NAGERCOIL: The rubber trees were fully grown, and G John Rose, who is in the autumn of his life, was dreaming of easier times.
That was until Ockhi ripped through parts of South Tamil Nadu. The rubber trees in his small piece of land fell like nine pins.
Reminiscing he says, “I was quite young when I migrated from from Kallankuzhi near Verkilambi to work at government plantations. I toiled hard for a number of years in these plantations and saved enough to buy a piece of land.”
Soon afer marriage, Rose and his wife began living at the government rubber plantation colony in Keeriparai.
Later, he along with his wife and two sons moved to their own house at West Veerapuli.
Post retirement, John Rose planted nearly 70 rubber saplings on the 36-cent land. It was only last month that the rubber trees started providing yield, that is until Ockhi brought them down as well as his dreams of a peaceful life post retirement.
Rose said, “I was fully dependent on the meagre pension amount and was planning to earn some additional income by tapping the rubber from my own land. But Ockhi has put paid to that plan and excetp the small ones all were fully uprooted,” he pointed out.
Rose’s wife Rani, who has studied up to SSLC said, “It’s after eight years of hard toil that the rubber trees started yielding last month. All fully grown trees were uprooted,” she rued. Rani pointed that her husband was in a state of shock and it would take another eight to nine years to grow new trees.