In the 24 hours between 1 and 2 December 2015, Chennai received 500 mm of rain - a deluge not witnessed in living memory. At least 270 people are thought to have been killed in the resulting floods.
1. The water level in our area rose so suddenly, not due to rain, but because the canal water had to be opened by the government. We don’t know why this decision was made but perhaps we could have been alerted.
2. When the lady from the balcony opposite ours came out and saw me on the second floor, she exclaimed: “Thank God, you are safe.” She is Tamilian and I am North Indian (as she knows). Yes, Tamilians and North Indians feel happy when they see each other safe!
3. The four young boys who helped me did not know my name, status or religion. Yes, young boys are good people too. And there are still people who will help without expecting anything in return.
4. My husband risked his life to reach us and kept struggling till the end to save our belongings. Yes, though men don’t show their emotions, they can go to any extent to save their families.
5. I have always understood the plight of farmers and tried to help them. But this time, when my house was sinking with all the little things inside it that my husband and I had put together through our efforts in the past seven years, I could feel the pain that a farmer goes through every year his crop is destroyed.
6. When government boats decided to rescue only important people, a common man’s organization came forward to help the needy. Do you know what TMMK stands for? Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham. They did not ask if we were Hindus or Muslims or Christians. So this whole debate about India being intolerant is just a news and social media creation. During the three days, whenever I switched on my phone to check for important messages, all I saw was that my Hindu, Muslim and Christian friends were equally concerned about me. I did not see any intolerance anywhere.