by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Cyclone Vardah brings out Mowglis in Chennai

Madras, Now Chennai, had a disastrous December 2016.  November passed off, leaving everyone a little teed off, with the questionable demonetisation announcement by the PM Narendra Modi.  However, the initial rush to exchange notes, the bravado, the excitement helped to create a feeling of tamasha in November, and it passed.

But December was a different story.  After almost 20 days of currency crisis, the start of the month began to pinch.  It was so bad that you had to stand in queue in ATM or banks to get your quota of Rs. 2000/- a day, to spend it carefully over the day, paying the grocer, the vegetable seller, newsboys, monthly milk subscription, medicines, et. al.

Then came the death of the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa which effectively disabled Chennai for 3 days.  Soon after came the Cyclone Vardah, which actually shut down Chennai for more than 3 days.  Initially the local and even state administrations tried to play down the disaster – saying that only about 3000 trees have been uprooted.  Actual estimates later put the figure at at least 150,000 if not double that.   The Vandalur Zoological Park alone is reported to have lost about 10,000 trees – and fortunately only 2 lion-tailed macaques managed to escape.

It took the administration another 18 days to cut down and clear up the downed trees.  And parts of Chennai (including the northern side of my street) is without high-speed internet access.  So much for the digital cashless economy being dreamed on by the PM Narendra Modi.

On 21 December, to my surprise, I found some kids doing what has been a forgotten playtime in the metro of Chennai.  Practice their hand at climbing and playing around the fallen trees.  Usually they would be glued to the internet, but the enforced cut off had provided the opportunity for many kids to explore the trees and environment, like Mowgli of Jungle Book fame.

As I walked by, I couldn’t help but notice a particular tree with two kids on it, reminding me of Mowgli and Bagheera on the tree branch in the Jungle Book. And I snapped it.

So here are the two Mowglis – with the image inset from the movie Jungle Book of 2016.


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