The tank bund 'breach' and how my mother ran carrying me to save my life

                The tank bund 'breach' and how my mother ran carrying me to save my life

There was panic all over. There was a breach to the Hussainsagar bund and the water from it was fast flowing like a flood. It was sure many houses would get submerged and if we stayed any longer in our house at Musheerabad, it would only be a matter of time before we also would be washed away.

To my mother, the first priority was the last child in the family. And that was me. I was born on January 10, 1968, the seventh in the family. The four girls were elder to the boys. Among the three boys, was the youngest. We were staying on the premises of Wesley Church, Musheerabad where at least a dozen other families lived.

My mother Chilkuri Vajramma’s first reflex was to carry me and hold me tight. And then she started running as fast as her legs could carry her, in the opposite direction of Tank Bund. The other family members, brothers and sisters too started running. This happened sometime during 1971-72 when I was three years old or so.  There is nothing that has stuck in my memory. Several years ago, my elder brother Vasantha Rao (who has taken four of the pictures I have shared here)  had mentioned this incident to me.

I got reminded of this today  (January 10, 2022) as I celebrated my 54th birthday. I have no clear knowledge of the incident because I was a child. I called up my sister Susheela. She told me that several families had begun to run to safety. My father Chilkuri Samuel was away at work. “We did not even bother to lock the door of the house. The first instinct was to run to escape from the flood that was coming,” my sister told me recollecting the incident.

My elder brother recalled the incident. Everyone was at prayer at the church during the evening when someone brought the information about the Tank Bund breach. The entire locality headed towards Parsigutta and as it would be safe there getting on to a height and waiting on the top of the hill. Midway, my family stopped at Dayara market where a relative was staying. They got on to the first floor of the house. “We naturally since we were at a height in the building, we would be safe,” my brother Shyam Rao recalled. “I was in the front walking in front and I remember yelling at the others to walk faster,” he told me as I asked him about the incident. 

They had run for, perhaps a kilometre, when it became clear that the information that had spread about the breach on Hussainsagar bund was only a rumour.  But the rumour had spread wide. It took sometime for people to realise and understand that it indeed was a rumour. They heaved a sigh of relief and returned home. I understand, All India Radio, put out the news that it was only a rumour and that people should not believe it.

To my mother who gave birth to me.

To my mother who ran helter-skelter to save her youngest child. And to my loving father, here’s a  tribute from deep within my heart.

 Amma passed away 20 years ago in 2002. Nayana passed away 32 years ago in 1989.

 I cannot be thankful enough to them.


1 comment:

Powered by Blogger.