This video went viral. And after around four hours, people finally began calling me.

Our hopes were really high. We got calls from the Ernakulam control room as well as the state capital control room, and the police bureau. We were like, okay, this is all over.

And then nothing happened. It’s possible the number of boats was less at that time.

I figured our only hope was the helicopters. We got a large stick and tied a red cloth to it and waved it in the air on the terrace. Towards the end of the day, we realised even that’s not working, so we got (steel) plates and banged them as somebody online said high-frequency sound might be heard. We got a torch and flashed it from the terrace. We tried all of this but nothing happened.

We were hoping that once it gets dark, we’ll possibly catch their attention. We even burnt papers, hoping the helicopters would notice a fire or the smoke. Nothing happened. We did not know that no rescue operations happen once it gets dark.

Again there were calls coming in. People took our location and coordinates. I tweeted to a lot of ministers; my wife, brother, relatives, and friends messaged and called a lot of people. I even had MLAs and MPs calling me all through the night, but nothing happened.

We did not know what to do. Food was not a problem, we had moved that stuff up. The biggest problem we were about to face was the mobile phone—I had power banks using which I was recharging my phone, and the mobile was our last ray of hope as we were still at least getting to know what was happening. I was switching it on once in three hours to see if somebody had messaged. Thousands were calling and that was taking up my battery.

By day three, our larger plan was saving everything. Now we were like, we never know when we’re going to get out. We have to plan that out. We had very less water; we would possibly have lasted another six to seven hours at best. We would not have seen through that night. And I was already at 30% battery.

On day three, again a lot of people called, random strangers who had become closer over the last day.

We were periodically running to the terrace to try and catch a helicopter. Once we saw a boat really far away. We started howling at it and caught its attention. 

When the boat came in, somebody climbed directly onto the balcony and tied a rope there. Getting down from the balcony onto the boat was again a challenge. We had a ladder nearby, and the rescuers got the ladder and got my mom and my dad down. I went down and actually swam through the water to the rescue boat. We had been stranded for about 40 hours.

Now, the problem was the strong flow of water. We are in a lane off the main road. Once we came out on the main road we saw it had literally become a river. The flow was so strong and the boat had to go against it; and this was an inflatable boat. They planned to take us to a relief home, but thankfully we did not end up there. At the end of the day, that relief home itself was marooned and people had to be rescued from there.

The rescuers dropped us at the metro station as the metro was running. The metro was the biggest relief at this time because no bus service was operating. We went to a relative’s house one-and-a-half hours away. 

Today (Aug. 19), the water has begun receding near parts of my house. 

We would like to go back to our house in a day or two, at least to check on its state—we don’t know how bad the damage is. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. We don’t even know if there will be reptiles inside.

That my parents stayed without panicking or repeatedly planning things was what kept us going throughout this. What’s unbelievable is the number of people who coordinated rescue efforts. I am sure the government is doing enough work but it’s unbelievable how civilians got involved to do whatever is being done. Even our rescue boat had two fire and rescue personnel and three volunteers. 

If you ask me why Kerala will bounce back, it will bounce back because of the people: regular people on the road trying to help everyone.

As told to Maria Thomas. We welcome your comments at

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.