Desolate it stretches far and wide
No jaded root to recall its time of pride
when fertile squares breathed green
dwellers in their mien appeared serene
content to sell their wares in the town
Angle their languid way back to shack
live within the realm, recline on their back.
They ignored the sea’s howl and roar
garnered sea shells on the gold-crested shore.
Feared none, never divined what’s in store.
Its sanctity had a hoary esoteric label
where Lord Rama’s bow drew a parable.
The canoe glided, a gentle swan on the stream,
Chiming temple bells crooned the hymn.
And then….came the terrible requiem!
All went into oblivion in a day’s roar,
Maniacal fury scything life, the snowy
froth of memories interred on the shore.
The marooned islet froze into folklore.
Passing years winnowed its tears.
Bleak stumps bear the signature of hell.
I watch untested youth frolic on the waves.
Behind them is husk of a rusted icon in canvas.
PS: Dhanushkodi, a serene, beautiful hamlet it once was which had a miniscule population, a revered temple, post office, hospital and a school. In 1964 a terrible cyclone accompanied by tidal waves that rose to 20 ft, flattened the entire flourishing village. All that remains now is desolation all around but it has its name tagged to Lord Rama of Ramayana who built a bridge across the sea with the help of monkeys of Kishkinda to rescue his abducted wife, Sita. The very ocean that Rama tamed turned out to devastate a village.