Quick–where in the world is Chennai, and what environmental disaster is it struggling with? I must admit I couldn’t have answered this a few months ago. But thanks to the Wonderful Wide Web, I have a new friend I’ve never met: a gentle man (or so he seems, because, remember, we’ve never met) in India named Christy Barath. Christy is a poet and a birder, or a birder and a poet–not sure which to put first. His blog, Verseherder, is the ONLY blog I follow, read, and even look forward to, simply from having blindly bumped into it in cyberspace.
Chennai (formerly Madras) is suffering from terrible floods. But that’s not why I invite you to read Christy’s words and see his images. I simply wish to introduce you to this vibrant, evocative, and completely un-American perspective on life, birds, and beauty.
Read this only if you have a few quiet moments. It will urge you to create more in your life.
Today, I am proud to be a resident of Chennai, not a citizenof India. In case you haven’t heard, my citywas affected recentlyby the heaviest rainfallrecordedin over 100 years. Floods wreaked havoc on the lives of 2 million people. Over 325 are dead. Many birds and animals, especially strays, too. Tragically,afew otherdistricts in the state have had it evenworse.
Last week, wewere either trapped indoors without electricity or supplies, stuck in traffic – with no safe route to take us home or stranded in deep waters – battling for our lives. We were helpless and frightened. Even now thereis palpable tension in the air. Some are in grave danger. The rains haven’t yetbid adieu; we can stillhear ambulancesandhelicopters.Added to that, alot of misinformationhas us in a state of paranoia. Ithas been an heartbreaking and nightmarish experience.Recovery is going to be a long, arduous and disease-ridden process.
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