The month of December, into the future, will always be a period when me and my family will look at nature, keeping our fingers crossed. The encounter with floods last year and with the cyclone Vardah this year has made all of us at home to see December, as a month to expect something nail biting and bizzare to happen, in the years to follow. We came out of these safely, but not before we felt like being pushed to the edges of life. Nature was kinder this year though, in that we did not have to leave our home and stay at a temporary shelter. But still, more grief has filled in me this year seeing our city stand naked and all stripped off its green cover. Two small trees that stood in area within my contours of my home, fell down much before the climax set in. I however managed to replant them the very next day.
Two coconut trees gave us creeps, as they kept hammering on our building, once in every ten or fifteen seconds. The impact could have been much lesser if we had not designed the building such that the coconut trees went through two square openings in the building at two places. This had obviated the need to cut the trees when we had constructed the first floor. I never knew about this hammering going on while on the first floor as we had sealed ourselves inside, locking up all the doors and windows. But it was when I got into my daughter's room that she made me feel the vibration on her table. There was a periodic hammering sound coming up, but until then, I had not realized what that sound was. I had not focussed my attention on it specifically as it was one of the many sounds creating the cacophony that day. When I went down to the ground floor, I could sense the real gravity. With every hammering shot, we could feel the vibration in the furniture on the ground floor. Sitting in our verandah on the ground floor, I could see the entire trunk shake after every shot. The next day, I went up our terrace and did a closer examination. The plaster had been eaten up at two places in each of the box holes as the wind had treated us in two directions. The trunks of both trees had two huge scars as two different areas took the impacts with each wind blowing in two different directions that day.
The day after the cyclone, I took my daughter for a walk on the road that ran parallel to our street. I always loved this road for the canopy it had. But the cyclone had unfortunately ripped down a lot of branches and even uprooted some of them. Two trees broke and lay across the road such that there was a green cover over the road, through which we could walk through. My daughter and me took a walk through these. We believed that such an experience would not come up again in the near future. But with the climate change patterns setting in, we never know what is in store in the coming years.
The cyclone was the third challenge that Chennai faced after demonetisation and the departure of our beloved Chief Minister. Many carol singing sessions that had been lined up were called off as a mark of condolence and sharing of the grief that had engulfed the city. But Candles by Candlelight, the singing session at the St.Christopher’s College was to take place. I was in two minds as to whether I should participate, but I pushed myself and went. It was not a competition, but just a stage performance in front of an esteemed Christian gathering.
Our choir did well. The speciality of this singing session is when they switch of the lights and each person in the crowd participates in the singing with a candle in his or her hand. The serenity and the impact was mind blowing. When I heard the vote of thanks, by Dr.Ravi Santosham of the GATT Qunitet, I was convinced as to why Christmas singing should continue. We believe that the birth of Christ itself was in the middle of so many challenges and suffering for Joseph and Mary and Christ brought hope and peace into a hapless world of sin. Christians should continue singing carols in the midst of challenges so as to spread the word of hope and peace.
I wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous 2017. May good tidings of joy always reach you.