Blogging 2017

The Spirit of a City

Spirit

Spirit /ˈspɪr.ɪt/ noun ENTHUSIASM

[U] approving enthusiasm, energy or bravery

Community ˌ spirit noun [U]

Friendliness and understanding between local people

Dunkirk ˌ spirit noun [S or U] UK

When a group of people who are in a bad situation all help each other

There was a Dunkirk spirit in the village during the floods.

That’s the spirit

Used to approve or encourage someone’s positive attitude (= way of thinking) or action

     This post is written based on a word prompt found @ A Week For Writing

     The one word prompt – Spirit – is probably one of the most versatile words in the language. It could mean anything from the nectar of intoxication to the beings of the Netherworld. It could mean a lot of different things, each of them unique. I had a variety of definitions to associate with this word and write a post on it. But I chose the thing I loved the most – the meaning of the word that appealed to me the best.

     Going by recent, not so recent and historic events, calamities beyond human control have always brought people closer, fighting against the very things they were initially fighting for. The establishment silences itself, either unsure how to react, or uncertain of the next course of action and people realise that they do have to help each other in the terms of dire need.

     A case in point, when humanity was at its best, is the Chennai Floods of 2015, a dark month of December that has still left scars in many people, and changing some people’s lives beyond repair. But beyond all the debris, under all the despair, if there was one noticeable thing that made people proud, it is the display of compassion, of the resilience of human spirit, of the bud of hope that blossomed out of tons of concrete.

     Though ‘Spirit’ might have a lot of meanings, I will always think of it as the common force, the bravery, the friendliness (even to relative strangers), the understanding and the indomitable spirit of hope and positive attitude that was visible amongst the people of Chennai that December 2015. One more year has gone by, and last December, the state again saw two calamities, back to back, and the city showed its spirit yet again, in both the calamities.

     It maintained a dignified silence and respect to honor the departed, and it worked itself out of another storm that uprooted its structures, showing the entire country and the rest of the world what magic could be done if people loved each other instead of spewing hatred, and the power of hands joining together to help each other up.

     If anyone asks me what spirit is, I would tell them to look at Chennai, the city that survived calamities one after the other and still rose up against all the odds stacked against it, rewriting history, and proving that human compassion and love shall get one through the worst of odds.

     That’s the spirit, Chennai! You showed us what Dunkirk spirit was. No matter what other cities I visit, you shall always be my home, the place where I am. The place where I will always be, the place where my heart shall be, amongst your crooked alleys and wide highways, amongst your towering buildings and two room houses, amongst the glitzy star filled world, in my own little quiet street.

     Saluting the spirit of Chennai, a proud Chennaite!

     P.S.: Special thanks to all of you dear friends who responded to my Facebook post telling me what you thought when you heard the word ‘spirit’. I really oscillated between ghost stories, alcohol definitions and a lot of other things. But ultimately, Chennai won! Thank you and Love you all! ❤

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