Friday, January 15, 2010


Here now, gone the next moment. The age old truth is ever new and never ceases to fill us with horror, resignation and a sense of futility of human existence.
The appalling figure of the Haitian tragedy – Is human life so worthless? Are human achievements so fragile?
What are we going around for, with chests inflated with the air of perceived omnipotence, with a smugness and complacency fed by megalomaniacal cockiness?
We can land on the moon, conquer it and colonise it. But can we prevent its gravitational power from causing the oceans to rise and submerge man and his work?
Nature has always reminded us harshly about the existence of the human LOC. Through deluges and earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis, hurricanes and colliding meteors, she has claimed her victims in this war with man outside this LOC, in proportions that are mind boggling. Her ravages are indiscriminate, not selective. She is no respecter of man made hierarchies or categories. Lazarus and Dives, Satyavan or Savitri, Sarah or Hagar, Pandavas or Kauravas – it does not matter: all is fair in war.
Is this a war between man and nature?
Scriptures explain the disasters as divine intervention to bring man to his senses.
Modern day’ rational’ mythologies float popular theories that disasters are nature’s intervention to check population growth.
These theories and interpretation have got man nowhere near prevention of massive disasters. He is helpless against nature’s fury, for whatever reason she chooses to be furious.
The technologically progressive man continues to be in infancy when it comes to controlling nature.
So what do we do?
Honestly, we have no idea. Just sit back and throw up my hands in helplessness, I guess.
There is no escape from the visuals of the disaster. And I tell myself we should not try to escape from them, no matter how painful. If the visuals are painful, what about the actual thing? I was spared this time. So I have the opportunity to feel for my fellow human beings. To empathise.
And we need to manage our responses which more often than not run amok. We need to be stoic, I suppose and subscribe to that Byronic posture of revering the power that does not revere us – whatever that might imply.


  1. I have read somewhere Buddha used to ask his newly initiated disciples to first stay a few days in a cremation ground and watch the whole process of people coming with dead bodies of their dear ones crying and then cremating the bodies and going away...Enlightenment begins with knowing that life is just from birth to death. There is no special design behind natural disasters. It is just that they happen now and again--what does it matter--picking at random.
    Good write, ma'am. Hot from the emotion of seeing the visuals.

  2. It has been so deeply moving- my heart breaks seeing the sadness and devastation. Your post puts it perfectly.

  3. The pictures are truly heartwrenching. I just hope there is no more life loss. This is where nature says that man cant do it all, niether is he as powerful as he claims to be..

  4. It is a matter of personal belief,but it seems a lot astrologers had predicted such calamities till May 2010.

  5. You said it right.This is a war between man and nature. Nature who had been repeatedly tortured raped and bleeding.All natural disasters are sequele of ecological imbalances caused by man.God cant be held responsible.

    For Haiti,it is worse.Merely viewing the images of distress and decimation of life and environment, Haiti’s shattering earthquake and its aftershock seem like a filmic creation of a fictional, enactment of armageddon! But it is so sadly, painfully real. The litany of death and despoliation. The dust and carnage and blood!

    Haiti has been treated as a basket case where corruption, gang violence and natural disaster combine to drag the country backwards. Now the earthquake may have killed up to 100,000, and rendered 3 million homeless. No one can prevent earthquakes, but the consequences of this one have been made catastrophic by Haiti's condition.

    It is one of the poorest places on Earth. 1 in 8 children in Haiti dies before age 5. The French saddled the nation with debt, the Americans with cheap rice imports in the 1980s; 98% of the land has been deforested, destroying watersheds, creating soil erosion and impoverishing agriculture.The perfect field for quakes and landslides!
    Already looters roam the streets,scavenging everything.Haiti needs help.It is already clear that we are facing a major humanitarian crisis. In times like these we must show acts of compassion and humanity, and not criticise.

    Evangelist Robertson said Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. The comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791. This is the kind of people in the world,and do we need more reasons for an earthquake?

  6. @ P Venugopal
    i'd like to think there is some design behing disasters.without that belief, stoicism isn't possible - atleast for me. And stoicism is better than despair.

    @Anjali , Sujatha
    thanks for visiting

    BK Chawla

    @ DR Antony
    Nature strrikes back? it has been doing that always.

  7. We're but blips on the timescale of the planet, just imagining that we are most important in the scheme of things. We forget that that the earth has the power to crush us in a second as she adjusts her topology, like ants crushed by a rushing housewife. No human cares for the pain of ants, and the earth is insensible of the wails of pain from crushed humans.

  8. Yes... man's ego deflates when nature strikes... times likes this should remind each one of us that we are mere mortals and not immortal..

    Haiti needs peace and stability.. pray that no more disaster stikes this poor nation...

  9. @ Sujatha
    scary rhought! that's why man need God.

    @Happy Kitten
    yes. pray no more disasters - tho predicted.


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