Thursday, September 9, 2010

There's no one in Choglamsar. It's a ghost town

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.

No comments: