I was moving some things in my cupboard when I came upon some unused batteries still in their packaging and next to it this radio. For a moment I paused and in a flash the memories associated with both these things came back to mind from the deeper recesses of the brain. Some things cannot be forgotten and the Chennai floods will be one such.
So much has been said and written about the floods and the destruction that it brought along but there is also another dimension to the floods that is overlooked. The floods brought people closer to one another and we have seen it all in the spirit of Chennai but the floods also brought people closer to themselves. It helped people discover themselves and thereby discover each other in ways that had not happened before.
Our home was safe and relatively unscathed in the floods but we did have some of its effects; power shut down for over 3 days, lack of essentials and food items, complete shutdown of telecommunications and so much more. Was it a bad thing? Not really.
During the days of the flood at home:
- We actually started speaking more to each other
- We played indoor games and had a good time laughing over silly jokes
- We conserved things that we would normally scoff at including candles that were rationed
- We ate meals together, in the light of a single candle
- We saw each other’s faces and had great conversations instead of staring at the idiot box
- We read books, many books, in the old fashioned way (not on devices)
- We did not get worried about calls not coming on the phone or trying to stay connected with the world through the World Wide Web. (Though the social media played a huge part in rescue and rehabilitation wherever it worked, for others its absence it worked in a different way)
- We managed to purchase a radio despite the deluge thanks to a brave soul who opened his shop. We listened to the radio which was the only source of information and reassurance
- We enjoyed the simple things of life that we usually ignore
- We realized that it is possible to disconnect from all the phones, internet, television and other hindrances and still have a good time
- We lived life simply and fully with each other
In a few days, the rains stopped, the city bounced back, the radio was hidden in a corner of the cupboard and normalcy resumed.