And so, one of our ministers, in an unguarded moment looked all smug and said that the rains could pour till they were blue in the face, but we as a city were better off than many international metros when it came to preparedness against the monsoon. The Man from Madras Musings and many others like him wondered as to which city the minister had in mind. Could it have been some war-torn and disease-ridden capital of some battered country run by a tin pot dictator? As though in answer to this rather offhand remark, the skies opened up briefly and showed what the rains could do. As a city we surrendered at once. MMM uses the word ‘briefly’ because we still have a month and more of the monsoons to go and we appear to have no strategy in mind beyond capitulation.
The schools were asked to close, and they remained closed for almost a week. The children were absolutely delighted and, had they the eligibility to vote, MMM is quite sure that this Government would be repeatedly ushered into power. Of course, for that matter, all political parties of our State can lay equal claim for popularity on this count for none of them has in any way worked towards preparing us for rains. Their sole talents lie in declaring holidays for schools and, worse, appealing to all industrial and official establishments to close as well. While the former makes sense at least to a degree, though there are other cities of India that have much longer rainy seasons and manage to keep schools open, expecting offices to shut really takes the cake. Are those in power intent on reducing the private establishments to the same levels of efficiency as Government offices? If all working entities were to remain closed for days on end expecting the skies to clear, what happens to the State economy? Oh wait, that is really doing fine isn’t it, judging by the number of people getting by on subsidised everything – from rice to liquor not to mention grinders, laptops, goats and cows?
But in retrospect the general view is that the boys in power did not do too badly this time and when compared to what happened in 2015, their record is exemplary. To MMM however, the police force was the real hero and the way they braved flooded roads and chaotic traffic to remain on duty was worthy of praise. If only the Corporation, Metrowater, the PWD and other such backsliders took a leaf from our police’s book, we would truly have a great city to live in.
Harking back to the rains, which do you think was the area that truly lived up to its name? The Man from Madras Musings is happy to announce that it was Boat Club Road, flooded to an extent where only boats could ply on it. Well, almost. Those who were in charge of naming the place truly did so in an inspired moment. We may have Lake Areas in Chennai with not a lake in sight, but our Boat Club area does need boats.