Times of crisis can often bring out the best in people, and make them do amazing things for complete strangers. The flooding in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu was no different. Several people opened up the very personal space of their homes to rank strangers, to be left with memories that would last a lifetime.
Twenty-three-year old Gokul Nath Sridhar was one such person, and even inspired others to similar action.
A resident of Perungudi who runs his own tech start-up, Gokul says he was floored by the people in Paris who offered to put up travelers stranded in the city in the wake of the attacks in Paris.
On November 16 he put up a Facebook status saying that flood-affected people were welcome in his two-bedroom house. It went viral and within hours it was shared more than 200 times.
That very day, Ranjith Kumar called. His house in Palavakkam was flooded with rainwater from othersâ houses.
âIt was a great experience. Ranjith even made aloo masala for me and my friends on Monday night,â Gokul told The News Minute.
Even more than the happiness of doing something for a fellow human being, the real joy for Gokul lay in the way that many of his friends too offered their homes to flood-affected people in the city.
Another young man Mohamed Yunus (26) had a similar experience to share.
He also posted on Facebook his desire to accommodate around two dozen flood victims in his two houses in Pallikarani and Nugambakkam on November 16, 2015.
About six women and two men whose rented houses were flooded with water contacted him and lived in his house for three days. He said, âThe best part about hosting people in the house is the blessings you get from people.â
Mohamed Yunus had seen a woman breast-feeding her child in an open space in a flood affected area which spurred him into action. He had added in his post, âEspecially women and child are welcome at the accommodation.â
He said, âBoth my houses are available for flood-affected people to come and stay anytime.â
Although Chennai city is slowly returning to normalcy after heavy rains for one week, the deeds of these good Samaritans will always be remembered by the flood-affected Chennaites.
For Sri Krishna Ananthan, an engineering student at Hindustan University, help is the best thing you can do to a person.
He lives in a modest two-room house in Ambattur with his mother and sister. On Tuesday, he put up a Facebook post after his mother Sumathi gave him permission to put up flood-affected people in their house.
A family of three from Korattur stayed with Sri Krishna and his family for two days. âI have seen my relatives getting affected by floods in Medavakkam and wanted to help people who do not have anyone to help,â he said.
Not just individuals, some offices too were benevolent. A start-up âThe Works Atâ is providing accommodation to people around the city, according to a blog post. The firm posted, âFolks, if anyone affected by the rains is looking for a place to work out of for today or tomorrow, ping us at The Works At. We have a few extra seats across our OMR, Alwarpet and Kilpauk locations that you can use at NO CHARGE for a day.â
Indian National Congress spokesperson Americai Narayanan also has opened up his home and office area for the flood affected victims.
He said, âI can provide accommodation for 20 people for few days at my office and house in Thiruvanmiyur.â Though three families were supposed to come and stay at his house on Wednesday night, none of them turned up.