This probably looks like a picture of badly maintained roads on a rainy day. On the contrary, this is the picture of my locality in Velachery taken around 5.30 pm today evening. With the weather forecasting long sunny days ahead, what’s with the roads here flooded fresh with water?
This is not the water from up above, this is the water from down below. Nothing has changed since December’s flood in Velachery. When all other places where filled with rainwater, my area was submerged with sewage water that started bubbling out as soon as the first batch of rains hit the ground. This is the story ever since. Our sewages start overflowing whenever it feels under the weather. The sewage system is blocked for over ten days now. Complaint has been lodged, but no action so far from the officials concerned. Bathrooms are flooded, and to prevent further damage nearby apartments pump out the excess water on a daily basis onto the roads. That is the scene you see in the picture above. The dirty water pumped out, floods the roads without any proper channel for release. People walk on these roads on a daily basis, and our doctors are super busy with the increasing number of skin infections and fever cases.
This picture is the backyard of my house. The backyard gets flooded every time one takes a bath. This is the case every single household in my locality. Velachery has become a big name for so many different things. We have big shopping complexes and new landmarks coming up every day. But this the true face of this low lying area in all its gory detail. There is a swearing in ceremony happening with all the grandeur tomorrow for the government that ruled last week to go to work this week. Instead of spending big bucks on unnecessary luxuries, it would be loads better if they could mend basic amenities that people require. This is Velachery, one of the busiest and well-developed hubs of Chennai. I cannot imagine the plight of other developing areas. This is not an attention-seeking ramble of a single person, but the silent cry of a community. We just hope it is heard.
This is the continuation of Shameen Rizwana’s Chapter 7 – Queen of the Cursed Land
She walked along the marble corridor which was illuminated by torches that held cold, blue fire. Everything about the place was cold. Dark. She passed through the tunnel of mist, dreading the coldness that would grip her and the torment it would unleash on her soul. The price one has to pay to see him.
“Master!” she quivered, looking at the tall dark figure that stood staring at the mirror, apparently seeing nothing.
“What do you have for me?” He asked, without turning around.
“The thirteenth queen the prophecy predicted is here, she was crowned nine hours back!” The news didn’t seem to bother the dark figure that stood erect, seemingly absorbed in the mirror.
“Tell me something new!” his voice whipped out like a lash cutting through the cold air.
She mewled with terror and her entire body trembled with fear “Zuta has gifted her The Riddler- the frog!” At that he turned and looked at her. She cast her eyes down, unable to face the lifeless blue eyes that swirled within like liquid mist.
“Ah”! He mused, “The power of a gift! Let’s see what she’s up to. Shall we?”
He ran his handsome fingers through the fine glass of the mirror. It rippled like a pool of liquid silver, whirl-pooled within the ornate golden frame and cleared. The mirror showed a reflection which was bright, well-lit and decorated. She looked at the familiar walls of the Queen’s chamber and an equally familiar form of a pretty woman with raven black hair garbed in a dress of blue lace. She was at the moment hovering beside the bedpost, slowly making her forward towards the frog. He watched intently as the scene unfolded itself on the mirror.
“Ok!” Priya murmured after a deep breath. “Ask away!”
“What is life, the way of everything and nothing? What is constant; day and night, life and death? What begins at the beginning and ends at the same?” the frog croaked.
Priya looked at the frog, churning its words in her mind. The answer came to her without effort, like it always wanted to come out.”A cycle! “She said, “I mean… a circle!”
The moment she said it, an arrow whipped past her, almost grazing her ear. It hit the frog with such a force that it pierced through it and pinned it to the wall. Queasy green liquid started oozing out of the little creature. “I still have time for one question” wheezed the frog, “Ask me the right one!”
“What is my destiny?” she whispered through her sobs.
The frog smiled and wheezed “Last of light, blood of Freyja! Seek the light within and the nine worlds. Vanquish the enemy that sees all and knows all. Seek the water that stills and flows, for there is the mirror where answer shows” With that last words and a wheeze life exited from the amber green eyes.
He saw the lifeless creature on the mirror and his black lips curved into a cold, gruelling smile.
Passing the torch to Salesh Dipak Fernando
This is an entry for the “Tagged” contest by Author Kaarthika and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Kaarthika’s new book “Tagged” hits the amazon store on the 29th of May 2016