Not quite, maybe. But I wish... The other day, Shantha, the ever silent pantry assistant urgently poured out her fears to me while she was brewing tea and I was washing up my fork after my breakfast of don't-ask-what. Someone had apparently told her the tsunami was to strike again this 26th! The poor woman was clearly agitated.
She lives near the sea, she told me and recounted how last December, her grandson had been playing one moment and the next moment had been sprinting down the lane shouting 'water'! He’d then been missing till the next evening.
Fear of the killer waves run deep near costal Chennai. Shantha even mentioned how her daughter who has been given away in marriage in another fishing hamlet nearby is in near despair after hearing of another tsunami. Her house is a mere twenty meters from the sea.
To Shantha and the rest like her, here's something that makes eminent sense. A certified research finding that should allay their fears. The Tsunami that struck last December has now been found to be the result of the Asian and the Indian plate colliding and not due to a giant underwater landslide as we were given to believe earlier.
The collision, in turn, lifted an entire chain of deep-sea islands, out of the water as high as ten feet. It is this lift or shift that triggered the tsunami, reveals a finding by a Discovery Channel-funded scientific expedition.
If that isn't relief enough, we're told that only one per cent of earthquakes trigger tsunami waves. The last such wave swept the region near Indonesia back in 1883. (Any earthquake under the sea measuring more than seven on the Richter scale has the potential to cause a tsunami).
Shantha, there won't be a tsunami this Christmas. The collision that happened last year was a million years in the making. And it's happened already. There won't be an encore. But I know you’ll still worry yourself to death till the 27th December. You’ll worry for no reason for the safety of your grandson, for the safety of your daughter. Poor woman. How the gullible suffer at the hands of eager rumourmongers.