When Nothing is Happening
whatever is happening is too boring
what else to do ?
Just as a cow munches its swallowed straw, we do recall our past and dwell on them for an hour or two to forget the present.
The past has all the emotive quotients .
From sorrow to ecstasy. From grief to golden moments .
One or two among them stick in our brain cells, never to get erased.
Again, in between, somewhere, a few things do happen in everyone's life which make us smile.
You may wonder why ! I am narrating all these....
This is another bunch of pop corn . Till such time, of course , GNS comes with his news. I know u visit here only for that.
Long long ago, full thirty nine years back , at a shore village of Tamil Nadu, I happened to be the front level junior officer, with relatively a bigger table before me than others, who were mostly from erstwhile companies, elderly people, always looking with an eye of caution on whatever happens around.
In one December, there was a huge cyclone. The whole town was inundated by sea waves. Torrential rains. Severe storm uprooting almost all electricity posts, wires, felling huge trees. The storm lasted for more than eight full hours from 10 p.m. to morning 5 a.m. next day.
What was seen by me next morning was just total devastation of the entire town. Our building was no exception.
The entire scenario in the next couple of weeks remained the same. No help from any quarter. People were struggling of water. Even match boxes were selling at Rs.5 ( The normal price was then 15 paise). Kerosene was Rs.10 per litre. ( normal price was 80 paise). Good water was scarce.
Our entire office was flooded with sea water. Most of the record rooms were in knee deep water. Our office was in the sea shore. Unable to withstand, doors and panels of windows were seen smashed.
No Electricity. No market. No vehicles moving. Life was at a standstill.
No Government Office could function. There was no help forthcoming from any direction.
A few of my co workers did come to office but could not do anything except blink as to what should be done. We did of course a few damage control exercises like safeguarding the dockets,etc.removing water seepages , closing the damaged windows etc.
But when the whole town was even struggling for good water, not to speak of vegetables , other groceries, and most of us half starved, trying to survive with what was left in our houses,
we could not do anything worthwhile in the office. I do remember my colleagues (Kalyanaraman and Neelambal, if I remember right, carried water from the well in their houses to share with others )
A few policy holders came for loans from distant places, to whom we thought we could do some immediate help. But sooner, our cash box ( No.2 account then) drained , got exhausted. Banks were yet to start full fledged functioning.
One Full Week passed like this. We were eagerly awaiting for some help from our Divisional Office, To our dismay nothing came. It was understandable as communications were totally cut.with roads and railway lines paralysed.
On the Seventh day, an ambassador car came and stopped before our building. We jumped from our seats and ran towards the entrance of the building to find out whether any saviour had indeed come.
Yes. The saviour did come. Not alone, with a bunch of his own people.
They brought lots of vegetables, rice, oil, groceries of all kinds sufficient for 1 week for around 20 people.
True to confide, we saw only the items they brought. Only a few moments later we saw the gentle noble soul who was before us, who thought of us and rushed to help us.
As we saw him, he extended the water jugs and cups full of good water to all of us.
We never knew how to thank him for his good, great and magnificent gesture. We could not find words to even thank him for his good gesture.
But when we did look at him,
we were not surprised, as we always knew him to be a great humanitarian.
He was Branch Manager of our own organisation from Mayiladuthurai (then called Mayavaram) .
I should not leave this piece sans a mention of the name of THAT GREAT MAN, who i am describing.
SANTHAMURTHY. yes. If I am correct, he retired as an RM in ZM cadre in Western Zone,in 90s.
Even this moment, as I think of him, my eyes do get filled with tears and heart with gratitude.
He saved us from likely depression enveloping most of us.
Is it not Kabir who said:
When you are happy, there are many who throng around you to share your happiness. When you are sad, there is none around. If there could be one who shares your grief, he must me none other than GOD.
In the next couple of two weeks, normalcy appeared to return.
Telephone Lines started working. Buses and Trains began to ply.
Around 2.30 p.m. on one day, we received a telegram. (Those days telegram was the only means of urgent communication. )
In my feverish anxiety, unable to wait to open along dotted linings, I opened it as my colleagues gathered around, Some good news of help from Divisional Office is coming, an elder colleague whispered.
The telegram Read:
SEND 4007 IMMEDIATELY. NO FURTHER DELAY.
(you remember 4007 was weekly business statistics of Dev. Officers, if I remember correct ! )