Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Divya Dutta on cyclone Tauktae: This is sheer helplessness amid a pandemic, but it united us

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Right in the middle of a pandemic, when so many lives have already been turned upside down, has come another force of nature: cyclone Tauktae. It struck Mumbai on May 17, and the visuals of the ensuing damage spread across social media, before it moved on to Gujarat.

Actor Divya Dutta explains the situation that unraveled on ground and says, “There was no electricity, no WiFi. One was disconnected, in times like these when they really need to be connected [with each other]. It has been shaking up. Some of my friends messaged me from Goa, and said there was also no electricity at their place as well.”

Recalling similar fright that she experienced last year, too, the actor adds, “I had to close my windows (when cyclone Nisarga had hit Mumbai). Thankfully then it passed through from somewhere else. I feel such testing times bring everyone together.”

In fact, Dutta asserts that this last one year has been the best display of unity that Indians have shown, with people amplifying SOS requests on social media, providing monetary and relief material to anyone in need amid the health pandemic. The cyclone, too, “brought out the best in everyone”, she believes.

“When a crisis comes, the best way out is to just hold hands, there’s no other way. This is sheer helplessness. We were already dealing with a pandemic… but it also brings us very much together. This time, specifically with the second wave of Covid-19 coming in, people have gotten together,” says Dutta, 43, calling it “heartwarming” to see to much empathy around.

“Even in this (cyclone Tauktae), I’ve have seen people help when anybody needs anything, ” adds the National Film Award winner, who herself received calls from unknown people offering her help just before the cyclone struck.

“They said, ‘Car hata lo, ped gir jaayega uske upar’. People actually went out of their way to help. The best way to deal with a storm is to face it, you can’t ignore it,” says Dutta, adding, “Even the pandemic, it won’t pass, we’ll be more equipped to handle it. This is the new normal, we can’t really get out of it. It’ll leave us stronger and wiser. Hum normalcy ko dekhte hain toh yeh bhool jaate hain. We must learn from the pandemic and not forget the lessons.”

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