There was a heavy thunderstorm that night. Everyone slept. Only two, Linga & Subhanna Gowdaru were awake and sitting on a chair. They were often watching the river and noticed that the water was rising rapidly.
Linga, “Where have you tied the boat? We may have to leave the house now”
Linga anxiously said “I have tied it to the root of the Mango tree! Water might have come in there? Maybe we can’t go there? ”
He said that and then ran outside. Subhanna Gowdaru also ran behind him. It happened exactly as how Linga said. The bottom of the Mango tree was entirely covered by water. They didn’t know what to do. And they thought for a time. At that time the compound collapsed and water started to flow into the backyard. If we waste any more time there is no chance of our survival Gawdaru thought.
Gawdaru ran into every room and woke up everyone. They were sleepy and frightened, and then they ran to the front of house. Gawdaru said to them “Don’t worry everything will be alright” and so they searched for Linga, but Linga was not there at that time.
Gawdaru shouted “Linga ! Linga!” but no answer was heard, soon after that there was a heavy gust of wind. A Coconut tree fell onto the sheet metal roof of the house with a loud crash. Timmu, Seethe, and Naaga screamed loudly. Nagamma was praying to God. Gowdaru gave courage to them and then went for looking Linga. When Gowdaru saw him he was untying the boat which was half covered by water. Another rope was tied to the window of house and he took it with him and he tied it to the boat.
With a strong breeze hitting him Linga asked Gowadru to pull on the rope. Gowdaru did the same and then the boat left the bank. At that time they heard a noise of about seven or eight people screaming.
Gowdru, “Linga, bring that boat to the door, quickly!” he said and went inside the house.
When he was about to reach the backdoor, the servant Somakka run towards Gowdaru and said “The backward wall has collapsed, water is coming inside into the veranda”.
Gowdaru went into the veranda and said “Everyone run to the front door! Quick! Linga will bring the boat! Hey, Naaga, you come here”. Naaga went along with Gowdaru.
Nagamma, Thimma, Seetha, Lokamma , and Somakka’s daughter Dasamma, all ran to the front door. Only Somakka went upstairs to get her belongings and didn’t return.
Gowdaru opened his cupboard, took two suitcases from that, to take outside, then he closed the Cupboard and locked it and also opened the metal door which was nearby. But, thinking something else and again closed and locked it.
“Naaga, hold this suitcase”. Naaga took it; Gowdaru kept hold of the other one.
Linga put everyone inside the boat and stood by holding the tip of the boat. Gowdaru ran towards the boat and put two suitcase in the boat and helped Naaga to sit down in the boat, and crossed over to it, and told Linga to sit on the boat, and took one paddle and sat on the top of boat.
The boat was very small. It was only capable of 5 people. But already there were 7 people on it. In a flood it was only really capable of holding 3 people, there are too many, and it also has 2 suitcases in it. There was no place for Linga, not knowing what to do he simply stood by hoping to safely reach the boat from the bank somehow.
Gawdaru, “Linga, why are you wasting time, come inside quickly?” he shouted.
Linga “There is no place, the boat is already overweight. If I sat down in the boat how can we reach the other bank in safety?” and Gawdaru saw towards the river and he was frightened watching that. “Then what should we do?” asked Gowdaru.
Linga ”Let us do it like this, first you reach the bank and then send someone back with this boat, until then I will be here, don’t you worry”.
Gowdaru got angry at him and yelled loudly to get in the boat. Without a word Linga sat on the topside of the boat holding the paddle. Gowdaru with his shotgun fired a round of ten bullets.
The boat started to move in the heavy wind, the heavy rain, and the dark night and then the sound of the shotgun echoed on Malnad’s hill, into the trees of the forest. Nearby villagers were frightened to hear that sound of bullets.
From Nugenahalli 2 miles from Shivanoor, Rame gawdaru sleeping in the veranda, with his brother Siddhe Gawdaru heard the sound of the gun, and were also frightened on hearing it.
Siddhe Gowdaru asked Rame Gowdaru” Did you hear the sound of bullets?”
Rame Gowdaru “Where did you hear it from?” he asked.
“I think it was from Kemannu”
“No, see, I doubt it was from Shivanur”
“Maybe flood would have come there”
“There must be something wrong, let us see, let us go with four or five people”
Siddhe Gowdaru lit the fire torch urgently.
Rame Gowdaru woke up Raganna who was snoring in the corner of room and asked him to bring four or five people from nearby houses.
Women and children were calling the name of Lord Rama! Rama! In between the waves of flood water was hitting them while in the boat that was somehow moving up and down in the rushing wind. Subhanna Gowdaru and Linga didn’t lose courage and were pushing the paddle. It seemed like the boat was about sink due to overweight.
Gowdaru threw the two valuable suitcases into the river. Still the weight was not reduced. Women and children kept calling “Rama !Rama!” when they were asked to shut their mouths. The boat was acting like a drunkard who had lost his way. At one moment it was almost about to sink and some water had come inside. And again they shouted “Rama! Rama!”
Linga was heartbroken when he heard women and children crying and shouting. He thought that the boat is definitely going to sink due to the weight. He thought he should lighten the boat; but there wasn’t anything he could do, for a moment his face suddenly become serious. He stopped paddling. He looked around. In the rain they were not able to see each other; if they were able to see, they would see the true state of affairs they were in. He thought that if he jumped into the river than the weight would be reduced and the boat could then reach safety.
When everyone pointed to him as a thief.
I should not forget that man who had given me food, clothes and shelter and to have to pay this debt thought Linga. He put the paddle into the boat and was ready to jump.
When he was about to jump, he remembered his son. He felt heartbroken. He stayed back.
At that time the boat was about sink, “Rama! Rama! Aiyyo” they shouted. Why can’t we reach the bank with everyone he thought? Again he thought he would become a cheater.
“Aiyyo!” again they shouted.
Linga didn’t think anymore and jumped into the river saying “Rama!Rama!!”
No one noticed when he jumped into the river due the heavy rain and wind. But the weight of the boat was reduced and the boat started to move safely.
“Linga! The boat has started to move correctly by god’s grace” Gowdaru said. But Gowdaru didn’t know that Linga’s grace also had something to do with it.
At that time women & children shouted “Light! Light!” When Subhanna Gowdaru turned & saw, at the riverbank there were five or six lamps. By the help of the lamps Gawdaru saw about 15 people wandering here & there. Slowly the boat reached the bank.
From Nugenahalli (place) Rame Gowdaru & Siddhe Gawdaru ran towards the boat and carefully helped everyone out of the boat. Subhanna Gawdaru stepped down from the boat with a big relief. Everyone thought that finally they had reached there and survived.
With all that happiness & relief if anyone forgot Linga that can’t be any surprise. But only Naaga was crying. Nugenahalli (place) Siddhe Gawdaru asked “Why are you crying? What happened?”
But he was crying loudly & said “My father”.
Subhanna Gowdaru asked “What is that , Siddhe Gowdare?”
“This boy is crying about his father” said Siddhe Gowdaru.
Subhanna Gowdaru suddenly stood up and called “Linga ! Linga !”. On either side of forest it echoed ” Linga!Linga!”. But Linga was not there, and ran towards the boat. He could not find him there either. In that dark night, the river was flowing violently, Gowadru stared at that cruel river for a while. He was heartbroken. Tears fell down. ” Linga! Linga!” he cried. Naaga was also crying and Timmu and Seetha also started to cry.
“We have lost the light of our house” said Subhanna Gowdaru and cried his heart out. Everyone mourned for the unexpected death of Linga. Gowdaru consoled Naaga. But he didn’t stop crying and calling “Father, Father”.
No one knew how Linga fell into the river.
If you have made it till here then thank you for your patience 😄!!
I’m translated this story. This story was came in local Kannada news paper when our place was got affected from heavy rain and flood. taken from a novel because renowned Kannada poet . This a small part of story from his novel. I liked this story so I choose to translate it. And please share your opinion.
You have come across words like anna, , along with some names that means Brother, Sister,Mother. ( e.t.c)