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Photographer's Note

The Asian Tsunami had left a deep scar in us that is going to take a while to heal. This picture was made three days after the disaster at Kamerswaram, a small fishing hamlet 15km from one of the worst hit place Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu.

Having grown up in coastal area I have always seen the youth from fishing communities as dare devils. They knew no fear; they worshipped the sea and dealt with rough weather and cyclones in high seas the way we dealt with rain on our way to work.

When I was working with relief teams, it was very shocking for me to see them (the youth in particular) so shaken. Tsunami shattered everything, their loved ones, their boats, their houses, also the belief they had on the "mother-goddess-of-the-sea". This group of four young fishermen had many questions to ask. The person at the background did not speak a word. They were still unable to comprehend what had happened. Many could not believe the very sea they worshipped had brought them such a disaster.

Documenting this disaster was certainly one of the most difficult assignments I have done. It was a difficult task to cut emotion out and search for a powerful (artistic?) frame, to convey what you want to say. I have never seen so many dead at any one point of time. Bodies piled up in mortuaries and on roadsides reminded me of George Rodgers' pictures of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

I’m also not sure if it is right to post this picture in ‘Daily life’ or for that matter in TE, but the picture, I believe shows how their daily life has been shattered.

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