Every news channel and newspaper has been carrying horror stories of the floods that we are witnessing and yet everything seems so peaceful. People have left their houses to live in the school buildings and yet everything is peaceful. At times, I silently pray for a boat service in the main roads of the city and yet everyone here is at peace. Everyone has come to expect certain things in Bihar. There will be rains, the rivers will not be de-silted and the drains will not be cleaned and of course Nepal will let go of its excess water. Everyone believes in Chalta hain. Sab kuch yahan pe chalta hain. Since our childhood we have been taught to adjust. We adjust to everything around us. And as I fret and fume I hear myself telling a newcomer, don’t worry Chalta Hain. Almost 5 lakh people displaced in Bihar alone and yet sabkuch Chalta hain. The National Highway 57 is now a refuge for people displaced from their homes and yet Sabkuch Chalta hain.
These were some of the headlines in Today’s TOI:
Bagmati shows rising trends again
District Administration orders closure of schools
Rivers flowing over danger mark
Passengers stranded at Samastipur
NH-57: The home for homeless
Kareh embankment breaches at two places
And while the world around them did not care a fig about it and I with all my high and mightiness was just a mere spectator ranting at night on my keyboard, there were people who collected funds out of their own will to send Chura and Gur to as many families as possible. Yes, it’s true that given a chance, I would not allow that anywhere near human consumption but when hunger strikes and water dances all around you in its mad ecstasy of destruction, I guess you don’t have a choice.
Sandrine had asked me while she was at IIMB on exchange, “What gives you so much confidence about your country?” The answers I had given then were somehow not satisfactory even to me. But today, seeing the sun after almost a fortnight and humming “Sunshine on my shoulders” as I watched people pack the food relief, I knew this was the answer I was looking for.