Bombay Chanakya's Chennai Nightmare!

Bombay Chanakya

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 2015-12-07 09:28 Chennai: Theatre director and short film maker Bombay Chanakya who lives in West Mambalam in the heart of Chennai, one of the oldest colonies of the city, braved and stayed put at his home even as flood waters entered the ground floor and he moved upstairs to the first floor. Marooned for three days, he managed to escape to safety and wrote his experiences of one of the worst rainfalls he has ever seen in his life. Bombay Chanakya is closely associated with legendary Tamil film maker K Balachander and has been a part of most of his projects for over 20 years.   ENCOUNTER OF THE UNKNOWN KIND!!!!   It started just as another day… but I had absolutely no knowledge of what was to beseech me in a few hours from then. This was day two – 2nd December.   The earlier night water had just started entering the precincts of my apartment in West Mambalam… As I was residing at ground floor, I thought it is prudent to go to first floor assuming that it is going to be a safe zone for me.   But that was not to be…. The next morning… water had receded considerably and hence I moved downstairs again…. Took bath in nice hot water… It was very soothing…. Started cooking…. Then… then…  there was a twist in tale…. I felt some water beneath my feet…  I thought the sink was perhaps overflowing… But when I looked down…. Water was entering the kitchen… I ventured to see from where it was coming…. OH GOD… OH GOSH…. It was from outside the apartment…. In less than a minute the water level started rising at an alarming speed… I just switched off the gas stove…. Picked up my wallet…. A couple of clothing and started rushing outside… Then I realised that there were two other living beings that I had to take care of…. Two of our dear cats…. They were terror stricken…. Could not even go near them… However, I put them in a safe place and rushed outside…. All said and done, survival takes precedence over all other things… Needless to say… there was no electricity, no network coverage, now drinking water… rather no water at all for anything… no proper food… no FB… No WhatsApp…  NOTHING AT ALL… and literally cut off from the rest of the world. So I was unaware of what was happening outside… It was more of a lake in front of my apartment… and as the day started waning… the water level kept on increasing. My neighbour, my sister and the others were mere spectators to what was happening. Then it was pitch dark…. The flash lights in the mobile phone came in handy… the day had already become night… and with no communication available and nothing else to do…. We started talking about the village days… Incidentally there were no candles also…. So we started managing with ‘diyas’… conserving the mobile flash light for later in the night… The "night" transcended to real night… managed to have something called "food" and hoping against hopes that there should not be any more rains. God had lent his ears apparently… There were no rains during the night. The next morning – 3rd December – I went downstairs to see the "status" of my flat… and as I opened the door…… What I saw …. Well… it is there for you to see as well…. It was chaotic… everything had gone haywire and I was just stunned… and helpless of course… But I consoled myself that the cats were safe and indeed I was also safe… Ultimately what matters most is the safety of life, be it humans or other living beings. How I moved out of the place and took refuge in a friend’s house (the Shekars) is another story!!!