The Chennai Deluge



The Chennai Deluge

I awoke to sound of a light drizzle that morning –

            Looking ahead to a gorgeous and reflective day;

Leaves outside my bedroom window quivered,

            Raindrops slapped their tender, coy, shiny face.


Birds were all quiet, crows tucked in their nests,

            Cats and dogs wary of rain over the last month;

But I warmed to the last showers of this season

            Awaiting a green teabag infuse into a china cup.


But by afternoon when rain still bashed steadily –

            Spouting my balcony, drowning streets in front,

I wished desperately for heaven to stop its play

            Or was it an overflow of its tempestuous wrath!


Beyond evening when the torrent overwhelmed,

            Nightlong after its muscular wild tirade stomped:

Next morning I awoke wary to yet incessant rain –

            A moment’s pounding I could no longer withstand.


By now rain streamed amok, overflowing rivers –

            Running havoc on homes, offices, common lives:

Clogging roads knee-high, marooning walkers,

            Strapping families at home, raising a storey high.


The airport turned into a cascade of stranded lives

            For those tired, hungry, yet expectant of their fate:

Where could they turn when tarmac, street’s a sea –

            Were better off huddled in haven inside the terminal.


The army, navy, welfare organisations dispatched

            Boats, equipment, food, garments, and humanity:

To rescue those who clung on patiently to pillars –

            Garnered through TV channels, social media posts.


This mayhem rain wrought, as I watched in horror

            On television, over filter coffee with my breakfast;

I wondered could this be ruin of twenty-four hour rain –

            Isn’t it beautiful, nurturing, one of nature’s marvels!


Even as I deliberated at the destruction, loss of lives,

            My attempt to step out of home after I surrendered:

I decided to cook a meal with grocery I had stocked

            But to my dismay – LPG cylinder would not hold up.


I cooked lunch, then dinner over an electric hotplate

            But by now – phone, internet lines, both are down;

As I’m trying to stay connected on TV to the world –

            The power’s off, severing all ties: but I still have Hope.


PS: Please click on the pictures to view individually…I’ve taken all the pictures, including the one above from my window, myself. 


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