The Chennai was known for its scorching sun. Yes, I meant it as ‘was’. It is right now not the land of Sun, but of the rain..
The starting drizzles cooled the land and everyone was welcoming with all the happiness of petrichor and fresh droplets in the window pane at the aftermath of the rains.
When the rain inserted itself into the agenda of the Day of Diwali, the festive mood went damp with the damp crackers but, survived with the crispy savouries and sweets of the festive.
When the rains had decided to overstay their visit of the occasion, it was like the unexpected extension of holidays for few days, and the kids were enjoying while the parents were worrying.
When the rains started pouring cats and dogs, the school holidays were extended beyond their Half-yearly holidays, even the kids watching Cartoons started tuning into News Channels.
That’s when the seriousness of the situation got the attention of people not affected by rains as well.
The crap really hit the roof when the second spell of rain started. The sewage systems of few places broke while, the rain waters kept stagnating and raising. The opening of the water reservoirs and dams were adding its share to the water levels.. Thus, the water levels were as high to immerse the ground floors in certain areas.
All the water has to drain eventually into the oceans. But the mismatch in the speed of outflow and the inflow resulted in the usage of boats as transportation for emergency rescues and distribution of necessities.
This water and flood will eventually drain. So will the talks of those helping hands which are extended only virtually. Which is/was of no practical use to anyone anywhere (yup, Just like this post), except either to vent out their frustration on not being able to do anything productive (as in my case and few others) or to show-off that they too are in the trend and socially responsible in the picture they depict of themselves. (as in most cases of social network users).
However, there is the third kind who are on the field helping people with rescue and providing of food and shelter. They are the real backbones of the society which is going to help restore life after all this chaos happening.
After all this is said and noted, there is the huge untold truth lingering in the deep folds of this multifold problem.
This is not the first time Chennai is being hit by floods. Yes, it is not massive at this level for decades and certainly not this much of rainfall in a century or so. But still Chennai is not a complete novice to floods.
There are people in the coastal areas who get affected by a normal rainfall of every year. Even the rains bit more than the drizzle affects the household of hundreds of families in certain areas.
I have witnessed almost hundreds of people staying under a not-so-thick tent in the sands of the beach during the summer. That is their home and all their belongings could be gathered up in one single pack, which might not be too big in most cases.
These people survived the earlier rainfalls and minor level floods of the yesteryears while, another set of people staying under an air-conditioned room, watching the latest chic flick in their big LED TV were busy updating “I love petrichor” and “The rain is awesome” on their iPhones.
How did they survive? On their own? Certainly not. There are organisations and Government mechanisms set in place decades before and updated often to the needs of the hour.
Yet, the hour requires more than that is humanly possible to help. So blaming it on the government schemes and the infrastructure at this minute is not going to get anyone anywhere.
If you are in the comfort of a safe dry home, with easy access to good food supply, and uninterrupted power supply, you are better not only than the people affected by floods but also, far better than a considerable number of people around the world struggling to get over everyday life.
I am not asking you to give up any of your comforts. I am not even asking you to extend a helping hand. All I am asking is to please stop passing your judgements criticising every other thing that has gone wrong since the laying of first brick for building this city.
This is not the time for What-should-have-been’s. This is the time to get out in the field and help people. I understand not everyone can do that actually. But all of us can hold our tongues in criticising what is being done and how it is being done.
What the world needs right now is lots of help and Tender Love and Care. There is not a single person on earth, who can’t extend compassion to a fellow earthling. If you can’t help with other means, help spread the love. If you are hurt yourself to love others, (which is not at all an excuse acceptable and agreeable for me) just stop spreading hatred, hurt and ill feelings.
Remember that, after all the chaos of the flood, the first set of people who are going to ease back into normalcy is not the peoples of sophistication. It is going to be people who had too few belongings and too little shelter for calling it a home.
Also, don’t be surprised if they create new jobs and employ themselves amidst the problems. These people are better in identifying an opportunity to monetise it. For their monetary targets are more of a necessity than that of comfort or luxury.
Whereas the people who were in the luxurious world are going to take a very very longer time to get back to a rhythm, even if it is not to the old one.
Because we have/are growing attached to the little comforts of our life and take the blessings of our life for granted. Sometimes it needs a whiplash of this extent to make people realise, that the way we live is, not the only way of life.
What we try to rescue in an emergency defines what we live for. Whether you were able to save many things or only few, the only important saving needed is, the life of you and your near and dear ones. So what all will you rescue and in what order?
Are we going to learn to be humble and thankful, while we stop whining and complaining? Or are we going to need harsher lessons to realise the basis of living?