My Story: A Month After, This Is How Chennai Floods Have Changed Our Lives
It is almost a month since the rains from above paid a visit that was not so friendly to Chennai. The waters have drained now, the damages are set straight and normalcy is slowly returning to the fore. The social media and local media (not the national media sadly) have shown a lot of interest to what has happened on the outside and have showed the beating that the city has taken in. Heated talks were on air, on the causes of this havoc credited to the land-greedy constructors, so much life being debited from the houses, the way humanity rose to the occasion and more. On the top (and in the middle) of this, there is something that demands a heartfelt expression, personally. More like what it has taken away, it is ‘the amount of life the floods have installed in the minds of every individual’ that needs a read. I know this might sound overrated, but yes. Every Individual had a story to tell in this tough time, and I feel responsible to share mine with you.
3 days straight – there was no power, mobile signal, people to talk, or any chance to commute outside for food or water. It was me and my wife Sindhu, left with each other for making the best of what we had in hand in our house. We managed with whatever we had in stock to eat, burnt the night through the candles and the dwindling UPS. It was like you were left stranded in a concrete island and you have no idea on how things would get better or worse any time. But in our survival game, slowly over the three days, something started to strike me hard more than the rain outside, something else that truly had my attention. And it is not a single feeling to be stated but a series of little moments that added up to one big realisation.
It started on that one morning, when I made Sindhu a quick breakfast before she woke up. It was nothing but some toasted bread with butter and sugar by the side. When she woke up to this, she smiled. This smile was not the usual one that I might miss to notice, but the one that reminded me of the phase of my life when I found love with her 5 years back. All of a sudden, I found myself grounded to the reality of my dreams. It took a while for me to come out of her smile. Not that i haven’t seen her smile or made her to in the past, but that this was different, something that I hadn’t seen from her in a while. It was amazing how a simple act of care brought down so many thoughts and a tear in me. It reflected all the conversations we had missed, the fights we let unsolved, the best memories of our love and most importantly, the smile of Sindhu that I had seen 5 years back as I said.
We sat down. I talked. We talked – about rain and the rainbow, the books we loved and the reading we procrastinated, the strangers we were in touch with and the friends we missed, the needs we wanted and the wants we needed, priorities we neglected and the desires we were surrounded with, the places we aspired to travel and the space in house that we failed to utilize, the nuances of family and the noise of expectations, the memories of our first year and the dreams of marriage, the feeling called love and the realization called life, and a lot more that kept unrolling as we kept conversing. It had been a long time, almost years since we had conversed so. The 3 days we talked, from nothing ot everything. Ours was a love marriage and it has been 2 wonderful years since we had tied knot. There have been n number of days that we’ve been together but it took these 3 days to give me that pinch of realisation about what I have been missing and things I have been denying to the person who I believe is my soul mate. It was amazing what a handful of time without any external disturbance with your loved one could do. There was no phone to ring, no TV to kill time, no ATM card to swipe, no bikes to roam. In fact everything was right there, but at the teeth of nature, staying dead. In the end, all that stayed was the life in conversations and hope in nature. We began to read books, share stories and live the time we were gifted with. I truly enjoyed every word she spoke and longer for the ones she didn’t. If this was the case with my loved one, what was that I had been in the world outside? Technology, dreams, career, cash, entertainment, ego are all important indeed, but not at the cost of one’s self, slipping right through the fingers.
Today, when the Sun shines bright and as I drive outside, With a smile I give way to people who try to cross roads rather than race past them to reach my destination faster, I no longer honk horns at the traffic out of frustration but observe the people around when I am halted, I no longer see the hurry in anything but feel the life in everything. Not just me, but so many around are so. I can see it. I can feel it. The floods have washed away a lot on the inside and have given a land of opportunity to cultivate goodness. It is surprising and shocking to see how pain and agony has shown the way to the lost moments in life and love.
I wish that the hot sun doesn’t take away this moist from our minds… I pray that the returning dreams don’t take away the hard memories… I trust that the running hours doesn’t smuggle the precious minutes away from the loved ones… A challenge it was, to overcome the rains, but the real challenge is to stay rooted to the realization we got, which is – “nothing is larger than a life aligned to nature, self and love. Everything else moves on”
All of a sudden, I feel that I have been a victim for so long, only to be saved by the floods. Life seems beautiful than ever. I am a victim and the volunteer of my self. We all are. Happy to be here and better.
Sorry to the sixth sense, and thank you to nature’s fence!
The Story Submitted By – Maverick Prem & Photographs By – Maveeran Somasundaram
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