While hartals have been the state’s bane, it was a boon for Kizhakkiyil Meeran, whose house was completely destroyed in the landslide.
Meeran was not in his house, thanks to a hartal in Kothamangalam on Friday. Meeran, popularly known as Meeranikka, was fuming when he found out that he could not go to see his newborn grandchild at a hospital in Kothamangalam on Thursday. The nurses at Kothamangalam Mar Baselios Medical Mission Hospital had gone on a hunger strike, and the whole town was ablaze with violence and agitation in solidarity with the strike.
Shops were shut down, and transportation came to a standstill. All of which meant that Meeranikka had to postpone his meeting with the little newborn child by a day. “If there was no hartal, Uppa would have been here on Friday. But fortunately, he was at the hospital on Friday since he could not make it on Thursday,” said his son Shameer, who was standing near the place where his house once stood, and which was being ploughed by a bulldozer now.
When Express met Shameer at Fourth Block, he was showing Revenue officials where his house used to be. All that one could make out from the rubble dug out were the muddied remains of a few broken pieces of furniture, a twisted pole and pieces of what looked like a bucket.