Friday, August 11, 2006

Water displacement

No Archimedes moment here. My thoughts are with my relatives who still reside in the Motherland.

My parents are from the city of Surat, state of Gujarat, country of India. Surat's in the news this week because of the few hundred thousand residents who had to evacuate due to monsoon flooding. Gujarat is one of three Indian states most affected by the floods, and the rainy season can be a bit nasty, but this time I think it really hit home. My parents worry about their families there; there's no communication and little information.

The news reports vary wildly on the levels of water and the number of people displaced, but they all share one fact: Surat has a big diamond polishing industry. That's it. It's like some tidbit from an old press release. See, the correspondents aren't at the scene, so they describe the loss in terms of industry revenue. Normally I'd look to blogs for insider accounts, but I have a feeling the local bloggers have no electricity.

Welcome to India, the world's largest democracy.

55 Fiction Friday awaits those large ice cubes designed to stop global warming.

Quincy's new shirt was an ugly gift from a cruel relative. He expected ribbing from his golf buddies. Instead, he got a job offer during an impromptu clubhouse lunch, and a date next weekend with a cute driving range instructor.

Fortune trumps fashion, Quincy realized. Now he had to develop a taste for bad taste.


Oscar Madison said...

I hope your family members are okay, and that you haven't been posting for some completely benign reason.

Neel Mehta said...

I've been somewhat busy this weekend, yes.

Update: The worst of the storm and flooding has passed, and people are returning to their homes.

What are they returning to? Diseases, probably, and a lack of fresh supplies. The death toll in Surat is over 300 so far. It won't be pretty, even by Indian standards.

We've heard from one uncle by phone so far. So that's a good sign. We don't know about the rest yet, but we're optimistic.

Maybe they're just looking for industrial diamonds washed out of the factories and embedded in the ground. I would.

K-Lyn said...

Your family is in my thoughts...

Quinn said...

What K said, plus this reminds me to get in touch with the fam in Ahmedabad.

Janelle Renee said...

Have you heard anything new today? I hope everybody is OK.

Neel Mehta said...

Oscar, K-Lyn, Quinn, Janelle: thanks for the well wishing.

More news of the alive-and-well variety is trickling in. Businesses have been destroyed, and apparently the concept of small business insurance doesn't exist there. So there'll be some rebuilding, I suppose.