Sunday, December 06, 2015

t has been quite a few days. What started as a "I will pick up those stranded in the rain in my car and drop them off" , 6 days ago when the rains were pelting Chennai and "I will recharge people's phone numbers" became a huge WE, a bigger movement. And I realize what a wonderful city Chennai is. What lovely people we have. And that in the face of adversity we all become the better humans and are happy to help.
Because it is top of mind, I would like to thank Yeskay Durai on Twitter, who I have known only as someone who followed my songs. The past couple of days, he got together volunteers from Bangalore, loaded 20 huge trucks, sent 10 to Cuddalore and 10 to Chennai as of today the 5th December, 2015.
Chennai, the past few days has been about thousands and thousands of people who have silently helped each other. So many from here. So many from outside. Sometimes individually, sometimes in groups. Being a volunteer has been an experience I have loved and would do it again any day, just like the thousands others.
Gitanjali Selva / her dad Mr Bharat Raman lent her Innova to me and this helped our friends go around everywhere from Villivakkam to Saidapet. This car has been a revelation. I have always made fun of this car, but I have newfound love and respect for this vehicle as it continues to run superbly after 3-4 days of driving in anywhere between 1ft-3.5 ft water. I have thanked the car and also prayed for the car when we thought the water on the roads was too high and that it should pull through and she did smile emoticon I louue this car now. And the makers.
Chennai wasn't prepared for such a disaster. I wonder if any city in India is. It city has been truly battered, as are Cuddalore and Pondichery.
Twitter has been a boon. Though the networks were all down, as were power and fuel (for a short while) it was a huge tool to spread, receive and broadcast information. When network was patchy, it was fastest to load tweets. People verifying if claims were correct, calling numbers and posting "Verified" so that volunteers dont waste time.
Social media is not so bad after all. We can use this tool for some incredible work.
Media operating out of Mumbai / Delhi were a disappointment. They were debating a disaster as an issue, until people here made noise. Finally they did realize what was going on and gave airtime to their sleepless, overworked journalists here who finally got some attention for the work they were doing from Chennai.
Workers of the Electricity Board, Police and Sewage - many haven't eaten or had a drink of water, something I realized today when we went to Kotturpuram. The NDRF - What heroes they are. Only boats could ply in areas that were once roads.
I have learned several life lessons. And have an incredible amount of silence within me. I have also been humbled by the amount of trust so many unknown people have in me. I am grateful and am glad that a clean reputation, character does hold one in good stead. I have seriously fought with God in my mind several times that none of these have helped me as to me, those who seemed to have taken short cuts are better off (not that I could be any other way) but yes it makes me feel good.
Finally, I think all of us should have a bag at home with emergency supplies that will keep us in good stead for at least a week in case of an emergency. Another lesson - our vehicles must always be at least 3/4th full with fuel. Several lessons actually. Maybe that would be a separate blog post.
Tomorrow is yet another day and am truly grateful for the graces the Universe has given me and us all.

This tweet by RJ Balaji sums it all up - Cldnt see my city drown,And all
I did was spontaneous n emotional.Bt never expected ths unbelievable trust n love.Thank u.Am truly blessed."
Be kind. And trust in human beings. We are all good. Still smile emoticon