Advertisement
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Puerto Rico Diary

Puerto Rico Diary
Puerto Rico Diary
outlookindia.com
2020-07-04T15:36:46+05:30
Once Upon a January

The year begins benignly enough—with mojitos at Lajas, a small town on the south coast’s phosphorescent bay, La Parguera. New Year’s Eve is duly festive—no ill omens, no black swans flying over the Lajas plaza, skirted by electric-blue plankton. But a few days later…a 6.5 Richter quake. The earth below that south coast is moving after 1,000 years; it rumbles for a month. Covid is then but a distant news item.

The Ides of March

Suddenly Covid is here, all over the island, brought in by cruise ships and planes. Two Italian tourists are whisked away from the docks to a hospital a stone’s throw from my house—the woman eventually dies. The rumour spreads that the cruise ship has emptied its passengers into the bustling old city: Puerto Rico waits with bated breath. A Panamanian doctor, virulently symptomatic, spreads it all over a salsa festival. Again a stone’s throw from my place, a clutch of cafes, bars and restaurants, where the young spend their weekends, is one day rollicking with music, salsa and kioskos selling delicious empanadillas and arroz con pollo, when the governor announces a lockdown beginning the next day. Suddenly the hotels empty out, no tourist on the beaches, no salsa or bomba in the city’s squares—a city that never sleeps is awake in fear. The quake-hit poor still live in shelters…vulnerable as ever.

And yet, I look at the clear skies, the bright blue ocean, the lovely quiet and empty streets, the caimans climbing house fences and the iguanas in parks. Sometimes I think it incredible. What the UNEP and the environmentalists of the world haven’t been able to do in decades, Nature has recruited its...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Live | Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay High Court Takes Up Bail Petition

Live | Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay High Court Takes Up Bail Petition

The Bombay High Court is hearing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition in connection with his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on October 3.

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh talks about her decision to contest the poll and carry forward the legacy of ‘Raja Sahib’, ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

T20 World Cup, Live: Musfiqur Rahim Departs, Bangladesh Reeling At 63/4

T20 World Cup, Live: Musfiqur Rahim Departs, Bangladesh Reeling At 63/4

Follow live updates and cricket scores of Bangladesh vs England, ICC Men's T20 World Cup match in Abu Dhabi.

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Stressing on the right to privacy, CJI Ramana said it was incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology.

Advertisement