October 25th, 2005 10:14 EST
The young girl was afraid of the danger of hurricane Wilma, that is why the caring hands of her holder strapped her to the trunk of the palm tree, as the winds of Wilma thrashed Florida. She remained tied to the trunk, her golden hair flung about in the fierce winds, like the long leaves of the palm trees around her. Her hands and legs were outstretched because of the speedy air that ran above a hundred miles per hour. Yet she smiled at the onlooker.
Smile and innocence always gives a break from furies of all kinds. It lets you forget the misery, at least for a while. That is what this Barbie doll did in the downtown Naples in Florida. Due to the mandatory evacuation, the residents had left their houses and all their belongings. They moved to a safer place for their protection.
But leaving things are not easy, when you know you are leaving them in danger. Leaving the Barbie was also not easy for a kid who held her in arms all the time. Though she was left back, there were proper arrangements made for her safety. She was tied by a white piece of cloth by the trunk of a strong palm tree. The winds came, swung her golden hair, waves beat her bare limbs. She smiled at all of them and peacefully remained there to await the caring hands of her friend. Let not the smile fade away, despite the ups and downs. That is what these hurricanes have been teaching. The swath of Katrina, Rita and the latest hit by Wilma has shown the power of wind and water. There have been heavy toll of life and property. First in the row, hurricane Katrina took the toll of at least 125 billion dollars and 1200 lives. Her sister Rita’s destruction was estimated at around 4-5 billion dollars and it gulped over 125 lives down her throat. And we have to wait for a while before we could calculate the damage of Wilma. But the insurance companies think it will add almost 10 billion dollars to their bill.
These damages are huge and they have changed the landscape in a matter of hours. But such disasters always lead to new bonds developing between new faces.
And the lesson we should always remember is that human beings were there in New Orleans, in Louisiana, in Florida and Texas. They will remain so. Hurricanes will come and go as they have done in past. Man will sow the seeds of life again on those flooded and damaged lands. Buildings will again stand there and a new face of New Orleans will unveil in front of the world.
And it is here that this doll comes in handy, when the signs fo streets and buildings will no more stand to mark the roads. This doll stuck to the trunk will welcome her family as they tread on the roads of Naples through the scrapes and bruises left by hurricane Wilma. Toys are not just plastics and fun, with them stays the innocence of man, the childhood, the energy and the warmth of life. The recipe to start a new life... all over again.