I live in a concrete jungle, I have my people with me, and food to eat. Now all I can do is wear that crown of indifference, bomb clad with jewels of selective criticism, nit-picking the should-haves’, and could-be’s.
But it all falls apart.
It was drizzling since morning, and the markets had closed by early afternoon, there were police patrols ensuring closure before noon.
Deep down we all wanted to hear that famous news monologue, that the winds have turned to Bangladesh.
Late afternoon that Ma and I saw the tree right across from me, uprooting from the road divider, with each gust of wind and crash on those posh glass balcony panels, which fell onto the empty streets with that distinct clink, and how the trident light tops flew onto the nearest buildings, but the storm had still not arrived.
The sun sets, and a little after, the power goes out.
It’s my favourite pastime to see the rain against the streetlights in a disciplined fashion, but that wasn’t the case this time, they circled the lights, spiralled around, and even though you have managed to stand in an inclined angle to avoid getting drenched, they still reached you.
The street lights went off.
But the sky wasn’t pitch black, rather carried a whitish hue, maybe of some unsung light, and fuelled by the screaming winds.
The winds were pounding on those fierce wooden doors that gave you security. The sound of debris rolling on the concrete terrace, objects hitting the guardrails, water seeping through the tiniest of cracks in-between the junctions, it scares you a little, doesn’t it, a lot maybe.
Communications are flaky, rather negligible, certainly the lines have crashed.
Text! Long press to resend, and repeat. That’s the mantra!
About 9pm, everything just halted, it was just drizzling, fathoming the courage to reach the terrace, and I peeked into the dark vastness of the city. The skyline had changed. Took me a while to figure out that the trees and the garden bushes had all met their fate. I took a picture, don’t know if it makes sense outside my head.
My dog is shit scared, following me throughout, we may not speak the same language, but we share the curiosity, the fear, and the restlessness. I can only presume the sounds amplifying inside that little head of hers and the monochromatic views she is witnessing.
Then came the second wave, the wind flow had changed completely, holding the terrace door with a firm hand, to avoid splash. The winds were fierce. I don’t know how else to describe it.
Into the second wave, the power was back up, and the same fears were dampened by the power backup, or maybe we were acquainted with the sounds of banging tin sheds, ripping up asbestos, glass cracking, pelted debris.
I am yet unsure of what made it seem lighter.
It’s nearing five in the morning, and as I sit in the balcony now looking out, I can still hear the winds jostling, calmer for sure, only the backdrop has changed with dawn.
I still do not have any effective communication. Home WIFI has gone for a toss. Calls beep to their end, and you can pray for textual delivery.
I want to know about my city, I want to see the havoc it caused, I am certain of people with the shorter end of the stick, and I can only anticipate. Some things hit you, some things make you feel helpless and vulnerable.
P.S. I wrote this a week ago on the night of cyclone. One week of Internet blackout.