Friday, December 4, 2015

Chennai rains- My Story

I had taken Wednesday off to take my in laws for a check up to CMC Vellore for a Medical Checkup, the weather was cloudy and slightly drizzling but since it was not a heavy rain, I thought of taking the Muduchur bypass, which was almost a grave mistake with water level on the road almost 2-3 feet level or upto the thighs, but with fast acceleration and a bit of luck, we had passed through the water logged road.  After successfully finishing the checkup, near Sriperambudur, there was a heavy jam on the road, we were caught up in a very long traffic jam where in we sat out for about 2-3 hours, later we came to know that the road was almost 6 feet deep and there would be no way to pass through, luckily for us, again, there were some volunteers who braved the rain and convinced the big vehicles like Trucks and Bus to make way to the side so that a few of us with small vehicles could turn around and be on our way towards Chennai. As we shared a single lane with the incoming traffic, the road was narrow and the driving was rash, and I got a small dent on the car but I guess that was a small price to pay for safety. After calling up our friends inside the city, we were informed that the road to our house would not be accessible at all as it was flooded all around. We started stopping at all the inns and Hotels on the way but none of them could accommodate us as all the rooms were full. After searching for rooms from 12:00 am onwards, we finally found a hotel room in the city around 3:00 AM, probably all the train and flight cancellations played a big role in all the hotel rooms being full, also many people whose house were flooded probably camped out in Hotels. The next day we decided that we some how must reach to our children, there were not auto’s around and the auto’s that were there charged an exorbitant rate. I walked about 5 km from the Hotel in Nungambakkam to Kotturpuram Bridge, I was able to get into the Bridge but there was a very fast flowing current which made it all but impossible to cross at that point, not wanting to give up, I again walked 4 km Saidapeth bridge as people said there was a chance of crossing it, but Saidapeth bridge and the surrounding area was completed flooded making it all but impossible to cross the river by walking or by vehicle. Then it hit upon me that I had not tried the MRTS train from Beach to Velachery, so I had another very long 6km hike from Saidapeth to Mylapore where I finally arrived in Thirmaliya railway station. I was already willing to walk on the elevated railway tracks, but luckily for me, the train was operating and I was able to reach Velachery without much of a problem. The view of the mighty adyar river flowing under the bridge was a sight to behold, the river was overflowing it’s banks and had flooded many of the houses on the banks. Once I reached Velachery, I thought it would be a cakewalk to reach home as it is not more than 6 kms even by walk from there.

The sight I saw in velachery blew my mind,  the flyover between the railway station and the flyover near Kamakshi hospital was filled with water atleast 4 feet all over, and it was already around 5 dusk,  the water was cold, the weather cloudy and the rains drizzling, I reluctantly stepped into the water and made my way, sometimes walking on the median which was a bit higher. I could hear dogs howling in pain and in fear on top of vehicles and cars. There were very few of us going towards the flood prone area whereas a majority of the people were moving towards the railway station to avoid the flood, I could see some families camped out in the railway station with bedding and cooking stoves when I had left the station.  It was painful to see small children prodded by their parents made to sit on blown tyre tubes moving towards the city, frightful adult women fearfully walking on the water above their waist tightly holding their husband and loved ones, some carrying their dogs. Most of them had a rucksack or a backpack where they probably packed their money, cred, debit card, phone, charger and maybe just a few change of clothes. And yes, the flood water had over flown many vehicles and two petrol bunks on the way, the water was basically a mixture of petrol, diesel, drainage water all around which was not a pleasant sight. I was just hoping I do not step into some snake or some carless person lights up a cigarette and drops it into the water. The water near Kamakshi Hospital was a bit deeper, hence I Held out my hand so that my watch, wallet and phone were not wet. After a long days track, I was dragging my feet the last 2-3 kilometres home and was happy and thankful that my home was dry and most of all to see the happy faces of my children welcoming me home.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Speech given on topic of Chin Kuki Mizo Unity in Chennai

This was a speech given by me on Chin Kuki Mizo Unity by me on behalf of Chennai Mizo Welfare Association on Kuki Day function in Chennai .

Chibai and greetings from Chennai Mizo Welfare Association, at this moment, I would like to thank the leadership of Kuki Welfare Association for the Invitation extended to Chennai Mizo Welfare Assoiation and the Lord Almighty for the blessing that he has bestowed upon us.

As all of us are members of the Chin Kuki Mizo family, I would first like to state that we are a special people and tribe chosen and found by God. Even though we live in different countries like I and are surrounded by the World’s great religion like Buddhist in Myanmar’s East, Muslim’s in Bangladesh and Hindu’s in India, we are unique in that most of us are Christian’s in this region of the world.

It is however unfortunate that the British instead of grouping the Chin Mizo Kuki people in one place scattered us in different countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, India and as we are on the fringes of this country with less population treated  with less attention.
Even in lands which we are currently occupied by our forefathers from long time ago in Churuchandpur, we have seen new Legislations which effect the security of our own people and future and also very unfortunate that a few people died in the protest against that legislation. In the same way, in Mayanar, there is an effort to Myanmarize people to adopt their language, culture and religion, the same way in Bangladesh and parts of India. It is the wish of the mainstream to integrate us, which is not a bad intention, but at the same time, while integrating, it is also sacrosanct and important that we do not lose our identity, language, culture and religion which also forms the core of our identity.

Because we the Mizo Kuki Chin people are scattered in different states within the same country, different country we are called different names. In Manipur we are kuki and Zomi, in Myanmar we are Chin but the following things bind us together:
1.       Common Ancestors
2.       Common culture, customes and very similar languages.
3.       One Nation (Hnam Khat)

There are many political parties, NGO’s and social moment which are working hard to bring us together but we also face challenges and there are people who do not want us to be united. Who can forget the year 1964 when the Myanmar government rejected changing the name of Chin state to Zo state.

So dear brothers and sisters, for us the chin kuki mizo tribe to be united it is important that we are first united and support each other with respect and Dignity. Despite  our different clan names let us be united. Let us follow the example of Israel. Israel is one country, they do not have a separate country for the tribe of Reuben, Benjamin or Judah but they are all together. It is with this unity that they were able to win the 6 day war when all their neighbouring countries fought against them together.  Let us be united and work hard towards it so that we can be a blessing for our own nation and people and let us, the Chin Kuki Mizo people in Chennai take the lead in this respect.

Thank you.