All of you who were not under the Rock of Supreme Ignorance this week would know of two things – India got fucked by Australia in Australia (as usual), and of a certain Cyclone Thane.
But first let me tell you, it’s “winter” here in Mumbai. Mumbai’s winter lasts exactly and precisely anywhere between 1-2.2 weeks and during that time, temperatures drop to a unbelievably cold 14’C. At this time, people will be decked up in woolen clothes and ear muffs and looking even more ridiculous than usual.
So, on a wholly unrelated note, I was mildly surprised when I heard there was a cyclone sitting in the Bay of Bengal, and headed towards the area that is Orissa to Sri Lanka.
Ultimately it made landfall in the area more popularly known as “We’re sitting ducks for cyclones” (that is, between Nellore and Cuddalore) and hit somewhere between Pondicherry and uh..I guess Chennai?
Clearly I won’t make a good weatherman.
Anyway here’s a list of things to do during a cyclone, so that you don’t get bored out of your mind sitting at home in the rain. By the time you read this, the cyclone would have passed and it’ll probably be 2014, but whatever. Prepare for the future !
0. Confirm if there is a cyclone.
Sometimes the weatherman on this particular channel says “CHENNAI WILL GET INUNDATED OMG” and if you look outside, you will see this :
So just confirm that a cyclone is actually headed your way before preparing for it.
1. Get alternative electricity sources.
So the weatherman said “It’s going to be sunny”. If you see dark clouds outside and if your colleges/schools have panicked and shut their gates then : Time to prepare.
You already know that the electricity won’t be available, even when it doesn’t rain. So when it does (surprisingly) rain in Chennai, you can expect atleast 20 minutes of power before you’re left in the dark, stepping on peoples feet and walking into walls like the awesome non-blind person that you are.
Therefore it is imperative that you get a minimum of 4 generators for your house, and as many liters of kerosene for these things as you’d like.
Also get 3 UPSses…UPSs’…UPS (plural) for your computer and charge the fuck out of them in the days leading up to the cyclone. Then you can Facebook and Tweet during the cyclone, saying intelligent things like “OMG SO SCARED” and “WTF is with this rain” for people to enjoy.
2. Make other people get alternative electricity sources.
Clearly having electricity and using the internet is no fun if there’s no one to use it with. Who will retweet and like your Facebook statuses if you’re the only one in Chennai using Twitbook and Faceter? Manipulate, threaten, kidnap, demand, beg, implore, plead and make sure you have atleast 30 people to give you company in times of wet weather.
3. Go live on the 3rd floor or 2nd floor.
Do not go any higher or lower.
If you go lower, you have a risk of getting carried away by the flood waters (sewage) that will inevitably come and no one wants to rescue a person who smells like flood water (sewage).
If you go higher, then…you have a lot of walking to do. I’m not considering the fact that the person who constructed your building may have had the foresight to include a bunch of bigass generators for the lifts. If he did, marry him.
4. Take pictures.
You could become a celebrity if you are in the right place at the right time. Click pictures ! Shoot videos ! Send it to the media outlets and demand money. I mean, who doesn’t want disaster photos?
No I don’t mean photos of you in the mirror, silly.
I mean photos of the beach being ruthlessly violent, or photos of Anna Salai becoming River Salai.
In the words of Starsky from the movie Starsky and Hutch, “Do it. Do it.”
Note : This may involve you getting out of the house and becoming wet.
5. Go on cyclone tourism with your friends.
This doesn’t necessarily involve being an actual tourist.
Just go walk around. Or drive around in a car (only a car that you’re happy to see going underwater). Sometimes just watching the streams of water go from one street to another, carefully and specifically avoiding the manholes and going towards the Adyar/Cooum are just amazing. Water is one big dick and you can see it being a dick-in-action when the monsoons finally show up in Chennai.
Build paper boats and include your friends mobile as the passenger. Watch it sink and watch your friend push you into the water as revenge. Sometimes the best diseases are caught when you play in dirty, dirty water. You know you want it.
6. Panic and get the hell out.
Maybe you don’t want all this.
Maybe you want to be in sunny, sandy beaches drinking something from a glass which has a little umbrella on the side. Ok.
Be my guest and leave before the deadly cyclone can wash your city down. Go wherever you get tickets. Port Blair? Cochin? Delhi (god no).
7. Say “aww fuck it” and settle down.
Or maybe you totally don’t want to leave or sacrifice yourself to technology (as I clearly have). Then you can do the thing normal people do and settle down on the couch with your Agatha Christie or Twilight or 1000 Suppandi jokes (who am I to judge?). Or maybe never leave the bed.
Or if you’re someone I know who’s name starts with “G”, you could use all available resources to actually sit and study.
Yeah I know. The world has weird people.
8. Pretend as if a cyclone doesn’t exist and do your thang
Because you’re a badass that cannot be stopped by even the wet forces of nature, you refuse to be halted in your progress by something as paltry and pathetic as a cyclone. Cyclone? HA ! The only CYCLE-related thing you’ll stop for is your washing machine’s washing cycle. And that too because it’s illegal to go out naked.
You’re not going to stop for some stupid cyclone. Especially one named Thane. So naturally you get on your BMW bike or into your BMW 7 series, and just drive along and do your thing.
You give zero shits about all this. Good for you, man !
9. Be a good human.
It doesn’t matter who you are.
OF course you’re lucky enough to have concrete above, below and to your sides. Not everyone is that lucky. After the cyclone passes, take any of your old stuff, food, whatever and give it to those who you think deserve it.
It could be your building’s watchman. It could be that kid you see at the cycle shop, filling air into motorcycles and normal cycles. It could be anyone. Just assume that they have lost everything and give them everything you don’t want (and something you want, if you’re particularly altruistic).