Dilip D'Souza has witnessed disasters around the world. However, the sight of devasatation in Leh left him speechless and overwhelmed.
Nothing in my experience prepares me for the destruction a flood caused in Ladakh
Thing is, it is not that the scenes there were unlike anything I had seen before. I have been in Orissa after the 1999 'super-cyclone', in Kutch after the 2001 quake, in Tamil Nadu after the 2004 tsunami, and in New Orleans after 2005 Katrina.
The destruction in all those places was certainly similar to what I saw in Ladakh, in fact on an even larger scale.
Yet here's the point, again: Nothing prepares me for the destruction. Not even previous destruction. This time like every time, it hits me like an express train in the gut.
In Choglamsar, 5 km east of Leh, I stand open-mouthed. From where I do so, from below my feet, an unbroken river of boulders stretches all the way to the distant hills to the north -- like a dry riverbed, like plenty such that I have seen.