First hand experience of one of my friends in Chennai rain disaster 2015.
My friend Latha had last heard from her mother the previous day that the ground floor of her house was submerged in water and that she had moved to the first floor. Latha tossed and turned in her bed the entire night waiting for daybreak to jump into action.
Her husband Satish and herself set out with purpose and determination to rescue her mother: they drove in their car for as long as they could and when they couldn’t proceed any further they abandoned the car and started wading through the flood water. The progress was slow and it seemed like they weren’t getting anywhere. Slowly desperation and helplessness started to take over. It was then that her eyes fell on a beacon of hope – a policeman!
Her first request for help in saving her stranded mother was nonchalantly dismissed. Further pleading him, trying hard to make him understand the helpless situation her mother was in got a sterner “No”. He let her know in no uncertain terms that saving her mother was not his priority. With tears of rage filling her eyes she frantically marched on. After a while she chanced to meet a guy with a bigger vehicle who too was trying to rescue a relative. He was lost as he wasn’t familiar with that area. Latha jumped at the opportunity to help him as she knew the place well and he in turn agreed to help her rescue her mother.
But to her utter dismay she found herself stranded again as even the bigger vehicle failed to get through after some point. Satish asked her to stay put, while he tried his best to slowly wade through the water but was soon alarmed to find himself, a fairly tall guy, chest deep in water. He felt it would be dangerous and foolish to continue on. So they retreated back to their car.
She rested her head on the dashboard feeling defeated and desolate. Her phone dead for long springs to life! She picked up the phone and as soon as she heard the sound of her best friend Sangeetha from the other end she broke down. She continued to cry as she explained the nightmare she was going through: her father was out of town , her mother was stuck in the flooded house all by herself for two days then! Her rescue mission failed, she couldn’t seem to get in touch with her mother, she absolutely doesn’t know what her mother is going through and that was filling her with dread!
Nothing else could be done that day.
Next day Satish’s friend tried his luck at saving Latha’s mother. He was relieved to find that the water had receded to three feet which let him guide her mother through those murky waters into the safety of an auto rickshaw. The auto rickshaw took her mother to Latha’s house. As soon as Latha sets her eyes on her mother she rushed towards her, hugged her tightly and started sobbing uncontrollably.