Blackout days

House arrested for three days
Shared food and gave shelter
To those stranded midways
Despite no network, power or water

Strangers passed food through windows
Held out a hand and a pup on the shoulder
Helping people wade across the whole day like heroes
Till dawn and when it began to get colder

Mornings were for cooking
Afternoons went in painting
After dawn, we read aloud for hours, a novel,
To save on candles, matches and oil.

So it went on, singing, drawing and reading,
The colors and prose calming our worried nerves
How are other friends and family?
And when this will be over?

So it seemed to be not too bad after all
But day three and still no power or phone call
Sewage water mixed in rainwater
And the flood dangerously rising by the hour

One by one, people began to cough,
Blighted by stench, and moth slimy green,
Clothes no longer warm,
Air no longer clean.

Moved our neighbors and their furniture upstairs
The first time we had them come over,
There was the joy of cooking together and for others
And it was still okay till we ran out of water.

Fresh flush in of fishes and water snakes,
Frogs literally hoping around our beds
Such chaos this release of the lakes,
The news of rain now brings dread.

So finally we got to move out to drier cities
When a friend came to rescue us
From these terrible days of the flood
That brought unknown people together

To love, care and help each other
Immaterial of age, race or color
Disrupting the mundane days of normalcy that we
Have been calling as “life” thus far.


RR’s pencil sketch

Contribute Materials in your city: 

Drop off relief materials in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rishikesh offices of Goonj only.

Monetary contributions to : 

contribution A/c Name: V Trust,

A/C NO: 533102010503421,



You may send the Demand Draft/Cheque in favour of “Youth Hostels Association of India” payable at New Delhi at the following address :

Chief Executive Officer
Youth Hostels Association of India
5, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

or deposit the amount in the following Account of YHAI :

Youth Hostels Association of India, Tamil Nadu Relief Fund Account
Account No.1736000100158824
IFSC Code : PUNB0173600
Address : Punjab National Bank, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi


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