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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Same city. Wrong reaction. :(


This feels awful. I really don't know what to do.

I can't believe the enormity of the situation either.

Sunday morning, I was woken up partially by the quake, and I found it more exciting than scary. Even as I blogged about it, I got news that the sea water had come all the way till the main road in Besant Nagar. And two of my friends clarified it. I couldn't resist blogging about that too.

It all seemed so exciting then. It jus seemed like some freak occurance. (And to think I'd blamed the full moon for it!! bah!)

I hadn't watched TV all day, except for around 10 minutes in the morning, when I noticed the guy on Sun News taking calls from all over Tamil Nadu listening to some very hyper people who went to the extent of saying "I'm surrounded by corpses". I just shook my head wondering what people'd do for their 15 minutes of fame. What followed next is what's been playing on my conscience for 2 days now.

I've been feeling so damn guilty, I've decided to get it outta my system for good.

C~P, Jacky, Ferrari and I had decided to meet up for lunch at Sangeetha Restaurant. All of us had no clue about what really happened in the coastal area. We actually had a great time at Sangeetha. And this is the point that started talking me on a guilt-trip.

We were curious to check out the beach at Besant Nagar to see if the water had receded. Just a peek, we'd decided. To our surprise, the water had gone back completely, and people were thronging the beach like any other day. We didn't see any signs of damage. The only evidence of abnormality was wet sand on the beach. Ok, make that very wet.

Since we were quite vetti, we decided to check out the Thiruvanmiyur beach while we were at it. Off we went, with the music system on full blast. The Thiruvanmiyur beach was pretty crowded with people too. But again, no visible signs of damage. The sea did seem angrier than usual, but I guess this time, the full moon really was to blame. Next stop : the beach at Kottivakkam. The place where I usually hangout with my classmates.

There was a HUGE crowd. A long swarm of people looking towards the sea. There were around 10 policemen on the beach. We stood there too, for 10 whole minutes, trying to figure out what the crowd was seeing. After that, we gave up, feeling way too silly to stand amidst the crowd, looking at the sea with a kinda wonder on the faces that makes you feel you're witnessing a new beach installed in Delhi. But I couldn't help but look at the place where we normally sit. All the dirt and garbage that I remember normally seeing around 250 metres away, were having a conference of their own in the exact same place we sit. But that still didn't give us an inkling of what might have happened.

We just carried on from there, and checked out the beach near Prarthana. And all of a sudden, decided to take off to Mahabalipuram! Just like that, on the spur of a moment. I've been in Chennai almost all my life, and have never been to Mahabalipuram. So this just seemed all the more exciting. A very long drive later, we were there. We even took snaps on the way, trying really hard to see if the kadal had really kondhalichufied. Nope, no such signs. We couldn't even see people trying to go vacate the area, though we did see a few sitting with their potti-padukai on the ECR, but looking quite cool.

All the way to Mahabalipuram and back, and we saw no indications of a calamity that'd struck. Oh, but the shops were all closed. And people wore blank looks on their faces (not knowing how to react, I guess).

The biggest factor playing on my guilt - I actually had fun. :(

I came back and sat with my computer as usual. It was then that news started pouring in. My friends, on Yahoo messenger, told me about all those tragedies. I felt quite disgusted with myself. And very depressed.

Reality hit me hard when I read the paper the next day. The whole thing sunk in then. And it really started playing on my conscience.

I'm really sorry about this long post. I had to get this outta my system. Any dirty glares I earned along the way, I guess I deserve them. :(

The only thing I can do now, I guess, is to make a contribution to a relief fund, and say a silent prayer for those affected by the tragedy.

Update:

Do check this out. The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog.
[via Ravi and Kribs]