India Diaries 6- We Pray For Kerala-Dedicated to all those affected
I wrote this poem for the ALS prompt “Rain”. And it won the second prize. I dedicate it to my family and friends in Kerala, who’ve been facing the fury of the south-west monsoons since August 8th . More than 200 people have died and 200,000 have been displaced. The destruction has been immense as the state received more than 37.5% excess rainfall in just 2 and a half months and rivers have flooded resulting in landslides. Kerala better known as “God’s own country’ has been reeling under Nature’s fury and it needs our prayers and help.
My mom and dad-in-law have had to evacuate their home and are currently living on the top floor of a shop with just a sheet to lie on and bare minimum food . Others have had to move to shelter homes. Colleges including my niece’s have opened their doors to provide shelter. When I heard the word ‘shelter-home’ at first it conjured images of the destitute. I know that makes me sound small-minded but its the truth. The rain had leveled everything. All people now share one roof and only one thing matters – that life be brought back to normalcy. It’s a huge learning that life is unpredictable and all that we are proud of or have acquired can be destroyed in a moment bringing us to the level of those under-privileged who we feel sympathy towards. It’s also a learning that sympathy is not what’s required by those in need but help- real help. Help to survive, to build a life again.
As the rains rage on and electricity comes and goes, phones are dead and relatives are unreachable.
May God give the people in Kerala strength and may the heavens show mercy to the one state that has not tampered with nature as much as other states in India have. The winds that have brought chaos to Kerala are now on their way to Hawaii, again showing us that we are all in this together and will face the same fate if we do not mend our ways and pay attention to everything we do that has an impact on this planet.
Nature does not need us. We need her!
Those who wish to help, can donate to the relief fund. Kerala needs help now.
Now for the poem that won the second prize dedicated to the people in Kerala
I awaited the rains with bated breath,
May the Gods’ be kind, may there be no dearth,
On furrowed head, creased brows, summer’s heat trickled down,
Blazing sun, white skies, I gazed with a frown,
My back bent, I prayed, tugged the unruly weeds,
With hardened fingers, I strewed hope and seeds…
The south-west winds a secret withheld, of the future in store,
The parched earth pleaded, “Can take it no more,”
Heavens heard, their cup runneth over; soothed the blistering land,
Quenched that which lay beneath- mountains, plains, grass and sand…
The peacocks showed off and the cuckoo birds sang,
Rain drops fell, flaming soil doused, bells of faith rang,
The leaves and trees sparkled, birds and bees pranced,
The heart rejoiced, heaved a sigh, the spirit danced,
Rivers shimmered, frogs croaked, a carpet of green,
Paper boats floated, buds bloomed, new life was seen,
And then, ‘Lo behold!’, the rain grew louder and louder,
Unforgiving it raged, lashed, promised to plunder,
Unkind, unjust to ‘God’s own country,’ why I wonder,
Man and earth pleaded, ” Pray show mercy, united we surrender.”
Below pictures are taken from the net
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