(Photo Courtesy: Google images, www. siasat. com)
O KERALA, FLOOD ENGULFED!
The flood waters surged on devastatingly,
in a terrible fury and vengeful rage,
flooding roads and sweeping away bridges,
engulfing houses in a series of landslides,
flooding entire cities, towns and villages,
leaving nothing behind, in its horrifying wake.
Keralites watched in utter shock and disbelief
as almost everything people owned
were swept away into oblivion.
People in low-lying areas awoke
to see their houses submerged,
the flood waters on the ground floor,
rising steadily to the top of the first floor.
They were evacuated in the nick of time
by canoes and helicopters before
their homes became their graves!
Keralites can never, ever forget
the thousands and thousands of helping hands,
the non-residents of Kerala, the foreigners
and all the other states in India,
trying their best to uplift the suffering people.
Rescue teams gave up their lives to save others,
the sons of the sea, the poor fishermen,
who if they had not come,
so many lives would have been lost.
When the flood victims saw death face to face,
those poor fishermen saved their lives.
The small boats and the big boats,
the small canoes and the big canoes,
whatever they had, they brought with them.
Keralites can never forget their
selfless dedication and commitment.
A humane heart, with a passion to save lives,
offered his own back as a stepping stone
for women to step into boats as
the height was too much for them to climb,
honorable humanity at its very best!
Thousands of youngsters, the middle-aged,
the older generation and even the children
stormed from all over Kerala to
help in the relief and rescue work.
The Army, Navy and Air Force,
Coast Guard, Police and Fire Force
rallied together and worked selflessly
day and night to save flood victims.
With hearts full of gratitude,
we give thanks to all of them.
All the other states in India marveled
at the unity of Keralites.
Anticipating the impending disaster,
we organised our own
disaster management systems,
personal control rooms
and information centres.
We worked so hard
to help to save our people.
Our brethren in other countries
burnt the midnight oil
to give assistance to the
rescue operations at home.
To respond to challenges,
to resist difficulties,
to fight unitedly in the quest for life –
these admirable qualities
are ingrained in our blood.
We have a unique mindset.
We are overcomers.
We Keralites are united
as one heart, one mind, one people.
Let us move forward as one,
with holy hope in our hearts,
shattering all barriers,
erected by man,
to separate his brothers.
Let us touch the hearts of our people,
to know their sorrows,
stand with them in their heartbreaks,
and share unparalleled goodwill and love
for one another in times of grief,
irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
O, our Mother State, how beautiful you were!
The rivers and the mango groves,
the paddy fields and the pineapple fields,
the big forests of rubber trees,
O the greenery, how many times
we stared upon your beauty
in the early morn and sunset.
All of a sudden, the rupture of nature
swallowed you up, bits and pieces
left behind untainted, untouched.
The beautiful cardamom estates
and the lovely tea plantations,
the toil and sweat of thousands
and thousands of workers,
all swept away in the flash of a second!
O Mother Nature, were you cruel to us?
O, did we do anything to annoy you?
Pardon us, forgive us…..
The beautiful forests, the elephant-sized teak trees,
where the deer and the mighty, famous Indian elephants,
all enjoyed your beauty, Mother Nature!
O, the horrible landslides swept away
the awe-inspiring beauty of God’s own country,
O Mother, when will we get it back?
We Keralites enjoyed your beauty,
especially the children during their long holidays,
O Mother, where will they go next time?
Mother Earth, you broke down.
The beautiful mansions were swallowed by you.
Were you so hungry? Did we not feed you?
O Mother, forgive us…..
The innocent animals,
our cows, dogs, cats and fowls,
all cried out in despair.
The pathetic sight of a mother dog
carrying her puppy in her mouth
was a really heartbreaking sight.
Alas, the mother dog and her puppy
were swept away in the flood waters.
No help came from you, O Mother Nature,
you swallowed them into the river of your wrath.
Modern technology, all man-made inventions
closed their eyes and stood dumb-founded
in the horrific face of your raging fury.
The little torch was the only flicker of light.
The child in the womb did not wait
for the horrendous cruelty of nature.
The helicopter’s helping hand
airlifted the mother and her unborn child
to the hospital, where within minutes,
the baby boy was born into the world.
The rich and the poor, all escaped
barefooted to the same camp,
with only the wet clothes they wore.
We all learnt a lesson that we are all one.
Mother dear, we are your beloved children,
Working hand in hand,
We will beautify you,
Each seed we will plant,
Whether it is papaw or teak tree,
We will sow it.
The paddy field will regenerate,
With paddies blooming,
Looking at the sunshine,
Waiting for the dewdrops.
Mother, we come to you for help.
O Kerala, we bow our heads before you,
O the land of coconut trees,
how you fell!
That sight broke our hearts.
We, Keralites are proud of you,
the tiny, small piece of land
at the extreme southern tip of India,
you are the star,
you are the light.
We will rise,
we will build the new Kerala,
our mother state.
© Miriam Jacob