It is a known fact that in times of crisis, like in war situations people unite and help each other out. People find a sense of purpose, suicide rates go down, rioting hardly takes place and faith in humanity gets restored. I didn’t know this but read about it recently. The flooding back home in Kerala brought about the same sense of unity. Amongst the goodwill stories a new type of hero emerged.
I have read a lot of humanitarian stories in the past few years following the unrest in Syria and around the world. Yet I think what our fishermen have done amazes me with each and every story I hear. They’ve been described as the unsung heroes and their stories are resonating around the world. All the malayalees have heard the stories, but has the rest of the world?
Tales of selflessness, determination and courage. The feat they each achieved with a small fishing boat and will power has been astounding. Putting their own lives at risk, ignoring any health and safety rules, if there were any, they went out armed with just their small fishing boats to rescue as many as they could possibly save. They fought the currents brought on by the fast flowing waters, negotiated difficult bends, rowed against the torrents with their now numb and tired arms reaching homes which even the army and our defence forces couldn’t reach. Amidst this ordeal they still found the energy to comfort the terrified families they rescued and shielded them from the floating dead bodies.
How can we ever thank them. The reply one family received when they asked for their rescuer’s details were “the time it takes to give you my details is the time wasted in saving another life”. Next time I tuck into a delicious fish dish my mother has lovingly prepared when I’m back home, it won’t be just my mother I thank, but remember that it was caught by our heroes. The fishermen from our ‘കൊച്ചു കേരളം’, (little Kerala) are not just ordinary fishermen but they are our superstars.