Cyclone Amphan7 mins 236 7 mins 236
Everybody was excited. The Family was shifting to a prestigious High-rise apartment. It would be a dream –come true. To live in a flat forty-nine story's high, was a luxury .The very thought of being able to survey the world for miles around, with no impediment to block their view ,was most enthralling. Furthermore, the fresh air would enter the flat freely, without any obstruction, so that one could enjoy the summer breeze to one’s heart’s content. Besides, the flat was one which could boast of all amenities, and there was reason to be elated.
So it was that the Das Family with three truck- loads of furniture, and assorted paraphernalia, established themselves as the proud owners of a flat in Urbana Residential Complex.
The Das Family, though they professed themselves as being educated, and modern, still clung on to the ancient beliefs of the past generations. The day, and the time, which was most auspicious according to the almanac, was the moment for them to make their entry into the house, for the purpose of making it their home. So they observed all the details, and rituals, and were very particular to see that it was conforming to the Vastu norms.
It was 20th of May. They had been enjoying their new abode just for one week, when it was announced by the Met Office that people of West Bengal should be on the alert, as Cyclone Amphan was going to hit the State.
The Das Family was not a bit concerned. They were situated high up in a structural solid building, so there was nothing to be worried about. The unfortunate mortals who lived in the shacks, needed to be cautioned.
Luckily the government had declared a Lock-down, because of the Covid Virus, so the children were at home, and the risk of being outside when the typhoon struck, was not there .Mihir was also working from home.
From the afternoon the weather had been cloudy. At about four in the evening, it started to rain quite heavily. The children quickly closed all the windows, and peered out to see what a typhoon looked like. They just stared in amazement.
Rain shot across like arrows .The drops came in huge numbers, one after the other in quick succession, as if Rain God was bent on taking his revenge. They seemed to be sharp as needles. As they struck the window panes, they made a loud cracking sound. But they were falling in such profusion, that it was difficult to see through. They pressed their faces against the glass to be able to see as much as they could. At that time, all of a sudden they heard somebody screaming. They rushed to see from where the sound was coming. There they found their sister Priti, who was twelve years old, outside on the balcony, screaming her lungs out. Priti had gone out to the balcony to see the rain. But the blast of the strong wind had overwhelmed her. When she felt she was being flown out with the blast, she held on to the railings in a tight grip, and started yelling, so that somebody would help her to come inside.
As the elder brother Mike opened the door, the fiercest of all blasts overturned the furniture, lamps and vases in the room. Mike with one hand, holding on to the door, tried to pull Priti in with the other hand. It was literally like a sport of Tug and War. With the greatest feat of strength, he managed to bring the screaming, yelling girl in.
But that was not the end of the disaster, which struck the family. Grand Mother was panic-stricken with fear. She had closed all the doors, and windows. Then she started fervently to say her prayers , so that the cyclone would pass, without harming any of her dear ones. The more the window panes shook, and rattled, the more she shook with fright. The rain hit the window panes in frenzied intensity. Granny went on mumbling the names of all the Gods in the Hindu pantheon. She heard the howling of the wind outside. The wind made such weird sounds. She listened intently at the whistling, moaning, and groaning, and shivered. It seemed that the wind was adamant to break in.
The frame of the window was creaking and crackling. Then it happened! The metal frame flew like a flying saucer, and landed on her. With that rainwater flooded the room. Granny lay on the floor in an unconscious heap, with her head slit in two, and blood covered the white glazed tiles. At that moment the children came in running on hearing the loud snapping sound. On seeing the state in which granny was, they were shocked, and went to call the parents.
Mihir, and his wife Renu, came running, and hurriedly lifted her up with difficulty, and went to the lift, so that they could take her to one of the hospitals to get help there. Renu felt Deshun would be the best choice, whereas her husband felt AMRI took greater care of the patients. But how were they to drive out in the cyclone! The wind was so strong that it could overturn any vehicle. But there was no choice, as mother was in a bad shape. They pressed the button of the lift, when as luck would have it, the power went off, and the whole Tower was in utter darkness. They could not move a step without the light. Mihir could feel his clothes getting sodden with the blood. His Mother’s weight was also too much for him to carry, for such a long time. They were at a loss to decide what to do in such a situation, when the generator started functioning and the lift started working.
Mihir put his mother carefully on his wife’s lap, on the back seat, and tried to accelerate forward, despite the wind. Already water had accumulated within the premises, and it was knee- deep. Even then, with his mother in that condition, he had to try and reach her to the hospital. The engine coughed, and whined, but somehow or the other, he was able to reach the Main Road. Then to his frustration, straight across the road, he saw that a huge tree, which had got up-rooted, had blocked the entire pathway. But there was no giving up! With visibility not there, with the rain lashing the wind-screen, Mihir reversed the car. He would try another route.
To his great disappointment, at this juncture, the engine spluttered and stopped. Now they found that they were being rocked in the flood water, with the wind whipping, and lashing, with no sign of abating. They heard a gurgling sound, and sensed that his mother had died in that unconscious state. Mihir became so agitated that he got down from the car, to make an urgent call from one of the houses, lining the road. His own mobile was not functioning, as it had become damp in his pocket, with the blood. He planned to call an ambulance, which perhaps would be able to circumvent the obstructions. But as he put his feet into the water, he got electrocuted, so he stumbled and fell onto his seat. On reviving, again he tried to make a call for an ambulance, on his mobile phone. This time he got the line through. He told them about his mother’s condition, and they intimated to him that they would try their best to reach the location. They comforted him by telling him that perhaps there was still hope.
The ambulance arrived with the medical staff. They at once stopped the flow of blood with a few injections and she was transported to the nearest hospital. Mihir now felt that the fabulous flat in Urbana was very inauspicious, and unlucky for them, so they must not stay there much longer. For after all, it was not that important to live an elite and aristocratic locality!
The mother came out of the hospital after a few days, but the family moved out of Urbana Residential Complex, to live in peace and harmony elsewhere.