For Ikkakka, a seventy-year-old man from Kavaratti, the wind always floats around the island. He believes that it is the duty of the guardian angel Mikail to take care of the wind. He felt that this wind that floats around the island spreads the salty air everywhere, helping and healing them to thrive, even from Covid-19. The wind plays a pivotal role in island life. It determines their patterns of navigation to and from the island to the ‘mainland’ coasts. The rains and heavy winds are part of their cultural memory of survival. The rhythmic occurrences of monsoons and cyclones have become part and parcel of their existence. Annually, the islanders expect Kunakkedu or bad weather in the form of heavy winds. They expect a huge cyclone every twelve years. But it is not regular these days. Some elders said that the patterns of winds have been increasing and becoming stronger in recent years.
The islanders give specific names to the winds. For example, the wind during the month of Makaram is referred to as Makarakachamkattu. There was a type of wind which came to be known as the aduppu paricha kodunkkattu, translated as ‘the wind that took the kitchen hearth away’. The impact of this wind was so huge that it entered the houses and even destroyed the kitchen. In the history of Lakshadweep, there were cyclones which separated and divided some islands into pieces. Karakkattu or the northeastern wind that blows in the months of November-December are stronger. Having said that, the wind during the monsoon is benevolent as they support the growth of islands by bringing underwater stones onto the shore. There are wind songs in the folklore tradition of Lakshadweep, and one reads as follows-
Akkattum Kattilla (this is not the wind)
Ikkattum Kattilla (neither is this)
Keelavadakke Poyi (go to north-east direction)
Veeshi Adi Katte (blow strongly, wind)
Alla Kollu Katte (hit well, wind)
- (Mullakoya 2014, 44)
These wind songs, called kattuvilippattu were sung by the women of Lakshadweep to call the wind to bring the dhows back home. They stood in circles and sang, ‘aakkattum kattilla…’ or “Katte katte langandi katte, njangade odam kandeli katte” (oh wind, keep rotating, didn’t you see our dhow?). These songs and their legacies are revived during the cultural day celebrations and are a reminder of how wind is personified during the performance, and how the nature and culture of Lakshadweep are intimately connected to each other.
 Guardian angel
Annually, the islanders expect Kunakkedu or bad weather in the form of heavy winds. They expect a huge cyclone every twelve years. But it is not regular these days. Some elders said that the patterns of winds have been increasing and becoming stronger in recent years.