Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A day to remember

This happened to me on the morning of 26th december 2004 anno domini. Considering its tragic ramifications I will try my best to refrain from being sensational.

For those who don't know, I am currently spending my winter vacation at home in Chennai. I had to pick up my aunt and my cousin from Chennai Central Railway station as they were expected to arrive at 10 a.m. So I got hold of an auto-rick and left home at around 9 a.m, partly because it was a pretty long distance from my home and partly because my mom told me to leave early. To reach the station, we had to go via the Beach Road which is a very good 4 lane road that runs parallel to the sea giving a good view of the famous Marina beach, which of course is a mere 50 metres away. When I reached that road I was casually looking at the beach when I saw pretty big waves and at that moment, I couldn't help but appreciate it, as it looked like some place to be in (if u are a beach buff). But the next moment I realised that something was wrong. Before I could realise what it was, the auto driver had already figured it out and in a bout of extreme panic he turned left trying to move as far as possible away from the sea. I still couldn't realise the cause for his panic till I ventured to ask him.

I understood two things from him...
1. I couldn't go and pick up my aunt from the station;
2. I had to rush home as fast as possible because this tidal wave, if ferocious, could wipe us from the face of this earth with one mighty swipe.
He spent the rest of the time screaming out to the people to close their shops and run... three got into the auto as they wanted some acceleration to get away from the sea. I later came to know from the traffic police that the sea had reached Beach road and it happened around two-three minutes after we left the place!

When I tried to recollect what I saw, I realised what was wrong. There was no beach because what occupied its place was water. What happened afterwards was history for all of you to see and read about in the media. For me, it was a scene depicting nature in all its fury that would be tough to forget.
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