After the Floods
It has been six months since Chennai last saw rain. Six months since the greatest flood the state had witnessed in a hundred years!
Six months since the water started drying, the land became dry, and the ground water scarcity started cropping up again
Two months since the use of geysers dwindled to a slow stop. Since the summer collections became famous in retail outlets. Since watermelons started being stacked up on roadsides.
One month since the temperatures soared so high that we wondered if we would all roast right here. One month since deliberations began about the actual position of Chennai / Tamil Nadu being closer to the Sun than Mercury is. One month since the Mango season begun.
Yes, almost every Chennai-ite prayed for a relief from being constantly scorched every day. A relief from all the incessant sweating. A relief from the heat. All that heat. So much heat! Heat from the sky...heat in the air… heat from the darned earth!
Three days since the rain begun. It hasn’t stopped since.
Not even fifty percent!
This is just a baby rain. But once bitten.
We used to be strong folk. We loved the rain. We’ve had an uncountable number of songs that celebrated rain. Innumerable heroines who expressed freedom by dancing in the rain. Movies dedicated to rain!
We used to be.
Now, stepping into the second day of a drizzle – people are scared. They’re scattering like they’re being hunted. There is too much well-meant advice given along “Leave quickly!” “The roads are going to be jammed” “There will be water logging everywhere”.
A friend of mine cried yesterday – said she can’t go through another flood. That she didn’t sleep all of the previous night, as she kept getting up to check under the bed to see if water had come in. again. The fear is all too real. Too close to the skin. Too close to our hearts. Too fresh in our memories. I get it. I understand.
There are too many posts giving updates on waterlogged streets. Too many people listening to the weatherman. He has gained importance now. He once used to be irrelevant.
We once used to describe our land as having just 3 seasons – Hot, Hotter, and Hottest.
Now we scram and hide at the face of a baby rain.
It’ll take a while since the fear is contained. I heard on a TV show yesterday that the part of the brain that controls fear reacts much faster than the part of the brain that controls reason. Sometimes, the reaction to fear is so strong that there is no option to reason with it.
So my dearies, worry not.
It's just a baby rain.
This will not hurt you.
We know these summer showers.
We’ve witnessed a lifetime of these and loved them for all they have been to us.
Yes, we had a terrible flood last year, but this is not that.
This is just a baby rain, one that’s come as the relief we needed...wanted. This will come and go soon enough. Even if it becomes harder, this one will not harm you.
This is the same rain we used to love.
Hush now… it’s just a baby rain J