Next morning brought the clamor and wails of people. River burst its bank and flooded the whole basti. Flood destroyed many houses and Geeta’s home was one of them. Her mud–house was ready to merge with mud. Loads of water assailed the house and everything was floating in the crazy water splashes. She could not understand what to do? Normal rise in water level was expected but this was a massive assault.
Fat tears were spilling over Geeta’s withered cheeks. She struggled to fetch some household stuffs, crying continuously. She held Shankar firmly, and tried to flounder in the unfretted currents, as it was difficult to stand those torrents. Everyone was trying to do so. Some people were crying aloud and searching for their dear ones. Geeta’s heart ached terribly and she thought herself blessed as she was with her son.
“Where is Kajri?” shanku asked anxiously. “Kajri! Kajri!” he shouted.
“I don’t know.” Geeta also felt worried, but it was neither the time nor circumstances to search kajri. It was the question of their life.
However, Shanku was not ready to go anywhere without Kajri. He was looking around for her. His eyes were flooded with tears. Suddenly they heard a shriek of a woman who was crying for help as her small baby was pitching in the stream. Before Geeta could understand anything, Shankar ran to that direction.
“Shanku! Don’t.” Geeta shouted. Her heart flew to her throat. But, the unbelievable view she saw, had stopped her scream. She saw Shankar swimming so skillfully. Within few minutes, Shankar was swimming back with the child. Geeta’s heart throbbed with fear but her eyes welled up with tears of happiness. The woman showered Shankar with blessings.
“His shanku was so brave. He was not a small child now, really. When and how did he learn swimming?” thoughts were whirling in her mind, and she pictured Shankar playing in the river, in spite of her restrictions.
All of a sudden, she started to feel secured. Shankar seemed a strong pillar to her lonely life. Her son, her son was so courageous and sensible. Uncertainties of her life seemed to fade away. She embraced him securely as he approached her.
Flood has devastated that place. Kajri was nowhere to be seen. People made a mass exodus from that place. Shanku was weeping for Kajri. Suddenly, two big black eyes, floating in water, ringed the bell.
“Kajri!” Shanku cried.
He ran towards her. He faltered, but nothing could stop him.
He lifted her and buried her against his chest. It seemed that two departed friends were meeting after several years. Tears refused to stay in the eyes of Geeta and Shankar. Geeta could not believe her luck.
There was a melee of people on the boat, which was making for the relief camp. Geeta sat on the boat cosseting her son and kajri, thinking about her destroyed home. Reminiscences of the days in her home brought tears in her eyes and a hard pain in her heart. Now she will have to take fresh start. Nevertheless, she was thinking herself fortunate as the calamity had shattered many lives.
All was an absolute nightmare but she was resolute to ameliorate the situation, as she was a proud mother of a brave son. However, of course there were few questions in her mind, that how many times anyone can make their homes? How many time people will endure the pain of losing their kith and kin, as every year flood wipes out many happy lives, departs their dear ones? What is the solution? Until when, one has to live in silhouette of this fear that next year again flood will appear as a giant and will gulp many halcyon homes?