The only thing worse than Chennai traffic is Chennai traffic in a torrential downpour. With the exception of a light drizzle about a month ago, we've had virtually no rain the entire time that I've been here. The last 24 hours have definitely changed that. We went from a severe drought, to heavy rains, wind, lightning, and flooding.
Driving home from work tonight, the visibility is almost zero. The taxi driver is fighting a losing battle to keep the car windows from fogging up. Bicyclists, drenched and almost invisible, dart in and out of traffic. There is flooding close to the curb, so people are walking in the middle of the road. When we get to within a few miles of my neighborhood, I notice that all the lights--traffic lights, street lights, lights in all stores and businesses--are out. Everything is so dark that I don't even recognize my own neighborhood. My usual landmark for where to turn off the main road to my house, a Subiksha supermarket, is pitch dark, such that I don't even notice it and we drive right by, then have to backtrack and several times ask for directions to orient myself. I am wishing that I had just spent the night at work!
I ask the driver, only half-joking, "Is this a monsoon?" He laughs. "No, monsoon in summer. This, just small cyclone." [On second thought, he could have been saying "No monsoon in summer." Not sure!]
Oh. That's all right, then. And here I was worried!
My house is completely dark, the garden turned to mud. I am tickled to see the caretaker come out and greet me at the car with an umbrella. I am very happy that inside I have a stash of candles and a flashlight. Amazingly enough, my phone connection is still working, so I still have internet access and a laptop battery that will last me several hours.
So here I am, blogging by candlelight. Outside, a few children whoop and holler. A cool breeze blows through my windows, the wind rages, and I hear thunder in the distance. I rather like the sound.
In this land of perpetual sunshine, I realize how much I have been missing the weather.