Weathering the Storm in Ersama: Summary and Analysis

The story by Harsh Mander, Weathering the Storm in Ersama, is based on a true story and explores how the people of a village faced a horrifying cyclone that hit Odisha in October 1999.

Weathering the Storm in Ersama Summary

The story, Weathering the Storm in Ersama, by Harsh Mander, is based on a real-life story about a dreadful cyclone that hit Orissa on the 27th of October, 1999. The story speaks about the commendable adventures of a young man, Prashant, who was stranded on the roof of his friend’s house for two nights after the terrifying storm. Prashant went to Ersama, a small town in coastal Orissa that was about eighteen kilometers from his village. He went to visit his friend.

The cyclone’s impact was massive. It killed several people and destroyed the houses of several villagers. In tough times like that, Prashant showed exceptional courage and faced the calamity with exceptional courage. He saved his life and led the disaster management of the story with utmost efficiency. Constant and heavy rainfall followed by the dreadful storm. It washed away several houses and people. There was flooding everywhere and corpses floating in it. Prashant was away from home and was living with his friend’s family and spent two nights stranded on the rooftop. Owing to the constant rain, it was freezing cold. He could see the destruction the cyclone had caused in the morning.

There was water everywhere, and just the cemented houses were still in a few places. The dead bodies of humans and the carcasses of animals were floating in all directions. Prashant had worried about his family and felt absolutely helpless. The rain halted after two days, and the rain waters started to recede. Prashant went to visit his village, Kalikuda, to check on his family. Initially, he could not find anyone from his family. He saw his uncle’s friends. He found his family later at the Red Cross shelter.

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The misery of the people who were affected by the cyclone put Prashant in distress. The people were taking shelter wherever they could. Everyone was starving and was reliant on the green coconuts from trees uprooted in the storm. So, Prashant decided to help and arrange food for the people with the help of some people like him. He organized a team of volunteers, who cleared the filth and floating carcasses and helped in healing wounds and fractures of the injured.

On the calamity’s fifth day, a military helicopter dropped some parcels of food. But, it did not come any further. Prashant and the volunteers decided to put children on the ground with empty plates on their stomachs. They hoped this would catch the attention of the helicopter. The plan worked, and the helicopter started to drop basic necessities and food from the top.

Prashant was dedicated to working and helping the people. He put up a shelter for the orphans with polythene sheets. He helped the orphans find homes in the foster families that had childless widows. He convinced the women to work in a program of food-for-work that was run by an NGO and organized sports events for children.

Prashant emerged as the savior of the people who were affected by the cyclone. People looked up to him with gratitude, and his selfless service to humans was commendable.

Weathering the Storm in Ersama Analysis

This story by Harsh Mander describes the real-life experience when a cyclone hit Orissa in October 1999. It killed thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of villages. Prashant was at his friend’s house in Ersama, and a superstorm came in the evening. The continuous rainfall uprooted trees and filled everything with darkness. Water entered his friend’s family and destroyed everything. Prashant had to take refuge on the roof. There was a huge sheet of water all over. Houses were destroyed, and dead animals and human bodies were seen floating everywhere. Two coconut trees fell on Prashant’s friend’s house. They survived on its tender coconuts for several days.

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The next two days, Prashant was stranded on the roof-top and was freezing because of the cold winds. He was worried about his family and decided to leave. He found a strong stick and began the eighteen-kilometer journey to his village. He waded through the water and found his uncle’s friends on the way. They were pushing away dead bodies of humans and animals to move ahead.

They reached his village Kalikuda and the only thing left of his house was the remains of the roof. He found his entire family at the Red Cross shelter.

Prashant assessed the damage and danger to the survivors and brought together a group of volunteers. They put fire and cooked rice and decided to clean the village.

A military helicopter dropped food n the fifth day but did not return. Prashant deputed children to lie there to get their attention, and they got food.

Prashant was the savior. He made a shelter for the orphaned children. He asked women and children to join the food-for-work program, started by an NGO. He asked volunteers to help widows and orphans.

Weathering the Storm in Ersama Theme

The story is based on Prashant’s courage and kindness. He braved the cyclone and helped everyone around him. It shows that in times of distress, when a calamity stricks, one should form a community. We should help ourselves and not just depend on the government for aid. 

Weathering the Storm in Ersama Character Sketch

Prashant is a young boy and was only nineteen years old. He finds himself in a devastated village because of the cyclone. He sees the plight of the people and the destruction around him and decided to help people. He takes up the role of the leader and starts organizing food, shelter, and help for the orphaned. He is ready to work hard and solve problems. Everyone is full of gratitude towards him.

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Weathering the Storm in Ersama Analysis Key Points

The story is about a real-life experience of the cyclone hitting Orissa in 1999. It demonstrates a young boy’s courage and wit of not only braving the storm himself but helping his community in the process. He is considered a savior and an epitome of compassion.