Sep 5, 2008


The Midnapore cyclone of October 1942 was accompanied by gale wind speeds of 225kmph. The entire area with its scant infrastructure was well nigh razed to the ground. Further south of Midnapore (or Medinipur as the local largely bengali speaking population refers to it) is the little town of Belda, somwhere between Medinipur and the Bay of Bengal.

When the cyclone hit Belda, with what seemed like a vengeance, there was little up for defense. The entire place had only one concrete building to offer which was the rice mill. This is where everyone headed when the gale winds howled in. Somewhere in the scrambling a nineteen year old boy was detracted from the course of the rice mill and got carried by the wind to the farmlands afar. A day later, when he stirs back into consciousness, there is nothing around to sustain himself on. It was then, that he decided that he needs to build a house and a concrete one at that.

Reminiscing about the time long past he sits today at the threshold of turning eighty-six and looks back upon the echoes of his mind. Peeks into the annals of his mind and stops by to pick little scraps for me to pass on the story of a man who did small things with great care.


Goli said...

This is really nice :D
My grandpa, escaped to India, on a ship, along with wife, two kids, and whole bunch of relatives.
Makes me think that we are living in such comfortable times.

Navreet said...

I agree we are living a comfortable life and complaining far more ....

Sneha Vachhaney said...

I can relate to it so much! My Dadu came from Sindh at the time of partition and till date he tells us the stories of his struggle which make you realize how cosy and comfortable we are today and that's all largely because of him. Great Post!