Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In Chennai, one rainy season

Six months ago, if I had heard a Chennaiite shouting, "Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink", I would have done my best to get him a good seat near Sethu Vikram at Yervadi or counseled him to start a political party. Chennai, then, was like this. Ground water was depleted to such an extent that bore wells dug in areas like Kodambakkam and T.Nagar ended on the other side of the globe, Mexico. The Red Hills reservoir earned a lot of revenue for the Government by hosting league matches. It also hosted many unofficial matches like Dumil Kuppam Dilli XI Vs Kaasimedu Kabali XI. The situation was so bad that some Chennai vasis had turned modern, the demand for toilet paper increased exponentially and people stopped using sombhu for you-know-what. But now, people are back to traditional ways again. According to Saravana stores Annachi, sombhu is back in trade. Over the past two months, the rainfall in Chennai has been double the usual amount and all reservoirs are filled up to the brim.

People were praying for rain this year after the terrific summer. There was infact a concert of Udit Narayan arranged for him to sing "Paruva illai" in Amrithavarshani raga to bring some rain. But God, the saviour, acted quickly and the concert has been cancelled due to excessive rains. The Met Dept. predict slight showers (lesaana mazhai) or heavy showers (idi udan koodiya balatha mazhai) everyday in Tamil Nadu. I don't understand why they need an office with loadsa computers communicating with satellites to say that it may or may not rain in a rainy season and be cloudy in summer. In such a case every person who has obtained a minimum of 50% in 3rd Std Social Science is eligible for employment there.

Flooding has been a major problem in low-lying areas. Pictures from affected areas fill the TV screens day in and day out. Every news clipping on Sun TV has the following piece of info from the affected people : "Pullinga ellam iskool-ey poga mudila, yella idamum thanni-a keethu, ethini dhaba dhaan wait pannarthu", followed by a punch dialogue, "Indha arasu engalukkaga inna seyyuthu? Naango ellam romba kasta padrom". On the other hand, on Jaya TV : "Arasu ellam oyunga seyyuthu, engalukku soaru kidaikkuthu, naanga iskool-la thangarom, amma nalla irukkanum". After watching both the broadcasts, one feels it would have been a lot better to listen to Kris Srikkanths pearls of wisdom in Hindi about everybody cricketer's natural game and how deviating from it played an instrumental part in their bad performance with 456 Charu Bhai's in one sentence. The ladies don't complain generally, for on SunTV they see the newsreader wearing a new green-stone necklace and on Jaya TV, a peacock border silk saree, both of which will be part of their wardrobe before the end of the day.

One thing that truly amazed me was that the roads in Chennai were not affected one bit by the rain. Hats off to the Chennai Corporation. In a stretch of 1 km road normally there are around 267 peaks, 679 plateaus, 345 troughs and 5 speed breakers excluding those mentioned. That has not changed even now! The troughs infact collect water as part of the rainwater harvesting scheme implemented on all the roads in Chennai. One actually gets two different surfaces to travel on - marshy, swampy surface or rugged terrains. In short, road-ey kedayaathu. The corporation is infact planning to convert the roads in Kodambakkam into a large dirt biking arena since it may prove cost effective, most of the work already done. The amount of dust that settles on your face needs a good sand paper to sorandify : one inch thick, clearly beating the amount of make-up Kollywood heroines use. Those drivers travelling at more than 20 km/hr must compulsarily have medical insurance and if the wife is clever enough, a life insurance as well.

New releases have not been doing well in the box office. The theater owners have all been blaming the rains. But even those guys who belong to the oasi-la kodutha phenyl kooda drink category, hesitate to watch movies like Sivakasi and Majaa. Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy has however been receiving rave reviews from Thangar Bachan and that Appasamy guy in Chidambaram who are so far the two people brave enough to watch the movie. With such films, the box office lives up to its name - dabba office. The cricket match was washed out too. Chennai summer for eleven months and thirty days. On the remaining one day we have a big cricket match, and ofcourse rains too.

All this in Chennai, one rainy season.

P.S. 1 : Good to back finally. The hang-over of the break still lingers butI hope to get to regular blogging. And this is my 100th blog :-)

P.S. 2 : Since I have a very 'good' impression with girls who read this blog, I have not mentioned the joy of sighting when the girl is soaked in rain. So you guys gotta agree me good boy atleast now

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