Leftovers packed in bags, a cancelled engagement

Tales from Chalakudy

Remains of a house which was heavily damaged in floods in Chalakudy on Tuesday. DH Photo/ E T B Sivapriyan

Shaji George, who teaches at a private college, is busy stuffing polythene bags inside his car in upscale Chanathanadu area near government hospital in Chalakudy.

George has been coming to his rented accommodation since Monday to pick up whatever is left after the house, where he lived with his wife and children, came under water last week.

" Everything is gone. From the books and homework notebooks of my children to the electronic items to furniture. Everything that was inside the house is in shambles. I do two trips from my ancestral house near Ernakulam to Chalakudy everyday just to pack whatever is left," George told DH.

The ground floor of George's home is still full of mud.

Shaji George stuffing polythene bags containing whatever that has been saved in the floods into his car at Chalakudy in Kerala. DH Photo/ E T B  Sivapriyan
Shaji George stuffing polythene bags containing
whatever that has been saved in the floods into his
car at Chalakudy in Kerala. DH Photo/ E T B  Sivapriyan

The complex has three bungalows housing three different families and all of them managed to leave the premises before it came under water, which was as high as 10 feet.

Damaged furniture, broken bed, mattresses, spoiled refrigerator and wardrobe are strewn across the lawn, shows the magnitude of the floods that this beautiful town, which is just 30 km from the famous Adhirapalli falls, experienced.

The town, which borders the Ernakulam district, was cut-off from rest of Kerala and is slowly limping back to normalcy.

" The loses cannot be measured. Luckily, we are alive to narrate the horror tales," George said and pointed out that two cars found way into their complex after having been washed away in the floods.

Sharath, a post-graduate student who helped fishermen and the rescuers in moving several people to safety in Chalakudy town, said he had never seen water reach such levels.

" The water level was 10 feet in most of the areas and I was on a boat along with a few people to help marooned people to safety," Sharath said.

Just a street away from George's house, 65-year-old Sethu Madhavan cannot control his emotions while thanking the Good Samaritans in rescuing him and his family away from their house, where the water entered the first floor.

The floods not only spoiled the house that Madhavan had built before moving to Dubai to enjoy his retirement life with his children, but also the engagement of his younger son.

Workers cleaning a house that was flooded near Government Hospital in Chalakudy on Tuesday. DH Photo/ E T B Sivapriyan
Workers cleaning a house that was flooded
near Government Hospital in Chalakudy
on Tuesday. DH Photo/ E T B Sivapriyan

" The rain began on August 14 and did not stop and the water level rose every hour and the entire area was marooned by evening on August 15. When I saw people in a boat on August 16, we waved at them and luckily we were rescued. Otherwise, I am not sure whether I would be standing here today," Madhavan said in a chocking voice.

The engagement of Madhavan's son was scheduled on August 19 but was cancelled and Madhavan's plans to return to Dubai on August 31 is in jeopardy.

"How can I leave without setting the house right. There is nothing left inside. Maybe, I will send back my children and I will stay to get my house back on its feet," Madhavan said.

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Leftovers packed in bags, a cancelled engagement

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