All I remember is a loud cracking noise and the sky turned grayish blue. The sun ran away with fear and the moon didn’t make an appearance. The stars were too afraid to step into the limelight and so the colors of the sky marked the approach of his evil grin. It was wide and haunting. Winds began to whimper at his voice, loud and booming, still echoing in my ears. And then he lashed out his fury, blinding white streaks of pure power, piercing my eyes the more I strained to look at them. They came down crashing and destroyed the few trees and the concrete jungle we once had proudly erected. No one had seen him in such a furious state. And then with a bang he took charge of the wind with his lasso and began to swirl it into a heap. This ultimately towered into a huge tornado, reaching the ends of the sky and devouring any hope of light provided by the escaping sun. And before I knew the sky turned a hue that still sends a chill in my spine. All turned black and the fires danced to his tune. I was stunted to the ground, unable to make a move, witnessing the destruction of my people, friends and the efforts they had put into making it such a prosperous place to live in. I had heard the sound of destruction. And when I my eyes finally saw the light of the day, I was brought to tears from what I had to see.
He was on old man, in his late seventies, a victim of a tornado that had hit his prosperous village decades ago. What remained of the village is now scraps of the buildings they once proudly showcased to the world. Sand had engulfed them and everywhere you look, you find endless stretches of these brown grains. He was crippled and had lost his family in the wake of the destruction and now looked forward to earning his daily meals by telling his story to the curious people that visit this desolate and forgotten place. He depends on tips for people who come to this place are mainly tourists who want to take photos and upload them in their cyber life, tagging people on the way and hoping to draw in the attention and comments of their near and dear. His glasses were old and he kept wiping them from time to time. Faces came and passed him by and he rarely recognized anyone with their appearance, even his friends. But the images of that night still linger in his eyes and he come across them time to time when he shuts for a while.
Grandpa, how old are you now.
I don’t know kid, might be a hundred thirty three I guess.
Oh wow. You are really old. Don’t you feel it’s time for you to go to your near and dear ones?
I want to child but I can’t.
I was spared for a reason. To tell the tale to people who come asking for it. To warn them of the devastating power he bestows once a while.
Who are you taking about grandpa?
I don’t know dear. His voice was the only thing I remember after the sky turned pitch black on that day.
Was it God?
No dear. I know my Gods. But he who spoke to me had managed to cower my Gods too.
Yes my child. And he entrusted me with this task to pass on the warning that might befall the one who seeks it.
Who seeks what?
What do you seek my dear.
Me. I don’t know. There are certain things but they change from time to time.
That is human nature. But the heart only truly seeks for one thing. Love my child.
Oh yeah. That. Well yes that’s true.
And you long for her right.
What? Who? What are you talking about?
I might be blind dear but I can hear you clearly and your heart beats for her.
Oh. Ha ha. That was poetic.
Yes it is. And I was waiting for you only child. And you finally came. It’s been a while but my task is done here kid. Heed to what I had to say dear and beware of where you tread.
And a strong wind blew, awaking the sands that had made this place their home and I bowed my head to its awesome power. And when it accepted my plea, it calmed down and took with it the old man. What was left of him was his specs and his ruby encrusted ring. I took up his specs and cleaned them and tried them on. And I saw colors, vivid and enthralling like anything on the objects I looked like. I took them off in fear and dropped them. And then my gaze got fixed onto the ring and the ruby it held in its intricate smith work. And I gazed on and on and on into nothingness.
Hey man. Get up. We are almost there. Time to take and bath and a long nap
Yeah. Dhanushkodi was awesome man. Such a surreal place.
Yeah. We need to come here once again bro. When it is not this scorching hot.
Yes. Hey sleepy head. Get up.
I gave a deep yawn and opened my eyes. We were travelling back to our hotel form Dhanushkodi. It was getting late. We had spent quite a lot of time there and there might be like a thousand pictures in my camera. This was an unexpected trip. I was working nearby only when my friends suddenly planned a trip here. Since I had no work I was exempted and was able to make it with them. I drank some juice and pondered upon the dream I just had. The old mans face was slowly fading away from my memory. I would like to go back and check on him once again and see if he is really there. But I can’t and there lies the void. This will haunt me for the days to come of which I am pretty sure. Hope I survive it. A storm is coming.
[I was able to visit Dhanushkodi last year with my colleagues and I was mesmerized by what I say that day. And I had always wanted to write a piece on it but my lethargic nature just prevented me from doing so. Today I went to a beach that lies on the way to Rameshwaram and was left spellbound again. And I finally felt captivated to write a piece on Dhanushkodi. This is just the version that Sandman had left in my eyes when I dozed off while returning exhausted from the beach. And it turned out to be a part of my ongoing series. Lucky me.]