Fifty two-year-old P Harris, an agriculturalist, stands in knee deep water, looking defeated. He has just visited his home in Panamara of Wayanad district, a week after he was forced to leave due to flash floods. The destruction he witnessed, in this short visit to his farm, storage shed and house, has put Harris in a troubled situation.
"My daughter is supposed to get married on September 9. Invitations have been given out and relatives informed. But now, I have no money to conduct this wedding," he says, still in a state of shock.
"We had harvested betel nut, pepper and areca nuts and stored them in a shed near my house. We were supposed to sell them on Saturday, but had to flee earlier to save our lives. When I went now and checked the shed, I saw that all my harvest was gone. There is no trace it, it has all been washed away. The house to is highly damaged," he laments.
Harrisâ€™s family was among the those who were forced to evacuate the Panamara panchayat area following floods on August 9. The Banasura Sagar dam in the district had been opened by the Kerala State Electricity Board around 2 am, causing the Kabini river to overflow and affect all the houses in its path.
"The crop would have fetched over Rs 2 lakh in the market today," says Harris, worriedly. "Now there is no moneyâ€¦ I have to pay for the wedding hall and for the food too," he says.
But Harris says he will somehow conduct the wedding, because heâ€™s worried that calling it off will affect his daughterâ€™s future.
â€śShe is already very worried," says the father. "There is no guarantee to when things will become normal," he points out.
Harris and his wife are currently staying with their elder son about eight kilometres away from their home.
"One day you have a good and safe house, cars, a thriving field and wedding to bring happiness," says Harris. "And the next day you have nothing. That is my story."