Punyasloke Bose

Horror Thriller


Punyasloke Bose

Horror Thriller

Monsoon Travails

Monsoon Travails

7 mins

This year the monsoon is in a betrayal mood. There was an El-Nino effect on the monsoon winds as per the weather department. Recently, the El-Nino effect has multiplied and occurs almost every year in tandem. When there is an El-Nino effect the hot and cold weather wind currents cross each other and excess moisture is drawn up from the oceans resulting in less rainfall and leading to droughts in some areas and floods in areas of excess rain. This has been happening regularly. The north and western parts of the country have received more than the surplus whereas the east which is the rice bowl has received less than normal this year. All due to climate change and global warming.

There was a heavy rainfall warning for today by the weather department. We had our house on the foothills of the Northern Shivalik ranges. I was worried because Ma had gone to the market with my brother Sonu in the family car. My father has gone out of town and will only return tomorrow. Myself studying in class eight in the Mount Mary Girl's school and was now old enough to worry when the situation could turn adverse. My brother Sonu was only five and was my dearest. But I am brave, otherwise, my mom would not have left home all to myself and gone to the market. She had taken Sonu along so that he would not trouble me as I was studying for my term exams.

But I felt deeply worried inside. My mother had not seen the news on the TV whereas I had seen it after they had left. Our small town of Raunakpur was on the foothills and received heavy rainfall as it was lying in the catchment area. The mountainous river Sonit flowed through the town. But due to the hilly terrain, it flowed at a lower level than our town. Only in the monsoon period when lots of water flow down from the top mountain streams the Sonit would swell over its banks. This was the time when Sonit was in full might and was full of water just a wee bit below the flood water level.

What I heard on TV news made me worried. The news reporter read out with alarm that in the top mountain ranges due to a cloud burst rainfall was continuing for more than half a day. If it continued nonstop for another half day then our Sonit would overflow its banks and Raunakpur would be in for trouble. To get the news first hand I kept the TV switched on to the news channel.

Estimating the time Ma would take to reach the market, I called her up over her mobile. I told her what the news reports were saying. '' OK darling, don't worry, I'll do the shopping in a hurry and will be back with Sonu soon, '' my mom lovingly replied. 

Then with the TV on, I started to concentrate on my studies. But my eyes flitted to the screen every few seconds. Then what the news report said in a flash I couldn't keep my book open. Due to heavy and continuous rain in the top hills, somewhere floodgates of a dam had burst and a huge volume of water was gushing downstream. There was a danger of Sonit flooding our town of Raunakpur. The cameramen were showing how the level of water of Sonit was rising steadily and fast.

Then all of a sudden our home telephone began to ring and I was relieved to know our Dad was on the other side. He said that his work had finished early and he was on his way back and would be home in about four hours. I felt courage flow down my body to my feet. My dad was my strength always. He was my idol, my role model. He was working in the disaster management department and he was aware of the danger our little town of Raunakpur was in. He told me not to worry and remain calm. Because he used to say a cool and calm mind can solve a lot of big problems. Then immediately I rang up Ma to find her whereabouts. She replied that she was on her way back and within the next half hour, she would be in our driveway.

I could no longer concentrate on my book and kept watching TV and the river Sonit which was visible below from our balcony.

Then the news gave more bleak information of some floodgates crashing due to heavy water pressure. A huge volume of water was seen flowing downstream. The reporter seemed breathless and gasping when saying that a huge wall of water was moving down at a great speed. All the residents of Raunakpur were being advised to stay far away from the path of Sonit which by now had become a wide mass of water. The river had already become wide by a quarter of a kilometer. On the screen, I could see the river dragging along with it many debris of fallen trees and other similar stuff. Then I could see small shanties being blown over and hand carts and other man-made utility items being dragged along. The cameraman had taken a vantage position and did a wonderful job narrating and taking pictures in real time of the Sonit River in flood. The newsreader began screaming when she began narrating that the river was now taking downstream in its path human beings and domesticated animals. Then cars were being tossed around and flown downstream and I could view it on my screen. What had happened to our beloved Sonit? It was on a rampage. I did not like its angry look. Getting more worried by the minute I called Mom but no reply.

Then I called up Dad and thank God he called back much to my relief. He said that he had reached the town's outskirts and would be home any time now. I told him about Mom and Sonu. He assured me that he would do his best to look for them. I felt much relieved after hearing my dad's assuring words.

Very soon Dad was home. He saw the news on TV. By now Sonit was raging like a mad bull. It was taking along cars, bikes, cycles whatever came in its way. Even one bus was also being tossed around. Some people being dragged by the river were trying their best to keep themselves afloat by holding on to some wooden piece or anything that could float. My father now plunged into action. He made a few calls hurriedly, gathered a little information, and left to look for Mom and Sonu. He assured me to sit tight at home and not to venture out at any cost and that he would be back very soon. Before leaving he took the raft that we keep in our garage.

Then what I saw on the screen turned my world upside down. A car like our very own was being dragged by the waters of Sonit and a woman and a child looked trapped inside. I did not dare to think that was Mom and Sonu. The car was tossed like a buoy in a raging sea and then was thrown onto one side and the car fumbled on the visible tarmac that was spared by the river water. For a moment I felt much relieved but could not be too sure. I was surprised that all this I was watching on TV like in a horror movie and my story was involved. I just couldn't believe it. Not able to digest any further, I collapsed and fainted.

When finally, I came about to my normal self I found myself on my bed with my dear brother Sonu kissing my cheek my mom caressing my hair and my Dad smiling down at me. Later on, I learned that very fortunately the Sonit river had tossed our car to one side where there was no water and my Dad had lunged forward to take control of the car where in my Mom and brother Sonu were locked inside. The glass pane had to be broken open to bring them out. Otherwise, there had not been much damage to the car. My Mom and Sonu were safe and had no injuries. My mom said while returning all of a sudden a huge wall of water had tossed their car like a boat and taken them downstream. With a presence of mind, they had closed the glass windows and locked the doors that had protected them.

I prayed to God and thanked him for saving my family. What else had happened to others I would learn later but for now, we had been spared from the wrath of the monsoon. The woe full story of monsoon travails. 

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