Celebrating one of the coolest and sassiest persons that I have ever known in my life – my mom-in-law. She turned 75 years young today. Arthritis has taken a toll on her knees but it hasn’t diminished her zest for life. A foodie by nature and a kid at heart, she is wise, sensible and progressive. She has an amazing ability to take things in stride and always chooses to be happy. Caring yet non-interfering. Loving but not imposing. If I am half as cool as she is, that would be something. Happy B’day amma. May you always be happy, healthy and young!
Sitting here, continents apart, it was surreal to watch the events in Chennai unfold last week. Intellectually, I knew the monsoon was happening in Chennai, yet a part of me was surprised every time I stepped out of the house here in the US – what happened to all the rain I read about? why am I not carrying an umbrella? Why are people around me not talking about what’s going on in Chennai? People are in distress, the city is drowning, how can we go about carrying on with our lives? Suffice to say that I was living more in the virtual world than the real one.
We were getting scraps of information about my family. We knew they were safe but we didn’t know if they had basic amenities. Were they able to manage with all the dependents in the household? Even as I was preoccupied with the well being of my family, it was inspiring to see citizenry in action. My friends, my cousin, they were all out there, providing what relief they could. I was beaming with pride as I saw Chennaites embrace the principle of Nammake Naamme. In so many ways, the calamity strengthened the spirit and character of the city.
After a week of not being able to get in touch with them, I was relieved to speak to my family last night and this morning. They said their neighborhood wasn’t as badly affected as some of the others and that they were able to manage with what they had. I am immensely thankful for the little mercies that touched them this past week and saved them from further hardships.
As the city is reeling back to life, I send my prayers for my family and the city so they can overcome the tides of the aftermath – the water contamination, the mosquitoes, the corruption, the scarcity and other unexpected challenges. Take care Chennai.
We have not been able to reach our folks yet. But a small ray of sunshine cracked through the grey clouds. My classmate’s family who lives in the same neighborhood as my parents gave some real time updates. No serious flooding or waterlogging issues as of now. Few local stores are open. The only big issue is loss of power.
Yesterday was my nephew Amrit’s b’ day. Poor thing, my brother could not get in touch with his family to wish him for his b’day. I have been mentally going over the logistics. They had ordered a crate of mineral water when I left on Sunday. That’s pretty much what they have for cooking and drinking for 4 adults and 2 kids. Now that I know a few stores are open, perhaps they were able to get more supplies. I know they are good with other supplies – rice, dhals etc. Amrit is on formula so that’s good. Shraddha will need milk. The adults are probably eating less to minimize use of toilet. Wonder how they are dealing with patti – if she has her laxative she will have high toilet use, not having is not sustainable for her health. And the mosquitos, the kids had big bites with the fan and a/c on. Perhaps, they have gained immunity by now?
There was a rumour about crocodiles escaping from the crocodile bank. Fake news. Hard to know what is reliable information and what is not. If you are not sure of the news source, please err on the side of not passing it along. Something is NOT better than nothing in this case.
It’s going to be ok. We are one day closer for this phase to pass. They will be strong. We will be strong for them.
What a nightmare Chennaites are going through! I am worried sick for my family. As of last night, they had no power and clean water. The house was at risk of flooding. We have not been able to reach them since last night. The house has my 86 year old patti, one year old nephew, three year old niece, mom, dad, and sil. I can’t imagine how life must be for them..!
I am counting the silver linings but that does not calm the restless mind. Pray for them and for everybody in Chennai. The situation is pretty bad out there.