Written By- Swathi R Edited by – Sharon Singh, MBA-TBM (2014-2016), SCIT
Featured Image Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20131212230433/http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01672/03TH_RAIN3_1672316g.jpg
God proposes and Man disposes, they say. But here People of Chennai proposed and they themselves disposed. If you think I am talking only about Chennai Flood, No, you are wrong! This is a righteous anguish of an Indian Citizen fortunately belonging to the City of Humanity, Chennai.
I wonder if everyone is even aware about the chaos happening in Chennai. I repeat, I ‘Wonder’, because there was absolutely no National coverage of the entire fiasco. The worst rains in a century battered Chennai and literally submerged the city under water. Virtually every road was cut off. Many homes were flooded. Chennai was without electricity, telephone, and other essentials for several days. The airport was shut down and the planes in the hangar were partly submerged. Nearly 250 people died and we are still counting. However, after having faced many allegations, National Media have considered giving some little space in their columns and channels to showcase the plight of Chennai.
Chennai folks from every echelon of society, embraced the available technology to express solidarity with those in dire need of help. I hope by now, everyone would be aware of how Chennai suffered, how the mighty Chennaites stood all by themselves, how they are working hard to bring back the city on her feet. The indomitable spirit and the humanity of all the Chennaites was on full display.
So what am I in anguish or worried about? What has been bothering me and giving me sleepless nights? Here they are: Why is it that Chennai is being ignored by the rest of India? Why was there no media coverage? Why didn’t I feel emotionally supported by my own friends? I see all my ‘Non-Chennai’ friends on my Facebook (FB) account, share all other information but Chennai floods. One of my ‘active’ FB friends had shared, ‘reunion of Sarabhai vs sarabhai crew after 10 years’ mentioned as one of the best sitcoms that has even been produced. I mean, Wow.. Seriously?? Another good friend has shared an article, ‘Katrina feeling jealous about Deepika?’ Are you people really kidding me by sharing all these ‘very important’ information?
The same set of people who painted their faces and changed their FB display pic outraging the Paris Attacks, the same set of people who wrecked their nerves feeling for Nepal earthquake, the same set of people whose heart went out for Syrian crisis, did not even bother to comment about Chennai Flood. WHY? Is Chennai not a part of India? Or is this disaster not worth your attention just because it says ‘Chennai’ Flood? I fail to understand the lack of seriousness my own peers pay to this issue. I say this with utmost pain to all my friends here to stop mocking Chennai and its situation! Yes, we are affected! Yes we hire OLA boats! Yes we swim! But come on guys, this is not an issue to be mocked at!
All the above makes me doubt if I even belong to India! How painful and absurd does this sound, coming from a hard core Indian? But yes, this how all Chennaites feel at this hour. People of Chennai, including me, who were more proud calling themselves an ‘Indian’, are now forcefully separated from rest of the country and call themselves a ‘Chennaite’, because of the lack of care and support from Non-TN friends across the country. Nevertheless, I must sincerely thank and appreciate a few good souls who contributed for Chennai and were kind in checking with me the whereabouts of my family and friends in Chennai.
All said and done, I am quoting one of my friend’s words here, ‘Here’s to all my friends who have said in the past ‘Kahin bhi jaaonga par Chennai nai jaoonga’. Yes bro…The place doesn’t have a culture of pub hopping or great nightlife. Yes people are conservative. They are not overly showy or social. And yes autos charge exorbitantly. Notwithstanding the stereotypes TN, Chennai and its citizens have risen to the challenge. I hope the showers of compassion from volunteers and donors will help mitigate the effects of the deluge. Just visit a relief centre today you will know what I am talking about. So when it comes to warmth and compassion of its people it is the best place to be in. Proud Chennaite!’
P.S: Chennaites also includes people from other parts of the country and the world who consider Chennai as their home. It does not only include Tamilians.