I woke up with dread in the middle of the night with my body drenched in cold sweat. The nightmare had come to haunt me again — “The Tsunami”. Though I am now safely back in Malaysia, I still cannot erase from my memory the sense of grief and trauma of the dear and near ones of the victims of the Tsunami when it struck the shores of Chennai, India.
To recall that fateful day, I was at the beach with my family. We were having a good time until we noticed that the surrounding seawater was rising at an astonishing rate. The vast circle of golden sand around the beach—was disappearing—rapidly: The shore was chaotic. Exclamations of shock were on all sides. We were being swept towards the shore.
In the meantime, I was befuddled by two conflicting impressions-the idyllic blue sea and the rapidly rising sea waters. As I pondered over these problems, the water level had risen by approximately 2 meters, but the sea still remained calm with barely a wave in sight. The flimsy huts of the fishermen near the coast were washed away by the seawater. Something in me prompted me to hurry my family out of the beach towards our car and drive away. We were barely across the road when a large body of water almost toppled our car. We barely managed to get ourselves to safety. Having parked the car safely away from the beach, I looked at the beach to see what had happened.
The sight of the devastation along the beach is a nightmare that continues to haunt me till date. All the lovely cottages, those familiar joggers, the coconut seller, the children playing cricket on the sands of the beach, the young boys practicing their football, they were all gone, in their place was receding sea water. The beach that was moments ago filled with joyous early morning people was now filled with corpses. I will never forget the nightmare.