Nostalgic Recollection with Sonali Deraniyagala

After reading the extract of Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, my mind flew back to the day that disastrous Tsunami swept through the Southern coast of Sri Lanka; the day was a Sunday precisely on 26th December 2004. As Deraniyagala explains, nobody knew about waves crashing into land nor a thing called Tsunami. However, it came like a nightmare gulping down thousands of lives including her beloved family and a dozen of my friends. 
When we were children, we had heard about the story of King Kalenythissa and his daughter Devi. In that story we could learn about an incident similar to this. In that story, the sea came into the land as a result of a sinful activity done by the king. To stop the impending disaster, his brave daughter opted to sacrifice her life to the sea. Nobody had a great belief in such stories until the sea attacked the land. Still, I can hardly believe the incident, it is like a blurred scene of a film which ended quickly leaving a numb feeling. Still, I cannot recollect about the incident clearly; there are only fragments of memories come into my mind when pondering over it. The truth is as I clearly see, my mind does not like to accept the grim truth that I experienced; not totally, not close to the experience of Sonali Deraniyagala.

As I read in an article, she too could not accept the truth of the loss of her whole family: her husband, parents and two children. She had to bear the burden of the memories of several tragedies: the struggle to save her life, loss of her family and shattering the dreams of her future life. This is the story of a thousands of lives who experienced Tsunami on that dreadful day. Once you read her story Wave, you will feel the grief, a plenty of grief which would give a burning ache in the heart about the victims over the nation. She records the events like a movie which creates videos in your mind as you are watching it right in the middle of the tragedy.

I was an advanced level student and I went to Hambantota to attend my regular English course at Sun –Ray institute of English. I was fortunate to save my life for not believing about the story that the sea is rolling back. We heard the news that the sea is going back – again, the sea is coming sweeping off the market place in Hambantota; it was the weekly market day. Handful of students who were keen on adventures went to see it and never came back for there was another wave – the biggest one taking their lives. Then poured the saddened stories of the disaster. There was an instant panic and waves of sobbing. We rushed out running for our lives. The second wave had been subsided but we had the fear of another one. I hardly remember how I came to the road and how I got onto a truck. There was hardly a building to be found but debris everywhere. I saw scattered dead bodies everywhere; most of them were purple in colour and I saw froth gargling down from their mouth. Some people were huddling around some nooks and corners and I still hear the sound of their moans echoing behind my eardrums.

My experience is never close to the experience of Deraniyagala as I was not in the middle of the waves nor I lost my family members but I could experience the incident in the side lines witnessing the traumatic incident in my own eyes. I still cannot believe about the feeling of life flying away from you and how you react in such situation. I can project that small picture into the real scene and understand the feeling of fear and nostalgia; losing your beloved ones. I feel humble and honoured about the people who stood on their feet after losing everything in their lives.

Sonali Deraniyagala and her story Wave is a living testimony about the tragic Tsunami and the mental strength of people who stand amid of the grim memories of their lives. I take this as an opportunity to extend my honour to this great female character who fought against her dreadful memories and glittered like a star in the world. May such incident never happen at any place on the earth because losing dear ones is the hardest thing to bear for any living being.  

Related Posts:       

Sonali Deraniyagala's Background Details 
Instinctive Motherhood Awakened amid of Waves in the Extract 'Wave' 

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