As he returned home half-heartedly from Wangnoi, a district in Ayutthaya province of Thailand on October 13, Arun Padmanabhan, a native of Koyilandy in Kozhikode district, was not quite sure if the surging waters had already submerged his house in Wangnoi.
For, he couldn’t make it even close to his house while returning from the factory after the day’s work as the roads leading to his house had already been fully inundated in the rising waters.
His only solace was that he had kept his passport and a few other valuables with him in a tiny bag. “I was carrying it along with me always ever since I was told that the flood situation was getting worse day-by-day,” Arun said.
Luckily for Arun, he had sent his wife a couple of days ago along with the family of a friend, who was also returning home from the region affected by the flood.
Like many other Indians, who had to leave Thailand as the country was struggling to negotiate with one of the worst ever floods in its history, Arun also didn’t know if at least a tip of his house was visible out in the swelling waters.
He had tried to contact his friends back in Thailand after reaching home. “But all of them had either moved from the region or returned to the safety of their home countries,” said Arun.
The hard-disc components producing company he works with in Ayutthaya, which is about 75 kilometres away from the capital city of Bangkok, is one of the worst-hit regions by the floods.
According to him hundreds of production units including that of multinationals such as Honda, Sanyo and Nikon in the Rojana and High Tech industrial area of Ayutthaya province had been shut down forcing thousands of employees home-bound. “Hundreds of Indians including many Keralites like me, had to return home leaving everything behind from this very region alone,” said Arun, who was working in Thailand for the last three years after completing a post graduate diploma course in tool designing.
Some of his young Keralite friends like Sajesh Sasidharan from Thalassery and Vivek Densil Ferdinant from Malaparamba in Kozhikode, tried to stay there for a few more days by moving to a safer place to see if the situation improves. “But the news of rising waters chased us to wherever we went, and were forced to return soon,” said Densil.
According to him even the latest news coming from the province, where his company is situated was not so welcoming. “I was told that it was still raining in most of the places and there was no let up in the swelling waters,” he said.
It was after a harrowing journey of more than 100 km by the flooded roads with his pregnant wife that Sajesh reached the Suvarnabhumi Airport to fly home leaving everything behind on Thursday. “I have no idea when will everything be normal and we will be called back to work,” said the 28-year-old Sajesh, who was a tool designer in Thailand for the last six years.
According to him employees of his company had been asked to stay back till the situation improves. “Initially we were asked to stay back till October 17, which was extended to October 24 and then to October 31 as there was no let up in sight for the flood situation,” said Sajesh.
While returning home H.R. Rohith, another young tool designer from Kozhikode district had taken all his valuables to the first floor of his house in Ayutthaya as the floods had already submerged the ground floor. “I have no clue what must have happened to the house now,” said Rohith sharing the looming uncertainty over his return to Thailand.