The city where rains keep time

The rain is following a schedule. Every night as people of the city are tucking themselves in, it begins to rain. It doesn’t rain too much. It doesn’t rain too little. It rains just about right.

Last year, the North East monsoon brought city life to a halt. I am never tired of telling friends how I braved almost four feet of stagnated water inside the Ambattur Industrial Estate to reach my office everyday. This went on for about two weeks last October or November. But for many others life was much much worse. On a couple of days, Central Station was shut down. Road were washed away. Many died and thousands of people had to be evacuated from low-lying areas.

Today, I as drove through a feeble drizzle I could not help think how lucky that we didn’t have to go through all that again. The first week of monsoon rains did tell us the story that the city and its storm water drain aren’t nearly ready to face another wet onslaught. At the end of that first week, one day I came off a flyover into knee-deep water. At a distance, some kind of vehicle was pumping out water from a street in Triplicane. The next day was Ramzan. The mosque was surrounded with water. But then subsequent weeks have been dry.

Reservoirs are already quite full. The Chennai Municipality says there is enough water now to supply water daily to the city households, something it claims is already happening in many areas.

I wonder again what would have happened if it rains rather heavily this year too. How much insane trouble would we be put through? But right now we are having fun in this wonderful weather, which isn’t chilly enough for a sweater or wet enough to bring the umbrellas out. Boy! Aren’t we lucky to have this weather? Hope it last at least till early March.

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