Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Date: 26th December 2004

Little Raju was asleep in his little cot in the sleepy little town of Velankanni in Tamil Nadu. The time: 5.30am. Mother Thresia was up and awake to go for the morning prayers. She slept beside the 30-40 other children in the orphanage of mother Velankanni. She loved all of God's children. But she likes Raju the best. It was not because he was the most innocent of them all; it was only because he was the youngest of them all. He was 7 years old. And he had been living in this orphanage for the past 7 years. This meant that he was left to his own; from the time he arrived on mother earth.

The town was coming to life. It was the day after Christmas, and there was no lack of bustle. The fishermen were gathering their nets and getting ready to leave their loved ones behind and go and live with their second mother at sea. The time: 6.30am. Raju had risen, brushed his teeth, combed his hair and even finished prayers with his other friends at the orphanage. Little Raju liked living in the orphanage. He never felt isolated. He had all the love he ever needed. He also liked Mother Thresia very much. Raju decided to go and play. Since there was no one as young as him in the orphanage, he went all alone to the beach and started playing with the sand.

The time: 7.29am. Mother was calling from the distance asking Raju to come and have his breakfast. Raju never disobeys. So he listens to mother Thresia's orders and goes as fast as possible and has his breakfast. It was the meager one, but it was all they could have. Raju never complained about the food or about the amount of anything he received. He received very little, since the orphanage could offer only little. After the breakfast, Raju runs back to his favorite spot on the beach- A secluded area covered with shells. So again Raju begins to play Alone.

The time 8.23. Raju feels bored. He has had enough of playing with the shells, sand and water. That was when raju noticed something strange with the beach. All the fishermen had left for the sea. This was a usual site. But there was something that caught Raju's eyes. He looked around. There were seagulls and other sea birds, of which he didn’t even know the name coming away from the sea, calling each other in their own specific reverberation. This was strange and it had not occurred ever before in his short time of two years he had spent in the beach playing. Also he noticed that the crabs were hurrying away from their homes beneath the sand and were heading inland. A small crab even scurried over his legs. But Raju did not budge. He decided to go back to the orphanage. He was getting scared. He wanted to see mother. He wanted to be in her hands and may be even go to sleep in her lap.

The time: 9.00am. Raju cannot find mother. He goes on roaming all around the orphanage. That was when sister Daisy told him that mother Thresia had gone along with father Marcos to see an ailing patient. Raju was frightened but he did not want to show it out to anyone else other than mother Thresia. Gathering up all the courage that was left in him, he decides to head back to the beach. Little Raju reaches his secluded little place and decides to build something with the sand. But then his eyes wander of to the distance of the sea. Something was eating up the sea. All the waves were disappearing. The bed of sea was coming into site. Raju moved a step or back. He looked at the astonishing site and spoke out none. He wanted to know who had eaten up the sea. So he stepped forward and brought out his hand and held it above the eye, so that he could see as far as possible. He moved forward slowly. That was when he saw something huge making its way back on to the beach at very high speed: A WAVE. A wave so tall that he had never seen anything like it ever before. He decides to run and hide in the church, for mother had always told him that, if you are ever in doubt or if ever you are in need in help, ask to the Lord and he shall provide. But the tiny feet took its last few steps, and then…………………………..

The time: 10.00am. The town that was, didn’t seem to exist. The water had swept away all and spared none. Lord had helped none and punished all. The beach was gone, its people ruined. And as for little raju, the lord had him in his hands.