I wrote these poems when I was depressed and upset, when the rains battered my roof and sewage water flooded my garden. There was no power, water, TV, mobile or social media. We were cut off from the world.

 I anticipated the floods when I wrote the first poem on November 24, 2015. I didn’t know where to publish poetry, and I am no poet. When I read Amitav Ghosh’s interview saying that nobody in Chennai wrote stories or poems about the floods, I decided to publish my poetry, however mediocre.

Don’t be Angry, O Indra

– November 24, 2015                        

The sound of His flute lured us
Into the forests of vrinda and kadamba
There we lost ourselves
Just listening.
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

He said, “Why don’t you worship the cow?
She gives you milk, she feeds you.
Why don’t you worship the trees?
They give you food. They feed you.”
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

We heard your roar
But did not heed.
We worshipped the plants, the cows and the trees,
We sang happy songs and danced in the breeze
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

The sound of His flute played all the while
As we sat and gazed at the stars go by.
Worship the mountain, that’s what He said,
It stops the rain, it’s a watershed.
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

Then came the roar of thunder,
A flash of lightning, the sky became darker.
The heavens opened up, the rains poured down,
Flooding the streets, the house and the town.
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

Then He lifted the mountain, where it all began,
He gave us a shelter, and we all ran,
He is the Almighty, do not doubt.
Through all our woes, he stood aloft.
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

You wanted allegiance, He wanted love,
You battled evil, He empowered us,
I need you both, the rain and the sun,
If you don’t fight each other, then we have won.
Don’t be angry, O Indra.

Chembarambakkam 2015

– December 3, 2015                                           

You breached your bund years ago
In 1976.
Your gates were opened again this year
And put us in a fix.

You broke bridges and buildings,
Destroyed homes too,
Why were you so angry?
What did we do to you?

We polluted the rivers,
Poured sewage in water,
Built over waterways,
Made water a horror.

You kept quiet
In the years of drought,
You suffered in silence
You said nought.

And then came the Deluge
The heavens opened in anger,
They filled your coffers
They know you better.

You came rushing through our city,
And drowned us out,
You taught us forever
To know your power, no doubt.

And we suffer in silence,
As we sit in an ocean of sewage,
This is our punishment,
For wasting, for creating garbage.

Water, Water, Everywhere

– December 3, 2015                                            

I sit on a floor above,
Looking out of the balcony.
I gaze at the waters below,
A sea surrounding me.

“Water, water, everywhere,” said the poet,
Yet not a drop to drink.
When will they recede, I ask,
Not very soon, I think.

I see the waters flowing in
Beneath the wide closed gate,
I can’t stop them, they are too strong,
I just have to wait.