Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mumbai Deluge 2908

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS!

That's exactly what we saw in Mumbai yesterday...


Stepped on the train running some 10 minutes late on what appeared to be a normal wet day. Reached office in good time, looking forward to the long day ahead... and got busy right away.

As the day progressed, there were comments about the rain, and the only colour I could see outside the glass windows was GREY... but that didn't matter. It's rained heavily before. And as the day progressed, the reports started coming in.... videos, images across news channels and the craziest network of all - WhatsApp... and the one question on everyone's mind was Who'll Stop The Rain.

As the afternoon progressed, the warnings started getting louder... The Tide Is High... or soon going to be...


As the office announced a rain day, four of us headed out to Chembur stepped out in the rain... but soon we lost two, who returned back to starting point... A short walk to the station and spotted the stalled trains... moved on to the junction further to see crowds waiting on the streets looking for taxis. After a brief walk to and back, we jumped into the first bus we could get on... reached the destination and hopped onto another, this time to Wadala Depot... With a dead battery on my phone and a dying one on my colleagues, we managed to get some power on our phones, thanks to a nice security guard, and some rest at the canteen, filled with stranded people trying to figure out how to move ahead... Keep On Moving...


A couple of hours and cups of tea later, the buses were ready to get to service... So off we stepped on for the next leg of our journey... the bus started, it moved and at the first junction the snacks came in through every window of the bus and got passed on... Five minutes more that then we reached the clog... the bus was on an absolute crawl... One hour... and then two... as we saw people wade alongside in knee-deep and then even waist-deep water... There was absolutely no stopping them... One brief glance outside and I spotted a colleague who lives in far away Mira Road walking in the flood waters... I tried calling to confirm it was her, but no response.... the phones were buzzing... An elderly gentleman getting a call every 20 minutes, to check on his progress. Others were posting messages home... Got a few calls from family and friends offering refuge... but we were moving...


Got off at the designated stop... and crossed the street for the last leg of our journey... and a car moving ahead stopped to offer a ride... but not in our direction... Crossed the bridge hoping for another one of those... With no rickshaws in sight, we hailed the first car we saw... and got a big welcome smile... a couple of minutes later, I stepped into the comfort of home... 

Lots to be grateful for.... It might have taken long, but it could have been much harder... Most of all, we didn't need to wade in the drain waters of Matunga and Sion... We just drove through, slowly but surely... 

Thought about the days in the past, when I've negotiated floods in Mumbai... and even in Dubai where I've driven to flooded roads that took three days and lots and lots of pumps to clear. Yes, the rain gives us some crazy days... but these are tests that we need to make the life an adventure... and of course, we need the rain to feed us.... The Rain Song.



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