The first time I experienced tremor was in 2001. I guess that was the first time there was a tremor in Chennai after a very long time. I was studying for an exam in a room with the door closed. I was sitting on a chair and suddenly I felt as though someone was shaking my chair. I thought my sister had silently come and was doing that! Crazy me! I turned back only to find no one. I got up from the chair. Since I didn’t feel the shaking, I sat down only to experience it again. Even then, it never struck me that it could have been because of a tremor. I thought I was imagining things and went out of the room only to find everyone at home happily watching TV. I didn’t tell anyone about my ‘shaking’ experience. That’s when a girl in my complex came out of her house shouting at the top of her house asking everyone to come out and I realized that I had experienced a tremor! And, to think that I thought I was imagining things! LOL!
The second time was on 26th December, 2004, the day of Tsunami. I was lying down on the floor and was trying to study something. (Look how every time the tremor had come, I had been studying. Naane padikkaraennu tremors vandhudhunnu nenaikkaraen 😛 ) This time when I experienced the shaking, I felt that it must indeed be a tremor. I was alone at home with my sister at that time. She didn’t feel anything. Then, I showed her the door of the room that was shaking. We immediately went to our neighbour’s house and they said they didn’t experience anything. That’s when my relative called to ask if I felt anything and it got confirmed that there had been a tremor. But, at that time, little did I realize that the tremor was the result of a massive earthquake and tsunami.
It took just one killer wave to make millions of people orphaned and homeless. Watching on TV the destruction caused by the tsunami was shocking. It took quite sometime to digest the fact that the same beach/sea where you had had so much fun ever since childhood (wasn’t going to beach something we all looked forward to as a kid and still do even today?) had now shown its other darker side and taken the lives of thousands of people.
When a tsunami warning was issued yesterday, it brought those dark memories. When even though not being a directly affected person I felt my heart shudder at the thought of tsunami and my heart went out for each and every one of them who had lost someone or something in tsunami, how would those affected have felt when they heard about the warning?
What can man do when nature decides to show her fury? An earthquake may last hardly a few minutes but what about the destruction caused by it? When man does not even know when he will next be subjected to nature’s wrath and whether he will be alive or not the next second, why should man himself make his fellow human beings constantly live with the fear of not knowing when and where there will be a bomb blast next or when there will be an attack by terrorists next? Will there ever come a day when man will stop inflicting fear on his fellow men and will stop killing people mercilessly?