Research Analyst, with a mandate to cover real estate, but often strays into imaginary castles in the air. Women and finance is another of my interests, being a woman and all. I believe in rebirth and evolution into a higher life form (ala journalist).

Meera Siva

Rain and the city

| Updated on July 18, 2013 Published on July 18, 2013

Rain removes Chennai's veil of cover-up

Chennai is not a city that is admired by many. Its many quirks only irks its citizens and visitors. And when it rains, even its ardent fans get annoyed.

Dirt road

We are only talking about the aftermath of a light rain, not a cloudburst or downpour. But even this dissolves the cover-up, exposing a scary image. First, there is no provision for water to drain, so every drop collects on the road side. This would have been okay if there was ever a proper road. But what we have is a terrain of potholes connected loosely by shoddy smatterings of tar.

The puddles in the potholes may even be picturesque, were it not for the omni present garbage. While we may have mastered the fine art of ignoring the sight and smell of dry trash, the aroma of marinated garbage that wafts through the damp air is hard to ignore or tolerate. The flotsam of assorted rubbish washed up from the shores of the street to the puddle in the middle of the road is not pretty either. We have moved from dirt roads to dirty roads, and can pass that off as progress!


If one is nonplussed, there is another strange phenomenon that is actually quite normal in Chennai. When it rains from above, water from below starts to seep, just as the barking of one dog creates a howling contest. The black liquid that oozes out mixes with the muddy/dirty water creating a confluence of colour and flavour.

May be seeing sewage is just a wage to pay for living in the city. So saying we may manage to overcome this also. But the next source of assault is mouth watering – at least to the assailant. Spit.

Imagine you are walking in the street after a drizzle. If you ask, why not walk on the foot path, I know that you have not been in Chennai in the last decade. The walk ways have been abducted by shoppers, buried in ruins and lost for ever. So you are walking on the street and trying to find dry patches. There is none and you bravely decide to waddle in the puddle.

You lift your leg and get ready to plant it in water, no… wait…There is a ripple in the water. You have to swallow the truth that someone did not swallow their tongue lubricant.

Rain, refrain

The water starved city cannot sing ‘rain rain go away’. Nor are its citizens wishing to be singing in the rain, any more than they want to be basking in the sun. But can’t the city corporation help reduce the blah quotient ?

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Published on July 18, 2013
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