Monday, October 30, 2006

Rain Rain Come Again...

Its Monday again! And this time, I had only a day's break for the week. Saturday was a very difficult day - after leaving work, I had to get my weekly grocery from 2 different stores before I went home. I hated shopping in the rain and slush, but I didnt have an option. The bright spot on Saturday was the fact that my husband was coming back from a month's trip abroad. His flight was due to arrive at 11.45 PM. I put my daughter to bed and napped till 12. After that I couldnt sleep as I was waiting for him to arrive any moment. Outside,I could hear the wind howling and the rain lashing. At half past one, I got a call from him saying he was not getting any cabs from the airport. I tried calling some cabs but none of them had anything available. I had stopped driving since my pregnancy and after the break, I was too scared to start. So we had always managed with a driver. At this time of the night, with the rain and wind, it would be no use trying to get our driver to pick him up! To make things worse, there was no power in our locality - they had probably switched it off to avoide people getting electrocuted in the water-logged roads? I read that in the newspapers during the last year's rains.It was a hopeless situation. At 2.30, he finally arrived - He had managed to get a cab from the airport, but after driving half-way down the road where our house is, the cabbie had refused to come further due to the knee-deep water. My poor husband tried persuading him and even promised him more money,to no avail. In a desparate move, he had waded through the water with his huge bag (28kgs) and his laptop. And whats more, he had to carry it up three flights of stairs to our apartment since the elevator was not working. Water had seeped into his "softcase" bag and he was worried sick that all the electronic toys he had painstakingly shopped for our daughter would be spoilt. By the time he reached home, he was tired, frustrated and fuming. He brightened up only when our daughter woke up at 3 AM, saw her dad and demonstrated her obvious happiness in seeing him by staying awake till 5 AM :-) Sunday was spent fully at home, unpacking luggage, washing and drying stuff, a far cry from the rest that we had looked forward to. Thankfully, most of the toys my husband had got were still working, except for a puppy that seemed to be singing only half of each song. That was still much better than what we had feared.

In any case, the entire story would pale to insignificance against the travails of the poor people who live in thatched houses with water seeping in, and sometimes pouring down through the roof. My maid, who came in to work on Sunday, said that her house was inundated and she had had to sweep out rainwater all night while her kids sat on the one bed that they had. She still had a shadow of smile on her face and went about her job with no big fuss - I really respect these people for their resilience.

Although the rain wreaks such havoc, I think not a soul in Chennai, including my maid, would dare pray for a year without rain. Because if there is something worse than this, it is the prospect of facing water shortage in the scorching 9-month-long summer in Chennai. The very thought brings vivid pictures to any Chennai-ite's mind -Milling crowds waiting for water, water tankers rumbling on the roads throughout the night- sometimes causing freak accidents, taps running dry while you are in the middle of your bath, plunging cleanliness levels because the poor cannot afford to buy water and resulting diseases.....

So we in Chennai, continue to pray for the lesser evil of having a good North-East monsoon. Whenever I sing rhymes to my daughter, I carefully avoid "Rain Rain Go Away" - What if the Rain Gods were listening and decided to grant my plea!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Eureka - I'm going to blog!

For a long time, I kept thinking of starting a blog - but never got down to it. Somehow, I didn't find the motivation to write - and then there is this huge inertia to start off something new. So I dilly-dallied time and again. This morning was quite depressing- it is raining hard in Chennai, the place I live, and it has been raining so for the last one week. The city roads are flooded with water and commuting is quite difficult. And the moment I awoke this morning, it struck me (and struck me hard) that it was a working Saturday. What could be worse than having to go to work on a rainy Saturday? I almost winced at the thought as I sat up in bed. My daughter, a 14 month old, who had just woken up, gave a quizzical look at my expression. I hopped out of bed reluctantly - my daughter started chanting "kaa-kaa" reminding me of our daily ritual of showing her the crows and feeding them early in the morning. Our day had begun. She ensured that she kept me busy till the time I started for work, but even her frolic and fun didn't pep me up today the way it normally does.

After I came to work, even my usually energizing cuppa tea couldn't jump-start me to get on with my pile of work. I looked out of the window behind me and saw the water-logged grassland with numerous flotsam of algae on it. The horizon looked grey and the entire scene reminded me of the line from some book - Was it O.Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi" where the heroine looks out and sees a grey cat walking on a grey wall or fence? I guess the greyness had to do with her mind, just as mine. I felt the sudden need to do SOMETHING to cheer myself up, something to break the MONOTONY. And in a snap, I knew what I wanted to do - BLOG :-)

So here I am - it is a beginning of an experiment for me. I have long wanted to maintain a diary of sorts for my musings. But I could never do it consistently. For lack of time, for lack of commitment etc etc.. If you need reasons, you can always find a zillion of them. So let me test my ability to push myself - I intend to write at least once in 2-3 days, if not more. Here I go.............