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Survivor of two disasters

January 07, 2005

Flight Lieutenant Srinivasan of the Indian Air Force was in the midst of two of the worst disasters to strike India in recent history - the tsunami last year and the earthquake in Kutch, Gujarat, in 2001.

He has survived both. And so have his Ganesha and motorcycle.

On December 26, 2004, Srini, as he is known among his colleagues, was at the IAF base in Andaman and Nicobar's Car Nicobar Island, when the killer waves struck.

The tsunami killed 109 people at the base, including many officers, and the air force's residential colony, including Srini's quarter, was flattened.

Amazingly, he escaped unscathed. There was also no damage to either his Ganesha or bike. But three of his four pets were not so lucky. The fourth a duck - would have also died had Srini not rescued it.

Having had a close shave with death twice, Srini believes in living life to the fullest.

No wonder then that he comes across as a very lively person with a variety of interests. He enjoys trekking in jungles and loves the animals and wild creatures he comes across. In fact, he used to catch pythons in the Nicobar jungles, he says.

Right now, Srini is doing fine on the Car Nicobar airfield. And so are his Ganesha and the motorcycle.

Text: Sheela Bhatt


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