--"Run away!" her husband screamed from a rooftop after he spotted the colossal waves. It was a simple command that smothered Sangeeta in a nightmarish dilemma: She had three sons, but just two arms. She grabbed the two youngest and ran — reasoning that 7-year-old Dinakaran, the oldest, had the best chance of outrunning the giant waves. When the boy didn't follow, Sangeeta was crushed by grief, believing she would never see him again. The family dog made sure she did. Dinakaran had not followed her but ran instead to the safest place he knew — the family's small, concrete-walled hut just 40 yards from shore. While water lapped at Sangeeta's heels as she rushed up the hill, the scruffy yellow dog named Selvakumar ducked into the hut after the boy. Nipping and nudging, he did everything in his canine power to get the boy up the hill.
"That dog grabbed me by the collar of my shirt," the boy said from under some trees at Pondicherry University, where the family waits for relief aid. "He dragged me out." Sangeeta said she wept with joy when she saw her son walking up to her, with Selvakumar by his side. The Tamils of south India believe that talking about the death of a living person can make it so, so Sangeeta didn't want to speak of her decision or speculate how she would have felt had her son not survived. She did say that she believes some special spirit, perhaps her brother-in-law's, resides in the young yellow dog. "That dog is my God," said Sangeeta — with Dinakaran sitting on the ground at her feet. Selvakumar slept on the warm asphalt next to him.
--Knowledge of the ocean and its currents passed down from generation to generation of a group of Thai fishermen known as the Morgan sea gypsies saved an entire village from the Asian tsunami, a newspaper said Saturday.
--On India's remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, a woman who fled the killer waves gave birth in the forest that became her sanctuary. She named her son Tsunami.
--In the historic port town of Galle, Sri Lanka, several Buddhist statues of cement and plaster were found unscathed amid collapsed brick walls in the centre of the devastated city. To many residents, it was a divine sign.
--The Indonesian Red Cross reportedly dug out a survivor buried since the tsunami struck in the ruins of a house in Banda Aceh. The rescuers heard Ichsan Azmil's cries for help. After being pulled out, he asked for water and was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises.
This combination of handouts of satellite images shows the before image, top, taken June 23 and the image taken on Wednesday after the tsunami hit Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
At one refugee camp on the grounds of the airport of Banda Aceh, hundreds of people spent a wet night under plastic sheets. Mothers nursed babies while others tried to light a fire with damp matches.
"With no help, we will die," one refugee, Indra Syaputra, said. "We came here because we heard that we could get food, but it was nonsense. All I got was some packets of noodles."
The rain pummelling the corpse-littered provincial capital was creating conditions ripe for cholera and other water-borne diseases to spread. Boxes of aid at Banda Aceh's airport soaked up water, making it difficult for workers loading cartons of drinking water, crackers and noodles onto delivery vehicles.
After the devastation wreaked by water from the seas, a deluge from the skies deepened the misery for tsunami-stricken survivors shivering in relief centres Saturday and triggered flash floods in Sri Lanka that sent residents fleeing once again.
The U.S. Election -
Fertik's Open Letter to Sen. John Kerry
Democrat.com's Bob Fertik has written an open letter to Senator John Kerry on leading a challenge to Ohio's electors on January 6th.
Mr. Fertik is not satisfied with a Kerry-Edwards campaign attorney Daniel J. Hoffheimer's follow-up (e-mail) statement to MSNBC after a recent appearance on one of their news shows:
"The Bush-Cheney ticket has won. The Kerry-Edwards campaign has found no conspiracy and no fraud in Ohio, though there have been many irregularities that cry out to be fixed for future elections. Senator Kerry and we in Ohio intend to fix them. When all of the problems in Ohio are added together, however bad they are, they do not add up to a victory for Kerry-Edwards. Senator Kerry's fully-informed and extremely careful assessment the day after the election and before he conceded remains accurate today, notwithstanding all the details we have since learned."
On December 27th, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions, along with other concerned plaintiffs on the Ohio recount cases, to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election. Attorney John Bonifaz serves as general counsel for one of the plaintiffs, the National Voting Rights Institute. He has invited the Bush Cheney campaign to join the motion to preserve all of the ballots and election machinery in the presidential election in Ohio and to investigate the potential tampering of voting machines by Triad Governmental Systems, Inc, prior to the start of the recount.
Why should it have to take the most deadly tsunami in history to lead us to understand how war will soon no longer be a viable option for mankind?
"It is very odd that nations cooperate to help each other in the face of natural disasters. But when they become angry over some minor dispute, they are perfectly happy to inflict far more damage on each other than mother nature ever did. Pakistan and India were seriously contemplating using nukes on each other as recently as 2002. Now Islamabad is sending rupees to Delhi, and Delhi is expressing gratitude.
Now that nukes are becoming so common, humanity has to find a way to move into permanent cooperative and helping mode. War is gradually becoming unthinkable. The massive tsunami's toll has now risen to 150,000, but an Indo-Pak nuclear exchange would have killed 10 million."
Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear --
And not sit beside the next,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
He doth give his joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.
Oh He gives to us his joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled an gone
He doth sit by us and moan."
Noah's Ark : One of the best recognised stories from the Old Testament.
Matsya Avtaar : According to legend, the Vedas , which helped Bramha with creation, were eaten up by the demon Hayagriva.
Samudra Manthan : Enraged with Indra for rejecting his gift, Sage Durwasa cursed Gods, saying they would lose their powers. Lord Vishnu then advised them to persuade the demons to perform 'samudra manthan' i.e., churn the sea to bring out 'amrit' (elixir of life), which alone could restore their powers. Therefore, the 'samudra manthan' was carried out.
Sethu bandhan : As he led his army to Lanka, Rama reached the shores of the Indian Ocean. Rama then prayed to the ocean to provide him a passage. But after three nights, the ocean still refused to oblige. Enraged, Rama decided to dry up the ocean, and unleashed the Indra astra (arrow resembling a powerful thunderbolt of Indra).
Moses & the Red Sea : As a baby, Moses was put in a basket and floated down the Nile because the Pharoah had ordered that all Jewish male children be drowned. He was pulled out by an Egyptian princess and named Moses because he was drawn (mashah) out of the water.
Poseidon adventures : Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea, is one of six siblings who “divided the power of the world". Poseidon not only ruled the sea, he was also the god of earthquakes. Poseidon was relied upon by sailors for safe voyages. However, he was a moody God, and his temperament could sometimes result in violence.
The Legend of Atlantis : The island-nation of Atlantis is said to have existed over 11,000 years, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from being abundant in natural resources, it was also a major centre of trade and commerce. It's people were described as well-educated, using advanced technology and fabulously wealthy. It is asid to have disappeared into the sea, due to an earthquake caused by gigantic submarine volcanic explosions, triggering off a massive flood.
"For a long time, my parents had been planning a visit to Velankanni. They had taken a vow to shave my head at the shrine, a promise they managed to keep this year," Pratheesh says, weeping all the while. He escaped the tsunami but lost his family to it.
"After the tonsuring, we all went down to take a dip in the sea. I don't remember the exact time but I think it was around 9.30 am. As we were bathing, we saw a huge wave coming towards us. It seemed like fun at first; we understood the danger only when it came near," relates Pratheesh. The family fled for to higher ground, but the waves were too strong and fast for for them. The first wave swept over them. Before they could recover, it was receding.
"All of us were clinging to each other. But we got separated and I could see waves taking away my parents.
"Then came another wave, which again pushed me back to the shore. I lost my consciousness. I don't know how many hours passed. But when I opened my eyes, I was lying in a pool littered with dead bodies," says Pratheesh, whose battered body hurts all the time."