Khagrachari is a small town in the district of the same name. Nestled in a valley ringed with blue, magnificent hills, it is a jewel in the crown of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> Next to the town runs the rivulet known as the Chengi, which pours its meagre stream into the artificial <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />lake of Kaptai. Meagre stream? Most of the time: meagre, but lovely, especially when its meanders are viewed from the hills. However, on the night of the 16th of October, 2007, the Chengi changed beyond recognition. It had rained all night, and by dawn, the river was a surge of rapid waters carrying flotsam from the hills. It was a magnificent sight! A brief trip into the city, and the devastation wrought by the usually docile Chengi was heartbreaking. People had woken up with their houses flooded, their crops destroyed, their belongings ruined…. And what was worse was that this was the second flash flood in a month. But the previous overflow of the monsoon had been mild. The city people recalled that the last time such a terrible flood had occurred was in 1984. They are a hardy lot, and every year during monsoon – which lasts from June/July to September/October – they are visited by at least one such calamity. The Chengi reminded me of that famous line uttered by Mrs. Moore in E. M. Forster's "A Passage to India": "What a terrible river…what a beautiful river!" The story of the flash flood is told in pictures above.