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Must-see in Velankanni - Tsunami DVDs


Velankanni, Apr 28: Tsunami — the term and its spectre — is now a booming business in this pilgrim centre, which, too, bore the brunt of the ravaging waves the morning after Christmas in 2004.

Pilgrims to the Basilica of Our Lady of Health and other visitors cannot miss the stacks of the VCDs and DVDs displayed on the rows of kiosks lining the road leading to the beach.

Those DVDs and VCDs that sell like hot cakes even now contain documentaries taken on the tsunami in various places of Tamil Nadu and visuals aired by international channels of the devastation wrought by the waves in countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Such collections are not available anywhere else, claims a shop-keeper who sells at least 10 copies each on a weekday and 25 copies on weekends. There are 28 such shops and in the initial days, they had more sales. They also have audio CDs titled Kadal tsunami (Tsunami of love) containing a collection of 120 lovelorn film songs sung for love failure situations.

The DVD titled ‘26 December 2004 in a morning tsunami disaster bencana tsunami’ runs for around 90 minutes. The DVDs can be bought for Rs 40, as they are pirated ones made from the master copy brought from Malaysia to Nagore.

While some walk into the shops attracted by the signages on the DVDs, others evince interest when the shopkeepers narrate the experiences of the day the tsunami struck.

However, the shopkeepers do not play the visuals on screens for, as a shopkeeper put it: 'The locals have not overcome the fear and watching the scenes bring back the memories of those days.

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