The state which is limping back to normalcy after the heavy rains and flood, celebrated its harvest festival Onam yesterday. Though this year there was not much pomp and show, like the Aranmula Vallamkali, the local celebrations etc. were given a miss, people still prepared a sadya (the elaborate Onam meal) with the meagre means they had, some with family and many in the relief camps.
Yes, a large portion of the people still continue to remain in the relief camps, because either their house and belongings are irreparably damaged or are filled with mud and silt. The local residents, people from different NGO’s, volunteers and even the armed forces are working relentlessly cleaning houses and clearing roads and waterways. The rain gods have been kind and the state has not seen much rains in the past one week, allowing the rescue operations to pick up pace.
With the water levels receding in most places, the next challenge people face is in cleaning up the roads, wells and their own houses. Getting drinkable water is another challenge as most wells are filled up with murky water and needs cleaning. The houses are filled with silt and many have found that snakes, insects, reptiles and even dear animals have taken over in their absence.
Slowly yet steadily the resilient malayali’s are making all out efforts to return to their normal lives. Many would need to start afresh with their belonging some lost, others damaged beyond usage. It is in these times are people forget their differences and help each. Irrespective of the people trying to spread hatred for social or political gains, the Malayali has realized that they need just a rain to forget their differences and stand united against all odds. As you walk across the Pandalam Junction you can see a Hindu helping his Muslim friend set up the vegetables in the shop or Christian family helping their Hindu friend clear the mud and sand in the house. In the face of adversely the common man is united by one thing – their homeland Kerala, they are united and strong, determined to rebuild their lives, rebuild their homes, rebuild the God’s Own Country.