunged into darkness. Inverter-current lasted for a day. Water lasted for two days. Then inverters were recharged and only fans were used, that too in nights. Mobiles could not get signals for a few days. As a result, instead of the usual time-passing with TVs and with mobiles, people especially women, young and old gathered and chatted. This lasted for a week! Their ‘modern isolation’ was broken and ‘communal gathering’ was made possible. But in what a way!