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Book Review: Weathering the Storm in Ersama by Harsh Mander

It is a story about courage, loss, adventure and tragedy. Prashant is a nineteen-year-old boy, who one day goes to Ersama – a coastal town 18 kilometers away from his village Kalikuda – to meet his friend. In the evening torrential rain and storm surrounds the town, the rain is so heavy, along with strong gales of wind, that water enters the homes of people and trees begin uprooting. Overall, life becomes tough; people are scared to the hell. To avoid water in the home Prashant and his friend’s family move on the roof of the home, as it was a brick and mortar home. In rain and wind and storm, they spend almost two days there, struggling for warmth and food, thanks to one coconut tree that is lying on their roof, which provided them food.

From the roof Prashant sees the streets flooded and corpses of humans and animals and trees being afloat. The super cyclone has caused havoc all around. He is worried about his family members, though his mother had died seven years ago. There are his brothers and sisters, granny and aunts and uncles.

In desperation, he sets out for his village. He wades in the waist-length turbid water with a wooden stick. He notices that houses that were built with brick and cement are partially intact; otherwise huts are nowhere to be seen. When he reaches the village, he finds no traces of his home; in fact some of his luggage is floating here and there. He in great despair rushes to the Red Cross shelter. There he finds his family member. However, in the Red Cross shelter living conditions are awful and people are sustaining on coconuts. Prashant feeling the lack of leadership in the village in the times of adversity decides to lead by example. He gathers boys and first off gets the rice from a merchant. Next he makes young children lying on the sand with utensils on their bellies – this indicated the relief helicopters for food and other needs. As a result, helicopters often drop food and other items for help. One by one, Prashant with the help of young boys provide much relief to the victims.

When government decides to put orphan children into an orphanage, he with his team protests and allows the orphans to mix with the widows, so that people can form foster family.

This story is about leadership and bravery in the times of adversity. Had Prashant not led the people of his village, they must have died in starvation or lack of medicine and orphans must have engaged to any orphanage and widows have been alone and without support.

For CBSE class 9 syllabus, read all stories summary from your Moments textbook. 


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