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Words: Archana Masih. Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/ India Abroad. Design: Dominic Xavier

The house is destroyed, but the bulb is intact.

A portion of the wall is broken, but a picture still hangs straight.

The temporary shelters are almost ready, but people still prefer spending time in their broken homes.

The fishermen of tsunami-affected Colachel in Tamil Nadu are being given homes, yet they remain bound to their lost homes.

In sweltering heat they sit on the debris, pointing out to rooms that once were lived in by members of their family that are no more. To the bricks and broken plaster that was their kitchen, to their bedroom or their roof.

Every morning they come and stay here watching the state government-initiated temporary homes being built. In the night they return to homes of relatives. The makeshift dwelling is small, sometimes smaller than their own broken concrete homes. Made of fireproof material or tin, the shelters here have been allotted.

Antony Pachai has Number 1211.

Tsunami victims receive aid coupons near a temporary shelter.

Nagapattinam copes with the aftermath

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