Now that Chennai’s immediate dangers are temporarily at bay, the public has begun expressing extreme displeasure over the city’s poor infrastructural standards. They are baffled at how our buildings crumbled like a stack of cookies in the recent floods. They are outraged that rabid urbanization was prioritized over safety regulations. Shocked that real estate greed, along with political corruption, has led to environmental imbalance. I wish I could hug them and tell them that roses are red, violets are blue and if it takes a natural disaster to realize how much damage we cause on a daily basis – well, fuck them. You and me too.
Each one of us have to take the blame. It isn’t a matter of existential guilt. There’s blood on our hands. My palms look more wrinkled today. My stomach – a lot fatter. My eyes hurt. I feel more human than ever before, ashamed that I am not just a silent observer but an active contributor to the decay of our ecosystem. It isn’t as though I have been blissfully unaware of it. It just never struck me as being important enough until it personally affected me.
Having said that, I refuse to get into water-cooler conversations about our negative impact on the environment. The only thing less obvious about urban existence is the frothing in our mouths during Black Friday.
Most of us don’t ride bicycles to work. We think and talk green, we just don’t live it. How often do we help plant a tree without some company’s logo in the vicinity? No, please. I don’t want to talk to you about going green or being environmentally-friendly. I will not chastise you for using plastic. I am not that person. Go ahead and keep ruining the planet. Exit left from here for a discussion on climate change.
I am jaded enough to believe that it is too late to implement drastic changes at the grassroots level. We should learn to live with the amount of harmony, safety and comfort that can afforded without compromising on anyone else’s quota. Natural disasters will continue to strike. We just need to be more prepared for it. No matter what – damage will done. We just need helping hands to pick each other up.
For instance, you can help the dearly affected of the recent flood crisis in Tamil Nadu to reclaim their lives.
The broken roads, the crumbling bridges, the public properties will take care of themselves over time. The worst-hit districts in the state and the city of Chennai have received aid from various corners of India. Politicians and celebrities and have lent their photo-shopped faces and wallets; only a handful – a lot more than that. As I had mentioned in the earlier post, the good people of Chennai are still doing wonderful things for each other.
We still need your love though to back up our efforts on the ground. It doesn’t have to be in the form of financial assistance. It really doesn’t. Give us your best wishes. Hell, you can even call them “prayers” if you want to. Be assured that we need every ounce of positive energy you can muster up. And I thank you in advance for it.
However, if your life has afforded you the liberties to donate money for relief measures, I would like to encourage you to do so for those affected by the recent devastation in Tamil Nadu.
(credit: Blue Cross Facebook page)
The links posted below have been verified, so fear not of having your hard-earned money nefariously passed around. I am not affiliated to any organisations / websites below either so feel free to pick any of them. If you are going to ask me , I would probably suggest the Blue Cross of India – a not-for-profit animal welfare charity.
I sometimes volunteer for them. I take my niece there once in a while to help wash the puppies before the weekend adoption drive. And I know some wonderful people who run the daily rescue operations. They have been having a tumultuous time during these storms, given the number of species of animals and birds they take care of – not just feral / abandoned cats and dogs.
For blog readers in India, donations can be sent to:
Account name: Blue Cross of India
Account no: 419318361
Account type : Savings
Bank name: Indian Bank
Bank Address: PB no 3171, Sidco building, G.S.T road, Guindy, Chennai 600032
For those in other countries – please visit
http://www.chalusa.org (mention in the remarks as “Donation for Blue Cross of India”)
You may write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further queries
If you would rather help out human beings, check out this list. Or pick some other donation option you may find on social media and contribute. Just make sure you can differentiate branding from actual charity.
Like bewildered nethilis,
we press our snouts
against a broken fish tank, with
our gills – gasping for the sun.
*nethilli – anchovy
(Photographs: Chennai / Vedanthangal / Pulicat)