Monday, December 28, 2009



Meghana Rajshekhar

the gallant13 years old D/o an Indian Air Force Officer posted at Car Nicobar, survived the killer Tsunami for 3 days at the Kakana coast in Car Nicobar.

The mystery unfolds further…

Human Spirit Shines Through Tsunami-cast Gloom
Dear friends, Meghna Rajshekhar is the 13 year old girl from the Car Nicobar Island, survivor of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26th December, 2004. She survived by clinging on to a door plank in the ocean near Car Nicobar for two days without any water and food.

The gallant daughter of late Indian Air Force Officer, Squadron Leader Raj Shekhar, Meghna was swept out to sea along with her father, her mother, younger brother and 77 others. While the others drowned she floated for two days on a wooden door plank.

On 26 December 2004 morning, 35 feet high gargantuan waves of the catastrophic Tsunami struck the Indian Air Force Base in Car Nicobar. She was washed away in the ocean with her parents. She cried 11 times when rescue helicopters hovered over the Andaman Sea in search of feebly possible survivors. After two and a half days, the door plank on which she was clinging drifted towards the shore. She was swarmed by snakes and suffered severe bruises. She was found walking in a daze by the local Nicobarese tribal people of Car Nicobar, one of whom helped her reach the Indian Air Force airport on his damaged bicycle.

Her parents, however, were not spared by the 35 feet high wave which destroyed the air base. She was sent to Hyderabad to stay with an uncle, her closest living relative.

Meghna trembled visibly when she sighted her favorite coffee mug in the rubble that had once been her home on the Car Nicobar Island. "I want to see my home," the 14-year-old girl said on reaching the remote Island on 26th December 2005 for a memorial service for the 119 Indian Air Force personnel and their relatives who died on December 26, 2004.

I still have vivid memories of her graphic interview that we watched on NDTV on the 29 December, 2004, sitting in the verandah of our house at Port Blair as we didn’t dare to go indoors due to the unrelenting series of hundreds of aftershocks of the massive earthquake. My eyes are invariably filled with tears every time I reminisce about it.

Meghna was so astonishingly eloquent about her unimaginably horrendous experience of the fiasco. "I remember seeing choppers passing overhead 11 times and several times relief planes passed but they did not spot me and finally a wave threw me back on the shore," Meghna said. The badly-bruised girl was found 20 kilometers (12 miles) from her wrecked home two & a half days later.

"I fought off sea snakes to stay alive and today I want to see my home for the last time," the 9th -grader said.

Trembling, she walked gingerly through the cordoned-off rubble near Car Nicobar's golden beaches. Tears glistened as she picked up household objects.

"Hey, my bangle… and… Oh! Here's, dad's shoes!" she said of her father, an Indian Air Force meteorologist.

"I've found my coffee mug... mom used to fill to the brim with milk," Meghna whispered after picking up a bone-china cup filled with snails and sea garbage.

“Meghna's escort, Lieutenant Colonel N Chakravarty, broke down while the top-ranking commanders attending the memorial service at Car Nicobar watched in silence as the young orphan walked through the debris,” reported Vishnu Som of NDTV on 28 December, 2005, a year after the disaster.

Chakravarty's two children were Meghna's best friends until they too perished in the Andaman Sea along with their mother.

Following medical treatment, Meghna was handed over to her grandparents in the southern city of Hyderabad where she was enrolled in a boarding school.

"During holidays I go and spend time with anyone I like," she said pointing to surviving Indian Air Force officers and their families attending the service.  "They are my fathers and mothers. I love them as much as they love me," she said, tears staining her flowing white shirt.

The girl said she was determined to write a book about her spine-tingling ordeal.

"I have already completed two and a half chapters of my experience and I want to record the experience of others in the rest of my book but first I want to complete my studies."

Commander Salil Mehta, a former colleague of Meghna's father, was at her side like a shadow.  "It takes guts to come back to a location of such unimaginable tragedy," said Mehta, unable to conceal his own emotions as Meghna tugged at the sleeves of his ceremonial naval uniform jacket.

The 18-year-old went into a shell the day she also gave up collecting butterflies. It was the day the tsunami struck their home and took away her parents and eight-year-old brother.

Five years after the tragedy, now, the emotions she can’t speak about may yet find release. Every night before going to bed, Meghna sits at her desk in her hostel to pour her emotions into a diary. Some day she might get it published.

Meghna had been a curious child. She had got up early that Sunday morning for some “fishing and for collecting butterflies and insects” for her “zoological collections” when the waves came.

She spent the next two days and nights alone on the beach surrounded by the dead, turning them over one after another to see if her parents and brother were among them.

A year on from then, the news channel ‘Aaj Tak’ telecasted another interview of the brave-heart… The teenager seemed to have coped somewhat as she finished her exams, refusing to let the tragedy cost her a year. But she’s turned a loner. “She doesn’t watch movies; she won’t even accompany her classmates to picnics,” a teacher said. “She is afraid of the waves; she sometimes has hallucinations.”

I take my hat off to the exemplarily gallant Meghna Rajshekhar who can undeniably be considered a true idol for all the children the world over. It was her late father’s prudent teachings and upbringing that helped her understand the nature of the waves, sea creatures like snakes, flow of the wind and the position of the constellation of the stars in the sky to her life-saving advantage in such unheard-of adverse conditions. And, of course, the supremely brave composure that’s the benchmark attribute of the daughter of a valiant Air Force officer.

God bless her!!!


  1. God bless her.
    They say God helps the brave.

  2. Very true, Mr. Chowla!
    Thanks, for your spirited comment!

  3. Dear Shri, That was not a mistake, we just lift the rightclick ban inorder to install Cooment U back badge. Anyway, Great observation and Thanks for your information. Your blog also so nice. If you neeed any help, feel free to ask us.

  4. Alright! Thanks for helping me out of the puzzle, dear Kris! I suppose, I would need your help soon again, for another Blogspot feature. I'd let you know soon.

    Thanks again! Cheers to you and your family! :)

  5. Bahut Badhiya Blog Hai Aapka !! Ise Follow Karke Khushi Ho Rahi Hai !! Badhaai !!

  6. Waah-waah!!!

    Kya baat hai! Aapko yahaan dekh kar atyant aanand ka anubhav ho raha hai, Mishra ji... :))

    Follow karne ke liye bahut dhanyavaad! Prashansaatmak tippani ke liye bahut aabhaari hoon!!!

    Shubhkaamnaayen! :)

  7. Hello, I am Aswani from Mrs. Reetha from referred me to your blog. Really interesting blog you have here. This is a very shocking story. I wish no one should go through what Meghna went through. Really tragic...

  8. Thanks a lot, dear Aswani, for your kind visit and the touching comment! Hope to see you here often from now on...

    Wish you & your family a very happy & prosperous New Year 2010!!! Cheers! :))

  9. I personally know Meghna. She's a wonderful person. Till date, I had no idea that she had gone through so much. I had tears in my eyes when I realised how hard her life has been and how courageous she is to have taken it in her stride. Contrary to what various articles and news channels have mentioned, she does mingle around with people and is fun to be with!

  10. @Praneeta You, in fact, are so lucky to be hobnobbing with someone as brave and positive-minded as our Meghna, dear Praneeta! I'm sure her experiences would help you understand the herculean 'braveheart' in her.

    Pretty nice to have met you, here. And why have you stopped blogging? I saw some nice verses that you had posted in your blog - 'Sometimes'. Do stay in touch and remember me to dear Meghna, plz! Cheers! :)

  11. Meghna was my friend during my intermediate. I love her so much . She has inspired me alot really.

  12. @Divya Sudha That's great! You must be knowing Praneeta, too, who has commented above, dear Divya! How's Meghana doing, now? Do remember me to her! God bless you all!

  13. i saw meghna in train.she is my sisters friend actually.they both studied together in vijaywada sister used to tell how she used to feel.but she is nice person,very open..she made me to laugh for more than an hour.and then got down at khmmam..hope she is fine now..n..forever..

  14. That day I was thrilled at her courage and capability to pick up local,language that helped her to be evacuated by locals at place-Car Nicobar. I always salute her as well her lost family..