Today I’m grateful that I’m able to post this message.
For several reasons:
- I’m alive and well enough to post this after Cyclone ravaged Chennai yesterday. Many must have lost their life. I don’t know what is the damage since I’m still marooned in our complex
- There is a back-up generator so I can charge my laptop and type this out. And it saved our sanity over the last 24 hours. Last year this time we did not have electricity for over a week
- There is internet and we can communicate with the outside world. Last year we did not have this luxury for several days.
Yesterday Chennai experienced the worst cyclone in almost a century. Wind speeds were as high as 140 kmph at its peak and ranged between 100 and 120 Kmph for over 3 hours. Rainfall was so high that there is 5 feet water in some areas and the roads have over 2.5 feet water still this morning.
Lamp posts have been torn down. Hoarding, sign boards, trees, metal rooftops and more have been torn open and thrown all over the place. Cars and roads have toppled trees and posts on them.
My balcony doors almost tore open and I had to keep it open for sometime till it subsided enough for me to close it and enjoy the silence and get dry. But we’re still alive and all our worldly possessions are still with us.
Outside my balcony I can see over 500 families of construction workers whose tin sheet homes have bee razed to the ground. All their belongings are stuck in the muck and clayey soil. Their world is shattered and will take a long time to get back to normal.
Tomorrow when the lifts are restored, electricity is back, the roads are cleared and my car can move out, I will get back to my life with the fear and worry of yesterday but a distant memory. But those who toil to restore our roads and amenities and risk their life to build our structures have to pick up the pieces and hope that this will not happen to them again.
Life is unfair. But can we at least be fair? The least we can do is give them thanks and bless them for their toil. Some of my friends are rubbing shoulders with the police, NDRF and other volunteers in clearing the trees, giving succour to the displaced, affected people and being a Joan of Arc for thousands of suffering souls. Whatever we can do to empathise with their situation and whatever we can do to alleviate their suffering will go a long way in building our human quotient.
Varada the cyclone has done its best to wreck havoc on Chennai. Let us do our best to show that the human spirit can never be quenched.
So please do your best. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for feeling what I feel. Thank you for doing what you can to make this world a better place.