Century strike

Chennai as it’s called now, had been called as Chenna(i) patnam, Madrasu patnam. It has always been unique in its Cultural as well as geographical typology. But this time something very different happened, it shattered its own records of more than a century; in down pouring rains, of course. Yes, Chennai gradually upgraded its rainfall from better than previous years to ten year’s best and stopping the third innings after its own century records broken.
Being here for fifteen years now, I have been part of praying for sufficient rains every year; wait with anguish will this year be better! so that summer and extended summer will be little trouble free. This was cumulative effect of all the years, provably. But what it left behind was insurmountable. Lives were shattered, households have to rebuilt from the scratch, luxury cars which never received any respect from battered roads and chaotic traffic suffered much more shame in hands of rain god. They kept floating everywhere and owners had difficulty in catching their own cars.
Did it wash out everything? No, not everything, as in every case of disaster trails, humanity prevailed and reality emerged. It may leave behind a lesson or two for our future. So as a Spirit to help others gained priority, lifesaving again became foremost one. Everything reduced to basic needs.
The youth who instantly jumped into rescue operations few losing their precious lives in saving other as much precious ones, emerged as heroes.Kudos to youngsters whose names are not heard or faces not seen who are penultimate of selflessness and bravery. They surpassed their movie Idols , of whom with few exceptions mostly remained in cosy rooms and were shying away from living up to their reel life personas.
When nothing was misplaced at and around our areas we started feeling guilty as we heard on Social media about ravages of Rain. In fact as we came to know most of old city was unhurt in this process and it’s not that Mylapore alone was saved. So, people plunged into helping others who weren’t as lucky as themselves. It’s a way to be part of the big process and feeling blessed by” Kereya neeranu kerege chelli”, (giving back the water given by the lake to it) giving back to the eternal cosmos.
The LOVE and AFFECTION poured on to us by our friends and relatives just blew us all. Whether it’s known people or unknown they just showed solidarity and it boosted our morale amazingly. Actually our friends in other cities knew more about the happenings here than most of us, which again is heart-warming. It kept us afloat.
It was a flooding of volunteers as well and we could help in some ways like pack food packets for distribution. Since am a Homoeopath, medicines were dispensed to prevent Leptospirosis and dengue and being part of camps while delivering what was in our hands was really fulfilling. It gave us an opportunity to talk directly to victims and in the process put liniment on their wounds. When a young lean woman says she is not lactating properly to feed her 52 days old baby, I wonder, is she in need of medicines or simply is she hungry? I curse myself for not able to help her, to get food for herself.
But looking at them we can understand the amazing grit and mental strength; while helping each other as and when required, they take all difficulties into their stride; find solutions and move on. As one can guess, there resides the wisdom and spirit of our country.
The best part being forwarding messages to get help for people in trouble and connecting victims to their helping hands as our network and phone were functioning. When we hear that pregnant woman got help and delivered safely our joy knew no bounds. There were so many heart touching stories which made us cry, each passing day that we lost count of it. For the first time we took to social media without guilt of wasting time, but to get help for others or at least we believed so!
Practically Chennai is back in full zoom by now, but these memories will linger for many years to come. We can say to our grandchildren about the happenings and feel proud that ‘during Chennai floods, volunteers out- numbered victims at times’. It’s a way to say thanks to all of our Friends who stood by us, prayed for us and helped Chennai to be back as before.

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