Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Floods of experiences

During the recent flood in chennai, I was almost in hibernate mode. Contained within two rooms. Bedroom and bathroom. It was a four days of weekdays and my wife convinced me not to go to office at the beginning of the heavy rain, the very first day of copious rainfall. Plain misjudgement. I just considered that it was just a normal rainy day but she was observing the rain lashing out since early morning itself. I was actually a half minded to go or not to go to office that time as i completely relied on project development and somehow managed to inform to my team leader over phone. Kadamai adhu kadamai.

I sensed out his emotion, my lead, hearing his voice that he was very doubtful to permit my leave. Not to blame him since our manager that time was always hesitate to talk about leave. I was almost successful in convincing him. Yes. He asked me to stay available any time over phone. When getting approval, what I heard was a metro train giving a heavy siren. After disconnecting the call, I was explaining to my wife that my team leader was travelling in train besides this heavy rain which worried me for not accompany him myself in office work. She was very happy when she came to know about the leave irrespective of what i felt. She also added that I was listening to her inspite of my passion towards work. Typical silly sentiments.

The rain started pouring like anything. Several minutes later, my phone rang and was suddenly felt that I was thinking about my office only so long until i heard this ring since last call. It was from my lead again. Before attending the call, I almost made up my mind to get ready for office to reach the place atleast by afternoon. I was actually pre-opinitated about the subject, telling that i will get start to office within minutes but my team lead interrupted and said that the train which he was travelling got stuck up few signals before the destination and it was a permanent halt as the track was filled with immense rain water. So he intimated me not to come office and he got off the train and travelled in opposite direction towards his home. He also added that office had already declared holiday because of this heavy rain.

Somehow managed to control my happiness after the call terminated and informed to my wife that my team lead too taking a leave. I thanked her for not allowing me to go to office otherwise i would've left stranded in a 22 km lengthy and lonely highway stretch. Upon my decision, she felt happier and her happiness was getting more and more. She became more energetic and asked me stay at bedroom itself. She went to prepare coffee and enough meal of the day. I started enjoying the rain by looking out from window. The rain was getting more intense and I was searching about the recent web sensation, Tamilnadu Weatherman about more updates. The updates was available timingly and the entire perungalathur, my office area was under the thick clouds in the map shown. It was the beginning of decemeber and i used to go to ATM to withdraw money every month. So this time went to a nearer by ATM underrating the demonic rain.

Came home with withdrawn money and a backbone pain. Slipped and fell down landing by my mid of backbone in a wetty stairs at the entrance of ATM. Good news was that swell has gone and felt it only when pressing the impact area. Bad news was the swell's retaliation in the night. When undressing raincoat, informed her about the said adventure. She was very upset and exaggeratingly perceived my adventure on her own as if i did a stunt on mission impossible movie. I was forced to stay in the home especially in that single room. Whatever i needed she brought those to my place where i laid down. The swelling gets bad.

The moment after applying the pain balm the power has gone. We all understood that this power cut will extend to a remarkable dayspan. I was bothered about the UPS serving the power supply and it went off its service within some hours as expected. Came to know that my neighbours too were in the same condition when i heard their voice telling about the intense of rain. Sooner our phone looked like ICU patients which were surviving against all the odds. The time came after several hours and they all died due to battery drain. I tried putting in power saver mode, killed all background running apps but why to survive this if we are getting only no signal from communication towers. I played game until the phone got dry, I made them to Rest in Peace after it gone turn off and also made them to rest in pieces to dry them up from being wet when i went out.

Our survival instinct started igniting, she checked the food supply and myself being checked with money and amenities like emergency lamp, candles, raincoat and umbrella. Thats all. Everything was available sufficient enough. The worries started when i started to think about our daughter. She never had interest of taking meals and also she never raised to want food except milk. We have been trying her to take a wholesome food but were successful only by few times a week. When checking our fridge, it had a supply of current day and the next day morning for her.

I have been in a dead lock situation, when i realised that i couldnt access internet. The internet has been serving a great supplement to my thought throughout my recent times. But all of a sudden due to this disaster, I couldnt access the sites of several writers which I have been reading so far. An absolute disappointment to the core. Then came the enlightenment of having the idea of reading something from a hard copy, a book. That year I have bought several books from book fair at 10 percent discount. Those books were bought on Pongal and I have decided to read those only after diwali. Wondering how i left those books without reading for several months. Was filtering my book shelf for unread books and it ended up with almost dozen books. Took those as a bunch and came back to my bedroom with desperate determination.

This all started at afternoon itself and I was preparing to read those one by one as a marathon run. The dark has been filling our room and i was completely immersed with book's content. Later realised that my daughter was very uncomfortable towards dark. I started to search her after some hours i had went with book. Lovingly, she was playing with her toys in the most engaging way and saw my wife taking rest and preparing delicious food for us. Everyone seemed immersed with their world. When I lighten up the candle, she started continuing her play and I resumed my part of reading while my wife was buzy making food or milk drink. These activities gone beyond mid night and i dont know when we started to sleep.

Next morning came and we were worried about the milk supply of the day. Several nagars and streets were disconnected and surrounded by chembarambakkam flood. The supplies were hit on the disconnected area. Luckily a military van was arranged to keep the continuos supply of milk along with vegetables. My wife had bought enough milk for our kid and we were stood very comfortable enough to continue our activities. We were actually dint bother about the power supply and knee height water level surrounded our house. We didnt spent our interest charging up the phone as the entire area was disconnected from the power supply because of this state of mind we felt the completeness of our family. I started to have conversation with my wife and my kid continuously until my wife begin preparing food. We have been spending time much more than never before. The discussion went more deeper about the family goals which helped us to get clarified on certain points on something we are too abstract about them.

Days crossed like these and we started to feel the emptiness when we were discussing the same thing. We have explored and cross over various subjects of interests and we started to think about the routine activities after restoration of everything. Eventually, the city was getting ready along with us for the day-to-day activities. During the end of the fourth day, power supply was restored and we started charging our phones completely. The signals in our phone too restored back to normal and we started calling relatives and friends to intimate the current situation. Me and my wife effectively used these black out days for us and even if we went for any vacation, it wont be spending much better quality time like this. 
Kettadhulayum oru nalladhu.

Came to know after restoration that several people had enquired us. Was very thankful to every soul prayed.

Arul Manivannan

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