2006, Metro Manila, The Philippines
Typhoon Milenyo has struck the Philippines, bringing with it strong winds and rains. We recently relocated to Manila, and have never in the past witnessed the fury of a typhoon that lashes out with such vengeance. The call of the wind, that packs an average speed of 185 kilometres per hour, has left us stunned beyond words. Schools and offices are shut, until further notice. The wind and the rain furiously beat against our huge glass windows. We can imagine the wind blowing our windows to smithereens! So we hold tight, pray harder than we ever have, and watch the wrath of nature.
Right in front of our eyes; beautiful old, flowering trees are uprooted and tossed up into the air; in our lush, green locality, Bonifacio Ridge. The view from the seventh floor is not just unnerving, it is good enough to give a sane, healthy person a stroke. The lamp-posts come tumbling down, the bins are hurled into the air; as the wind vandalise everything that comes in contact with it. The rain pelts frantically, playing along with its partner in crime; causing more mayhem than expected.
My little girl and I try to distract ourselves by baking an orange cake, as the typhoon continues to bang furiously at our doors and windows, as though asking to be let in. We need to lighten up, so we switch on the TV to watch a film, but end up watching the news instead. 1.2 million people across the Philippines have been affected. And here we are blessed, as we sit in the cosy confines of our homes, surrounded by each others love and warmth.
By now, Milenyo has ravaged havoc in the Philippines. Much more than any typhoon in the past has. The call of the wind, has brought in more catastrophe then we could imagine. But eventually, Milenyo decides to retreat. And when it does, life starts resuming to normal, slowly but surely. People step out to get their groceries. Schools and offices are a bit wary of opening, but they do, expecting an emergency closure anytime. Our prayers have been answered, we are safe. But my heart goes out to thousands of those who lost their homes, whose loved ones went missing or were injured and killed. We pitch in a bit, by sending food grains, clothing and stationary. A little drop in the ocean also counts.
A few days later, as I sit by the poolside, sipping my evening cuppa, watching the sun sink into the horizon, a gentle breeze plays with my hair. The call of the wind this time is one of humbleness, love and affection. We humans are just tiny specks in this universe, and have no control over nature. So when the wind comes calling playfully, we can just smell it, relish it and cherish it. But when it ravages fury, we have no other choice but to bow down to it. For now I’m grateful for what I have today, what I had yesterday and what I will have tomorrow.
Disclaimer: This is a piece of non-fiction. We actually experienced the unusual Call of the Wind.