December 26 2004. A fine Sunday began with shakes. It was not my mother , it was the earthquake. By 6.00 AM a sluggish guy didn’t even care about it. He spent his time in good monstrous sleep. Yeah it me. My sister woke up early and she experienced the peculiar drift in gravity and birds flying and shrill screeching sound in a weary manner. After 6:30 AM I woke up. Those days there were no Facebook, Twitter, end of thinking capacity, etc. If it was there, we could have found tsunami in the internet. By 9:00 AM, people were quarreling and yelling all over the street. Before addressing the situation, I found a boy in my height, who was wet as if he had a shower with his clothes on. The truth was that the boy got drenched in water due to overflow. Then the real disaster began. Water entered the living area. I am suseender. My home town is Cuddalore OT(old town). I was not directly affected by tsunami, but I was near to it. Cuddalore is 160 kms from Chennai. Travelling time will 4 to 5 hours. Cuddalore NT(new town) is a developed commercial area. Cuddalore OT(old town) is a bit remote area. That day 9 AM, me and my family came to know that water entered the living area of people in Singarathoppu. There is this beautiful scenery of Amaravati tributary of Kaveri river getting drained in the Bay of Bengal. The tributary of Kaveri divides the land mass and either side is Singarathoppu. To connect the land masses there was bridge built under the conscience of the  government of Tamilnadu. The bridge that was built early was broken down because of technical failure. Singarathoppu is the place where most of the fishermen in Tamilnadu lives today. The day after Christmas went tragic. That Sunday morning when we knew that water entered Singarathoppu, my father decided to move towards Cuddalore NT as a temporary solution. My mother was taking a few things, gold ornaments, dress and money. I didn’t know what to take with me. One of my aunts residing in London had brought a few stationary items from London. I took pencils, compass, erasers, sharpeners, etc. We were travelling in a bike at the same time water was following us. We won the race. Before entering NT I found a few ponds were goggling without any reason. After entering NT my father saw a relative who was living near my aunt’s house.

“Where is my sister and her family? Is everything fine?” He asked.

“They didn’t come to Singarathoppu. All of them are in the other side of the sea” She replied.

After an hour, we came to know that the tsunami waves subsided. We returned back to OT. I saw that all the people from Singarathoppu were on the bridge. My father dropped my sister and mother at home. Me and my father went behind my home to have a look at the Kaveri river. I never had such a shocking view of Kaveri river in my life. The river water is usually dark green in colour. But I found it to be white that day, and the flow was in the opposite direction, with immense power. The sea water was running through the river bed. A few men were on the medium sized boat which was tied with a stone on the land mass. They can’t even keep their legs on the water because it will wash them out. I was studying fourth standard at that time. I didn’t know what that was about, except for the fact that we were in danger. The whole day was spent with fear. My home was not that much high, so I went to the police quarters opposite to my home and kept seeing if anything wrong was happening. After ten years of that incident, I had this idea to write my experiences. I searched through the internet. I found something more shocking  than the reverse flow of  Kaveri river. The earth quake that day was estimated to be 9.1 to 9.3 in magnitude. This is the third highest to be ever recorded on a Seismograph. The earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. A few rumors have been found spreading about the cause of tsunami. Gas was leaked from the Kalapakam atomic station caused the tsunami was one of them. The government of India announced ex-gratia payment to the people of Tamilnadu, Kerala and Pondicherry. There are some things that can’t be brought back by these funds. Parents, relatives, friends and most importantly your past life. There are some things that can’t even be destroyed by any great disaster in the world. “Knowledge“.

Your knowledge always stays with you. Even if you have lost everything in your life, it empowers you to survive in any situation.

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  1. Most people knew about the 26
    Most people knew about the 26/12/04 tsunami incident from news and media. It was nice knowing about it from someone who actually got affected by it, and witnessed the whole thing face to face. Thanks for writing this.

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