Thampy’s group is a leading business establishment in central Travancore of Kerala. Thampy, a gulf returnee, started some establishments and within years he grew from prosperity to prosperity. Today is August 15th, 2018. India is celebrating 71 years of independence and Thampy is watching celebrations in television. His wife is busy making puttu and beef curry.
“Ting tong” rang the calling bell, Thampy chayan got up from his seat half heartedly, as he don’t see his children around to open the door (they are busy with mobile and tab in whatsap). As he glanced through the window, he see a group of people and thinks loudly of where the hell the security got vanished, as how come these mob got into his house. Hearing this, his wife yells that it’s a public holiday and unless a servant is paid properly, how come he do his job. Though not keen, just to dispose them, Thampy opened the door and asked who they are. Then one of their members, an young girl introduced themselves as a social organization supporting rehabilitation of Okhi affected fishermen family. By hearing this, our achayan got the crux and told that Okhi and all was last year and we gave lot of money, food and cloths and there is no need for any more fund raiser. But to get rid, he took fifty rupees and gave. There was an educated person in the group and he briefed the need to support such initiatives and later they all went.
As Thampy was about to close the door, came his distant brother in law, Kunjukunju, a middle aged man from Aranmula. About Kunjukunju, he is a foody, but a typical farmer kind of casual guy. He got astonished by seeing the palatious house and kept finger on his moosh. He said to himself, what a big house, worth enough to stay here for a week. Hearing this, gave butterflies in our achayan’s mind and body and he said, my brother, don’t feel bad, when we make beef, some beggars will come to eat it, I am generally talking, its not about you. Never mind for Kunjukunju, he settled down and started asking for ammama as he had some country made food items from “tharavadu” like chips, achappam etc….
Later he revealed the purpose of his visit as some financial aid to bring his daugher up in professional studies. Hearing this, Thampy has the best of his shock as he is least keen to give even a thousand rupee to Kunjukunju. As time go by, Kunjukunju gets impatient to get somme food and to taste a bit of hot drinks keeps on asking for something special, but thampy and his wife gracefully denies all those saying, they don’t have anything special and only porridge may be there. He askes for beef fry and he says I get a smell. But ammama says its prepared at neighborhood and not here
When children come and ask for food, she says to order in Uber eats and keep it at first floor as to avoid the intruder (kunjukunju) taking food. As they speak English, poor guy don’t understand the conversations and he pleads for food. But whom to listen, all are busy swiping and chatting in mobiles. He advises them not to waste time like this, rather to use it productively. To his surprise, no one listens him, he gets pist and plans to go out. As he is about to go, Thampy’s daughter asks who is this guy. Then kunjukunju proudly say he is her uncle. But she doesn’t give much respect to him and walks away.
As Kunjunju was sitting and reading newspaper in sit out, day slipped into night. Soon he realized that water level was getting higher in car porch etc. He rushed in and wanted to tell that to his brother in law, but by then they were all panic as news and whatsap, facebook all were alerting about flood and that dams were opened due to heavy rain fall. He asked whether the house was built after filling paddy field and if it’s the case, it will be submerged in water. Soon water started getting into house. It started making all costly items wet. As level rose, Thampy realized the situation and urged all to take things to first floor. As a team they lifted all things possible.
As usual channels started debate and discussions of it it’s a fault of government, how we can make rescue more faster etc. Thampy and family survived on terrace for three days, before they were rescued by few good fishermen. They reached a rescue home.
Initially the family found it very tough to be in terms with the facilities there, the cleanliness of bathrooms etc. But what to do, there is no other go. Slowly they got accustomed to it. They had a Onam celebration with the inmates there. Later in his experience sharing, Thampy said that it was one of the best Onam that he had and also he realized how others are sociable and take care of each other. He offered ten percent of his savings for the rehabilitation of flood affected victims. Kunjukunju then said in mind that though flood made lot of damage and took life of many, it did wash away the dirt in many people’s mind.
Srishti-2019 >> Short Story - English >> Let that night never come again!