Just realised I have not updated the blog with much of what I wrote in December
After the flood
Years from now, when the grandchildren cluster around The Man from Madras Musings and ask him what he did during the great flood, he will have to look inscrutable and say that he was involved in matters of strategic importance. MMM, it must be admitted, was nowhere in the picture. He was away travelling down south and could only get to know second-hand about the horror that unfolded in his favourite city. Things had to be quite bad if even the Chief had to shift out of his home, though, rather like Casabianca, he held out till it was almost too late. Having spurned boats and catamarans, he opted to stay on until a relative or two threatened him with dire consequences and he set out in a car to dry land, safety and at last take his daughters’ frantic calls that turned into angry lectures on his stubbornness. Chez MMM, which is almost as old as he is, was affected too but not as badly as several other areas. MMM’s car, which does not even share an alphabet with the new status symbols, too survived the ordeal very well unlike vehicles such as Beaten & Mauled by Water and Most Battered.
Post the flood, however, our civic agencies swung into action. And they did so in the most artistic fashion possible. The various pits, potholes and chasms had to be marked, and this was no easy task mind you – they were all underwater and it was impossible to identify which was hill and which was dale. But undeterred they went ahead.
In any other city this would have been done by a red flag planted at the danger spots. But ours is the cultural capital and so things had to be different. Or perhaps because most political parties in our State have red in their flags, the colour may have been in short supply. Inspiration was sought from nature, modern art, sculpture and the cubists. The picture below shows two thriving potted plants placed in the middle of the road, even as traffic weaves along on both sides. It was a wonder that nobody had knocked these down. But that was not all. In a spot not very far from this display was a wooden cage that housed many plants. Borrowed from a neighbouring home, this was used to mark a rather large crater. In a fairly upmarket road in the southern part of our city, the services of a stone quern were availed of. It was planted firmly into the ground and in a way it was a most apt choice, for anything lighter would have been carried away. Yet another place in the city had a plastic bath stool with a flowering plant on it. MMM, as they say in our metropolis, simply could not able to understand it.
Those that owned upmarket cars too did their bit. Several had to abandon their vehicles at places where they had stalled and these served as markers too. Some of these vehicles were towed away after days and so did their duty for long and well. Truly the floods have spared none, and have equalised all strata of our city.