THE FLOOD at CHENNAI 2015

I wrote these poems when I was depressed and upset, when the rains battered my roof and sewage water flooded my garden. There was no power, water, TV, mobile or social media. We were cut off from the world.

 I anticipated the floods when I wrote the first poem on November 24, 2015. I didnt know where to publish poetry, and I am no poet. When I read Amitav Ghoshs interview saying that nobody in Chennai wrote stories or poems about the floods, I decided to publish my poetry, however mediocre.

Dont be Angry, O Indra                                                   November 24, 2015

The sound of His flute lured us

Into the forests of vrinda and kadamba

There we lost ourselves

Just listening.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

He said, Why dont you worship the cow?

She gives you milk, she feeds you.

Why dont you worship the trees?

They give you food. They feed you.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

We heard your roar

But did not heed.

We worshipped the plants, the cows and the trees,

We sang happy songs and danced in the breeze

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

The sound of His flute played all the while

As we sat and gazed at the stars go by.

Worship the mountain, thats what He said,

It stops the rain, its a watershed.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

Then came the roar of thunder,

A flash of lightning, the sky became darker.

The heavens opened up, the rains poured down,

Flooding the streets, the house and the town.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

Then He lifted the mountain, where it all began,

He gave us a shelter, and we all ran,

He is the Almighty, do not doubt.

Through all our woes, he stood aloft.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

You wanted allegiance, He wanted love,

You battled evil, He empowered us,

I need you both, the rain and the sun,

If you dont fight each other, then we have won.

Dont be angry, O Indra.

 

Chembarambakkam 2015                                                     December 3, 2015

You breached your bund years ago

In 1976.

Your gates were opened again this year

And put us in a fix.

 

You broke bridges and buildings,

Destroyed homes too,

Why were you so angry?

What did we do to you?

 

We polluted the rivers,

Poured sewage in water,

Built over waterways,

Made water a horror.

 

You kept quiet

In the years of drought,

You suffered in silence

You said nought.

 

And then came the Deluge

The heavens opened in anger,

They filled your coffers

They know you better.

 

You came rushing through our city,

And drowned us out,

You taught us forever

To know your power, no doubt.

 

And we suffer in silence,

As we sit in an ocean of sewage,

This is our punishment,

For wasting, for creating garbage.

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