Saturday, November 05, 2005

Disasters waiting to happen

It's become almost routine now - sending out the checkup emails. Yahoo now prompts the "Are you okay?" popup header with alarming regularity. Bombs in London? Wow, were they anywhere near my pal Diana's house? (as it turns out, they were, but Di herself was in safe in Kerala.) Hurricane and floods in New Orleans? What about Pete!? - he was living there last I heard. Better email and pray for a reply. Whew, he's okay. Just weeks later, it's Chanda's parents in Texas getting the windows blown out of their house by Hurricane Rita. Kat escaped the Bali bombings by sheer chance; one occurred in a restaurant where she'd had dinner weeks before.

Thankfully, my address book has no listings for Pakistan or Kashmir. But now, it's Delhi - don't know anyone there, do I? Wait a minute, Joy just moved there from Pune. Still haven't heard back from that one. This week, a tornado kills 22 in Indiana - just scanned the news items; nope, just the southern part of the state, don't think my friend Wayne, who lives in Indianapolis, would be down there. Train wreck in Andhra, floods in Madras, all down in my old home-base of South India. Selfishly, I find myself wondering if my luggage stored at a friend's house is waterlogged, assuming in my solipsism that the friend himself is just fine. My Parisian ex was in Thailand recently, so I don't...think... he's affected by the nine days of rioting in his hometown.

Yep, it's getting routine. I watch the glowing images of wreckage and wailing children on the hotel TV and wait for the "RE:" lines of affirmation in my inbox. I'm still one of the very lucky ones, myself and loved ones out of harm's way despite our global dispersion. But I still haven't heard from Joy in Delhi, and it's been more than a week....

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