I still remember struggling through GN Chetty Road, in T Nagar, the evening before the unfortunate floods took over Chennai. Wading through the gushing water, I successfully reached home about two hours after I left office (situated in Nandanam).
It has been two years since and the rains are back, along with the daunting memories of that scary month. With roads filling up yet again and people stuck for hours in traffic jams, it feels like a scary Déjà vu waiting to happen.
Clearly, it is not just me. Chennaiites are going through the same fear as they watch the clouds pour. Although the state government has declared a holiday for schools and asked residents to stay indoors, the fear mongers.
The crusader of Chennai Rains 2015, RJ Balaji cannot help but remember those chilling days. Stuck in the rains last night for quite some time, the RJ turned actor tweeted: "Was out on roads until sometime. This intense spell of rain reminded me of d scary rains of 2015 Dec 1st. Take care Chennai. Stay safe."
Was out on roads until sometime. This intense spell of rain reminded me of d scary rains of 2015 Dec 1st. Take care Chennai. Stay safe.— RJ Balaji (@RJ_Balaji) November 2, 2017
Retweeting helpline numbers, information about road conditions and offering help, Balaji also encouraged people to be kind and help. "The only thing that is very strong in our memories from 2015 floods, is to remain human. Lets b kind and help each other. We are good," he tweeted.
The only thing that is very strong in our memories from 2015 floods, is to remain human. Lets b kind and help each other. We are good.— RJ Balaji (@RJ_Balaji) November 2, 2017
Hosting similar thoughts many other online users expressed that the rains indeed brought back some scary memories. Twitter user Sreekesh Krishnan tweeted a short video driving through T Nagar to say, "Driving through T. Nagar. Looks like 2015."
Reminiscing the days when the floods hit Chennai in 2015, Elakya, a system engineer told International Business Times, India, "Nothing much since 2015 has changed. It has been raining heavily for just two days and there is already water logging in numerous parts of the city. Like 2015, reaching work and home is getting difficult and traffic problems add to the misery," she shares.
Many cars and bikes died on their owners as it began pouring down. Commuters revealed that rental cabs charge four times higher surge prices leaving travellers in a mess. The autos came to rescue, yet again.
"Last night, when I was travelling back from Teynampet to Nungambakkam, I had to take Anna Salai and subsequently Nungambakkam High Road. I was in an auto. And on my way, I saw cars that were window deep in water. It scared me so much to think we are already on our way to December 2015, all over again. I was quickly thinking of all the things I could do, once I reached home. I charged my phone/ laptop and other appliances. Kept reading updates on social media... it felt like a deja vu," said Sharmila Bhandari, a city-based blogger.
However, for Sai Vinai, the city is reeling from the fear but people shouldn't be scared. "After the disastrous rains, a single day of rain creates a fear among people. To top it off, unauthentic reports exaggerating commonly water clogging areas to generate flood like scenario are being circulated which is adding to the fear. After the 2015 floods, many people have developed a phobia for rains. Yes, it was a traumatic experience. But it isn't that bad yet," the freelance writer says reassuring people to not be scared.
Let's just pray that it doesn't get worse. The government has provided some contact numbers that you can reach out to in case of emergencies. People in Chennai are also reminding their fellow residents to help one another. "Don't panic just be kind to others and offer help," tweeted cricket R Ashwin.
Stay safe Chennai, this shall also pass.