KANCHIPURAM DISTRICT, INDIA -- The bright, clear morning of Dec. 26, 2004, would forever change S. Desingu's life.
The first monster wave rose from the Sea of Bengal without warning at 8 a.m. -- silently, massively.
For the Indian fishermen at sea, the startling energy pulse bumped harmlessly under their boats, passing in an instant. The wave started to rise ominously in the shallows.
Onshore, the 36-year-old Desingu glanced up to see a 30-foot liquid wall surging in as tall as the tops of the soaring coconut palms. The fishing craft along the shore rolled end over end, tossed as easily as playthings in a bathtub.