Dr. S. Chakraborty

Just finished my second reading of the book; The last Wave, written by Pankaj sekhsaria. It was some journey, nudging to introspect and the smooth flow of events simultaneously makes it unputdownable.  It’s a perfect way to catch today’s multi-tasking youngsters attention to teach them a lesson on history & anthropology by interlocking with a love story, a tragic one though. Years of research on these islands by the author, makes the story highly believable and above all identifiable by islanders like me. Never did it sounded preachy or any agenda to be driven, its just a well written ficton but always hovering around  real events. At the end its open for subjective interpretation but surely one peeks inside many a times to get some answers.

The last chapter on Tsunami surely undresses the layers of wound that we islanders harbour. Somehow I feel the untouched ones among us has forgotten it or else how could we > forget such a powerful lesson it taught us? That our fate is interlinked and the materialistic things we value so much, is at the mercy of nature, should be paramount in our mind space. The impermanance of life at a snap that Tsunami showed us, should have actually made us value human relationships more. On the contrary post tsunami & the riches it brought, has only  eroded our values & togetherness and we are aping more of mainland culture now.

Finally the book forces us to question whose land is it anyway? The tribes with more than a thousand year of existence or us? Surely we can live amicably but just like the movie AVATAR, aren’t we shoving down their throat our way of life & exploiting their resources which they protected since ages?  For sure their thousand years of existence makes them more knowledgeable about the islands and survival here. Need to learn from them and not place them on the brink of extinction.