48. Awaiting Dam Break

@Idukki, Kerala, India.

It has been some time since I visited Idukki and its wonderful arch dam, the largest of its kind in India and one of the highest in Asia. Even as one had to look at all the beauty around the dam and all those water and greenery, what would demotivate at that point of heavy inspiration from nature would be feeling that the Mullperiyar Dam is to break and all the water is to come that way into the Idukki Dam and cause its destruction along with our death; it was a feeling which existed long ago and it still exists, but now in a more powerful manner such as to stay in the brain even when one manages to sleep. It is that thought of death which brings in the need to bring the Fountain of Youth back into the play, even if one has to ask for the service of Captain Jack Sparrow and his own wonderful rival, Captain Hector Barbossa; but that legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone, is to be more of something which grants immortality or the people who drinks it, a few lakhs of people will need it to survive that possible dam break; even those buildings will need to be coated with the water from the spring, as long as it doesn’t have any problem in giving that much water, and may be it can take the place of the water in Mullaperiyar right at the moment when it is to break. What else can save us from a catastrophe like this? The use of Gyges Ring can keep us as invisible dead bodies; water should have avoided the invisible bodies, but unfortunately it is a force of nature.

Leaving that literary and mythical combination of Greek, Roman, New World and Eurasian elements, one would wish for the Chalk of Fate, but as it can only change the action which was made by the owner of the piece, its useless would be proven, considering the fact that all those base things concerning Mullaperiyar Dam occured so long ago and dead men use no chalk. Anton Gorodetsky’s idea of finding that thing was always supposed to have served him alone, not even Svetlana Gorodetskaya. What would all those magical artifacts do in an age of science? Nothing much as long as their availability is concerned. If it was something which was to happen in those early ages, that would have saved all these troubles and people could have just prayed more and stood by their faith; but as the current world stands, perverted by science, but still affected by corruption and selfishness, I would wonder what the end results would be. There was a time when one could have believed in magic, fairies, unicorns, satyrs, centaurs, dragons and wyverns. But that age has gone by, and what remains are horrible vampire stories which are made into movies featuring only those creatures which would remind us of vampires infected by powers of mutation, all those powers except common sense and intelligence; and are still watched by people for reasons unknown; these reasons which are not that morally good for sure.

As Idukki Dam stands between the two mountains; Kuravanmala and Kurathimala as if connecting two lover who were separated for an eternity, the possibility of those fictional lovers being separated is there, with Mullaperiyar Dam being the villain. But going deep into this problem, is that dam the sole villain? Nope, it is just a candle which burns and ends its life just for the sake of humans, especially on the other side of the Western Ghats for which the dam was built. The villains are each one of us who don’t protest against stretching the dam to an extent that it has to be ashamed of its own existence and its failure which would make it a mass murderer. Hasn’t a dam got emotions considering them as part of nature built by creations of God? If it is so the blame would finally come to Mullaperiyar, passed on by Idukki as well as the other smaller dams, but what would it do then, as a devastated structure? The last resort is for humans, which would be suicide; they can also go to churches, temples, mosques and synagogues, but what about a dam? Where does its pilgrim centre lie? The Idukki Dam which was constructed along with two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu together making an artificial lake and enjoying the beauty of nature and supplying humanity with all the goods, serving people for such a long time; what has it done to deserve such a fate, something of secondary destruction; it is ridiculous considering the fact that it is an architectural marvel and its soul is deep; it exists also within the people of Kerala; for the grief would live within the souls of people in case of any destruction.

Watching Dam 999 in 3D would make the situation closer to the realisation of the destruction, even as it wasn’t that great a movie; the 3D was still better than movies like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which lacked the sense of the original; the movie was the closest to Kerala and almost all those things related to the Mullaperiyar Dam seemed to come more alive with it, even as the romantic side of the movie was so weak that one would have had to blame a lot in the first half. The dam is always there in the movie and depicted as the same dam only by the clues which are given in the movie; one wouldn’t have to think much about it though, as it is not something which would need a Sherlock Holmes or even Sethuramayyar CBI. Even as it is based on the award winning short documentary “DAMs: The Lethal Water Bombs”, and a tribute to the Banqiao dam disaster of 1975 that claimed the lives of 2,50,000 people in China, it can still be viewed as an anticipated calamity for the Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala, more than anything else. It successfully establishes an objective correlative; Hamlet might complain and even go on a hunger strike with his father ghost figure and Ophelia, but it exists there, and thus that parallel universe is created in the movie in which I could predict whatever awaited me with an eye of foresight which still eludes a few people in the state and so many of them all around India including the national media. This catastrophe which could affect four to six districts and millions of people and their dreams; all the effort taken in the development of these towns and cities; that would be so absurd.

This story of a dilapidated colonial dam is made somewhat strange by the addition of Navarasas, Ayurveda and some horrible romance; this romantic thing is not even comparable to whatever happened in the Twilight series; both should be considered equally strange just by the frequency of the nonsense in love, but Twilight at least have the vampire excuse to make; it got fans, so even if Edward develops wings and flies to the sky and Bella becomes a crocodile and go doing the submarine stuff under water, they will agree as the strangest nonsense happen with that series called Twilight. But when these strange emotions come into Dam 999, its far away for necessity. It lacked soul and failed to invoke any kind of emotion in the viewer, partially due to the lack of acting and also due to the use of English language in such a way as to convey something which could only be conveyed through some Indian language, in this case – Malayalam. The foreign actors were slightly better. may be because they could speak in their mother tongue. If they had stuck to the dam-related thing throughout the movie without that much traversing through human emotions and stuff, it would have been and would have surely served its purpose; but then it would have been banned in Tamil Nadu; for it is scary for some people, only God knows how it is so; I always thought people have evolved enough to look at movies as works of art which is a creation; in this case, some people surely are faint-hearted while watching movies, but can still manage to turn a deaf ear to the cries of people fighting for their lives.

Mullaperiyar is a reality and the movie is not; this is something which needs attention, but this fictional event in Dam 999 is something which is going to happen to the Mullaperiyar Dam; there is no denying it; people can surely deny it like the villain of the movie Ashish Vidyarthi did in the movie and enjoy the deaths of so many people just because they are from a neighbouring state and speak a different language. When they claim that, like a dam, each character in the movie holds back their emotions for various known and unknown reasons and finally the colonial dam breaks and so does the dam of human emotions, but what is the use of that delayed outburst? Everything has to be done at the right time and what is the point of shedding crocodile tears after the death of millions of people along with all the infrastructure, flora and fauna? What could be the reason? Is it because some other city is also developing at such a pace that there is a hidden jealousy in this development and need to halt it? Is it the lack of concern for humanity as a whole or the lack of nationalism? Is it because of the confidence that the world will end in 2012 and the dam will be void? All of these make 2012; we create 2012, not just by the global warming and related stuff, but also by these small things; all these disasters are part of it; may be on that day of the end of the world, they will occur together. Who needs nuclear bombs? Who needs nature to intervene at a large scale, when just small tremors as enough for Mother Earth to get rid of those creatures who have been bothering her with their ridiculous inventions of science? Thanks to their own creations called dams.

Diving out —>

TeNy