In a village of Shah Bandar in Thatta district, a child named Malook used to live with his father and mother near the coast. His father Sachal was a fisherman by profession and his mother, Allah Rakhi used to make fish net and grind spices from which she used to make papur (bread-like food).
Sachal was a desperate man, he used to work day and night to catch as many fishes so he can could money and feed his family. He used to earn Rs.200 to Rs. 500 daily per month. He always dreamt that his son Malook will go to school and will become a business man. Sachal also lost his brother, Bachal many years ago during a fishing trip when he accidently entered Indian coast line and was captured by Indian Navy. No word from his brother after that and they considered him dead.
The Kala toofan is coming!!
May 20, 1999 was a regular day for Malook, he was playing with his friends. But suddenly a lot of panic erupted in the locality that Pakistan Army started evacuating the people from the coastal regions to higher grounds. Malook was too innocent to know what was happening, everyone was shouting,
“Kala toofan araha hai, Bhago!” (Dark storm is coming, run!). It was a category-3 Cyclone that was gaining momentum and intensity in the Arabian sea since morning.
Promises that were kept
Sachal was in the deep-sea since early morning, he promised his family that he will bring a big catch that night, not knowing what awaits him and his family that day.
Malook’s mother, Allah Rakhi did not obey the Pakistan Army and stayed back, waiting for her husband. She told Malook to stand near the seashore and wait for his father to return. The little boy obeyed and stayed till it was almost dusk. It started to rain heavily with gusty winds and sea was raging up and down. The poor boy waited and waited for his father but here was no sign of him. The intense winds and rain hurled and demolished everything in their path. As the cyclone was coming closer, the boy panicked and started running here and there. A big gust of gust of wind threw him off balanced and he lost consciousness after being hit hard by a rock. The cyclone showed its fury all night long.
“Where is my house”
Next morning Malook woke up and remembered what had happened last night. He ran to find his home but his village which was once filled with laughter and play was torn into pieces and winds of sorrow blew across it. His house like all other houses was turned to dust; he called his mother again and again but no one answered the poor child’s wails.
He sat on a rock near what used to be his house and cried till he went to sleep. Many days he sat there, hungry and ill ,waiting and waiting for his parents to show up, to take him in their arms, feed him, love him. The poor soul eventually succumbed to his hunger and died.
Eventually the family was one of the 6400 people who died during the cyclone’s wrath in 1999.