7.45 pm – It has been raining for an hour and it’s still raining. Beautiful weather. Yes, there is water everywhere and Kumarika’s apartment complex is a small island. But, guess what … The roads are clear. Traffic is moving and life goes on.
We reached Chennai on the 20th instead of the 18th as planned earlier. We also got taken in by the media reports of water logged streets and impossible-to-navigate roads. We did have to take a longer route. Normally, from Hyderabad we would reach Narketpally-Nellore-Ongole-Chennai. It’s the shortest route. Our friend Basha came home on the 19th and told us that the road at Nellore was broken and we should try and go to Bangalore and then to Chennai.
So we immediately checked with Bhaskar and his “Jersey” milk distributors told him the same thing that the road near Nellore was broken and traffic was backed up. We quickly decided to leave the same day and reach Bangalore by night so that we could drive down to Chennai with Venky and Arun the next day for our ISB reunion.
The packing was hurried and we left Hyderabad at 5 pm. It took us an hour and half to navigate through the city traffic and reach the airport and then the drive was smooth. This was our first night drive as part of the ShikshaDaan Yatra and it was really pleasant. People drive better at night and we didn’t have many vehicles coming in the wrong lane as we have experienced during our day trips. It was drizzling all through the way and still we managed to reach Arun’s house by 1 am. We should maybe stock some toiletries and a change of clothes at Vidya and Arun’s place since we seem to make sudden stopovers at their place :):).
The next day Venky and Arun and we started for Chennai by 7.30 am and as we reached closer to Chennai the roads had some sections that were broken. They were still drive-able but slowly. Once we reached Chennai, we found the roads completely clear of water. Some places again, the roads were broken and some roads had water on the sides but life was far from being standstill. If we believed the TV channels, we would have canceled the reunion and we wouldn’t have driven down from Bangalore. Yes, there were a few days when Chennai was cut off but kudos to the corporation authorities and many other NGO’s, concerned citizens that relief was provided and the storm drains drained out the deluge.
Yet another instance of media hyping something up in this day of video and live reporting. The truth is that the Chennai Municipal Corporation is run well and they seem to have their act together. #TheChennairains took everyone by surprise but got managed well. Someone needs to inform the ill-informed CM of Delhi that he woke up too late and tweeted about AAP supporters providing help to people affected by the Chennai rains… The media has moved from here and the trending topic is #ModiinMalaysia. Maybe he should say something intelligent (!!) and non-political about that as he washes off the cowdung on his face from the Lalu hug.
Enjoying #TheChennaiRains and the overflowing Pallikaranai marshlands.