Water Tankers in Chennai, pic courtesy Raja Pandiyan & Madras Musings

They came, they saw, and they left. The Man from Madras Musings alludes to the clouds that descended rapidly on Chennai and then left as soon they arrived, leaving not a wrack behind. They poured their plenty on to the sea, they rained just outside city limits, and they wreaked havoc on areas further south. They gave our beloved metropolis a wide berth.

The Met Office is puzzled over this. They have chosen to explain this dislike for Chennai as an anti-cyclone system. MMM on the other hand is quite clear – ever since December 2015 when we found ourselves blessed with more rain than we could handle, and what with someone not waking up in time to order the opening of sluice gates via video-conferencing being flooded up to our eyeballs- we have become a city that is terrified of the merest drizzle. The appearance of a cloud or two in the sky is enough to send the populace into a total state of panic.

Those who have built houses/gated communities or blocks of flats on erstwhile lakes begin praying that there should be no rain. After all, ever since 2015 the real estate market has been down and it is only now that prospective buyers are coming back, overlooking the fact that housing lots are coming up on lakebeds once again. A second flood at this stage would spell disaster for this industry. So no rains please. “What we want is simple rain, “ said a society matron to MMM. “No cyclone or winds or thunder or lightning.” MMM wondered if she had mistaken the hosing of her lawn for rain.

Our city’s Corporation has just embarked on some massive digs and so does not want any rain. The Metrowater is yet to clear up storm-water drains and so is reluctant to suffer rains. Any rain would mean the shifting of entire housing colonies that are vote banks and so the average politician does not want rain. The Metro Rail cannot suffer yet another flooding of tracks. The Sabha Secretary cannot handle one more Season of uncertainty and so prays for rains to stay away. The NRI arriving in December fears disruption of flight schedules and hopes Chennai will stay dry. After what happened in 2015 when premier cars emerged the worst hit, the upper classes don’t want rain. The middle classes would rather suffer a drought, complete with water arriving in petroleum tankers than see one more of those floods. As for the poor, MMM guesses they don’t have a choice flood, rain, hail or drought and so they don’t matter. It is perhaps only the children who pray for rain and consequent closure of schools. Clearly they don’t pray hard enough.

You get the picture. With such active dislike for rain, which self-respecting cloud (MMM is told that the technical term these days is rain band) would like to give of its plenty to our city? Which is why the rains have chosen to stay away. And now let us get on with calling the nearest and more reliable water supply service.