Thumba is a small fishing village on the coastal belt of Thiruvananthapuram city. This grieving village and its people are anxiously waiting for the return of four fishermen who had gone out to the sea on November 29th.
Kamalamma Joseph's son too is lost in the stormy sea.
Kamalamma is 77-years-old, she has six children and Thomas is her only son and the youngest. 43-year-old Thomas left for the seas around 3 pm on 29th of November. Kamalamma recalls how everything seemed calm and peaceful that afternoon.
"He left around 3 pm as usual, I packed him lunch and a bottle of water". Thomas usually spends the night in the sea, comes back the next day morning”, she said.
"He usually comes by 8 in the morning. We had no news about him till noon. We were worried and that’s when people asked us to turn the TV on. We saw news of the cyclone and then of missing fishermen", recalled Kamalamma.
“My son hasn’t come back yet, it will be 8 days tomorrow since he is reported missing”, sobbed Kamalamma.
"It hurts not to know what has happened to your own child. I don’t want money, he is my wealth. I just want my son back. I don’t have much to live for now", says Kamalamma.
Thomas and his family lived a normal life and found happiness in small things. He enjoyed everybody’s company, says his family. Thomas nephew recalled how he played with kids the day before the tragedy struck him.
Joshy says, "Thomasmama played a lot with the children that evening, the kids even teased him saying he had started greying and he is acting like a child."
"He always said he feels young at sea, that was the only day probably for the first time he said, he felt young but he also sees death coming his way", recalls Joshi.
Joshy has a two-year-old daughter who is very fond of Thomas.
“She has been asking for him since the day he went missing. I don't know what to tell her”, says Joshy.
Thomas’s family feels they have been neglected by government and media.
"I called the cyber cell multiple times, they would pick up and ask details but never bothered to get back", said Joshy.
"I have even gone to the mortuary, checked clothes that were collected, I can’t do this anymore. We are provided with absolutely no information", said Joshy.
"People offered us money, but we need to know where Thomas is, money is not what we want. I even told them uncle’s boat’s name - Rojin. I gave them all information that I can", recalls Joshi.
Thomas has three children, Praveen 18, Sherin 16 and Sunny 14.
Kamalamma is ready to wait as long as it takes her to get her son back.
She says, "My son has only done good deeds in life. When he comes he will come with all his friends, he won’t let anyone suffer in the sea."
“I will go to the sea and pray for my son, I will sit there for hours. He will come back" says Kamalamma.