I am Chennai. With Chennai. Swimming with them when the going is so rough.
I am Chennai. Not Paris. Not Beirut. Not Syria. But that one city where I first stayed all by myself for 6 months when I just started working. Where I fell in love with Tamil Sambhar (yes there is such a thing), Filter Kaapi, Ghee Roast Dosai and my now-husband. Where I gorged on Murugan Idlis, Sangeetha Pongals and Pothi Sarees.
Where I learnt Tamil and unlearnt the idea that everyone must know Hindi.
I am Chennai and feeling heartbroken I can’t help in anyway when they’re sinking.
And feeling even worse about the fact that the only people that sound troubled or concerned about the state of this city are either Tamil or those stranded knee deep in water.
Where are all the #JeSuisParis lovers now?
I love Paris too. For sure. And honestly this is not about that city alone.
When we choose to display far less love for an iconic city in our own country, somewhere it makes me feel like we’re fooling ourselves. Pretending to live lives where the locus is around what others think and less around what we feel.
Everytime such an incident happens; when we ignore Indian calamities and gasp at global ones, I’m reminded of how uprooted we’ve become from our country. This crop of Indian Born Confused Desis (often including myself) is at imminent risk of losing connect with our sense of identity and belonging.
Maybe we’re too many and too troubled to stress about these minor hiccups in a largely turbulent nation. Very very possible. But even then, its surprising we manage to take time and light a candle for a far away city most of us have never been to, when one of our very own is literally drowning.
C’mon guys. #Spareaprayer for this beautiful city. It needs all the good wishes and deeds right now.