KURANCHERY (VADAKKANCHERRY): Giving trendy names for shops has become a fad in the state for quite some time to grab the attention of passers-by or customers. Aadaminte Chayakada, Gafoorkka Thattukada and Alikkaude Chayakada are some among them. Like these, a vegetable store called Mohanettente Kada at Kuranchery near Vadakkencherry grabs the attention of the passers-by, but for a different reason. It’s a memorial of the tragedy during the August 2018 flood in Thrissur.
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A landslide on the Thrissur-Shoranur highway snuffed out as many as 19 lives from five families, leaving behind a trial of destruction in the busy stretch that has a hilly terrain on one side.The family of Mohanettan was one among them. Speaking to Express, his brother Unni, alias Sunil, said Mohan’s family of four members including two children was wiped out in a matter of second.
Though Mohan had seen the landslide coming, he could not get out of his house with the remaining family members as the debris engulfed the entire stretch by the time he got inside the house to alert them. Trying to fight back tears as his other elder brother stood by his side, 45-year-old Sunil, who was earlier a diamond worker, said, “Ours was a seven-member family with two sisters and three brothers. Although he had built a house, Mohan had been staying with us, unable to part with the family.
“Six months after the loss and shock, we again set up his vegetable store hereafter much persuasion from local people as the shop has been a part of their daily life for the past 22 years. The landslide has completely taken away his shop without leaving a trace behind. The authorities provided clearance for setting up the shop in the same place as it is not a landslide-prone area. We didn’t need to think twice to name the shop once the new shop was set up as Mohanetten had been the guiding beacon of our life all through the years.”
Though the landslide was first in the memory of the people in the area, the ghostly memories have returned to haunt them once again when rain started to unleash its fury in the state. Somanathan, 52, a construction contractor, who lives close to the ground zero, said the busy stretch becomes a deserted area by evening as people are afraid to stay out in the heart of the village where the tragedy struck a year ago. There are around 40 autorickshaws in the auto stand here and one cannot see a single three-wheeler here after 6 pm as there was an eerie silence in the entire stretch after the rainy season begins, he said.