Just as I sit down to write, the electricity goes off. I attempt to continue in the dark, but it isn’t particularly easy. The mind plays truant, and says perhaps I ought to skip it. Just this one night. After all, it isn’t easy typing in the dark. At least, I have an excuse. The mind is always finding excuses not to do things that are worthwhile, rather than to do them. I don’t know why it is so. I try to ignore these thoughts and go on. I want to keep the promise I made to write a post a day, for a month.
As I sit in the dark and think, I can hear the sound of raindrops in the silence of the night. Quite inevitably, I am reminded of the floods in this city resulting for excessive rains last year. I realise I am not the only person. I see newspaper reports & social media updates where people say the same thing. The NDRF has already brought in boats I am told. Apparently as a precautionary measure. Understandably so. People are scared.
It was the second or third day. I fail to remember exactly. Most communications were lost and we all sat tight, grateful to have some kind of shelter and food. Some of us did our bit to help out too. Somehow, someone got in touch and told me that a few of us decided to meet up at work, and discuss the situation we were faced with. I had been out, packing food to be distributed, with a group of people I had never met before. By the time I joined the team at our office, they had already started.
From what we heard, the situation was grim. Everyone present had some idea or the other as to how we could contribute. “Why don’t we start with EZVians?”, Chitra said. That seemed like the logical thing to do. We found a white board, and listed the names of all our colleagues from Chennai and divided them among a few of us present there. Each one of us was supposed to call or speak to others or in whatever way possible, determine the safety of the names on our list.
Most EZVians, we were given to understand, were safe or managing in some way. Some did have water enter their homes, but had been managing, hoping the level doesn’t rise beyond a point. Some had left the city, given their streets if not homes were uninhabitable. Yet others, none of us present that afternoon had any idea about. We gave ourselves till that night, to speak with other colleagues or friends who may have some news of these people. If we couldn’t know, a team would visit them the following day. I was amazed at people volunteering the make these visits, given how pretty much the whole city was flooded
We realised the following day that one of us was practically homeless, with 2 ageing parents who needed medical attention. Homeless, because apparently in a matter of a few minutes, water had entered the entire house and every little thing in it was drowned and rendered useless. When I took this up with Chitra, she spontaneously offered our official guest room to be let out to this colleague, while the house would be repaired and made inhabitable.
This is just a little example. I can think of several such incidents. It isn’t just extending financial or material help, but way beyond to just emotionally support EZVians who are in need of it. EZV not only cares, but finds special ways to demonstrate it. And as I have described above, this spirit of caring for each other just rubs off. I am grateful for being a part of the caring organisation, that is EZV.