#23: Flood For Thought
I am writing to you from Chennai, sweater clad and with my fan at an absolute standstill. Doesn’t bear any semblance to Chennai right? I came across a meme describing how the place is either scorching hot or flooded to such an extent that you are stranded - there’s no in between. The past few days have been harrowing and I hope that we have weathered these terrible conditions and that only bright, sunny skies are ahead.
All of us in Chennai would’ve gone back in time to 2015 and felt a collective sense of déjà vu washing over us. The 2015 Chennai floods were countless times worse than the floods we are experiencing now, but the hardships and the trauma faced are the same nonetheless. It’s saddening to see our streets get flooded and converted into makeshift swimming pools. People are forced to evacuate their homes and leave behind almost everything. Chennai’s green cover also significantly reduces owing to the harsh and howling winds. Executing normal activities of everyday life proves to be difficult. The next line is going to be cheesy, fair warning - I believe it is at times of crises, that humanity comes together to help one another. Every single time, without fail we witness numerous selfless volunteers going out of their way to either provide essentials to those in need, rescuing animals and humans out of harm’s way, donating money towards organizations administering flood relief and much more. It truly is a beautiful thing if you think about it, again, bear with the clichés, we’re all different in many ways but the same in the innate want to help those in desperate need of it.
Cut to 2015 - High school Adithi was frantically flipping through her Physics textbook trying to make head or tail of the concept in hand. She detested the subject and only wished that said exam would get over as soon as she could say angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. Her desires were overridden by God’s(or whichever higher power exists) plans. Water, water everywhere with the whole city practically being submerged. The fated Physics exam had no choice but to be postponed. With the power being cut for about 5 days, she was nothing short of miserable.
The family congregated to come up with an action plan on how to survive the next few days. A few of us searched for candles, our only source of artificial light, while the others discussed the rationing of food. Bored out of her mind, Adithi brought out one of her comfort reads - Harry Potter. She spent the next five days huddled together with the rest of her family, enduring the monstrous storm building up outside. Her grandfather brought out his age old radio and time was spent intently listening to the various forecasts and updates regarding how the situation outside was progressing. She’d been wanting to take her sketchbook out and doodle for ages, and so she did. A few hours later, she’d drawn her version of the flood survival kit, replete with good company, a handy book and a radio. After everything died down, she stepped out amongst all the rubble of fallen branches and leaves scattered haphazardly and felt helpless. Seeing those tall majestic canopies of trees which provided the much needed nizhal being felled was indeed upsetting.
I was and am thankful that nothing drastic happened to me during times like these. A lot of “Chennai, you know the drill during such weather conditions” popped up in my feed. To everyone’s woes, nothing much has changed since 2015. Our city is filling up with water when the opportunity arrives when it shouldn’t be. It’s something to think about. Until then, stay safe everyone!
Links you’ll love
Go back in time with these vintage websites!
Are left handed people smarter? ( Being a fellow left hander myself, I’ve got to say that I’m biased, so I had to include this link :P ).
The fated steps of a viral internet challenge - trends come and disappear so quickly, it’s impossible to keep track of them.
The niche that is Indian English.