Sunday, July 31, 2005

Havoc

Well...much has been said about rains. One must have heard countless stories of bravery, tolerance, mishaps etc. etc. courtesy the media, friends, blogs, magazines and so on. Some of the stories I have heard are chilling. I was fortunate enough to have a relative staying nearby. Things were so bad that my family couldn't go back to our home for 3 whole days. Fortunately Amma, Appa and me were together at my relative's place. However I do have a little experience to share with you. On my way back to my workplace, I hopped into the train which happened to one of the last trains which plied on tracks that day. Suddenly it halted in middle of nowhere with the rains lashing heavily outside. I waited patiently for 15-20 minutes in a hope that the train will start moving. Much to my dismay, I saw other trains also halting abruptly in middle of nowhere. It was then I realised.....Oh oh...I AM STUCK. Gradually ladies in my compartment started getting down. Well getting down isn't very easy because in absence of a railway platform, the distance between the compartment and the tracks below is huge. The ladies started getting down with the help of the chotu ladder installed below. The tracks were full of water. If unlucky, one would just land up inside a naala. Also, some years back amma had done a little bit of jumping from the train and had broken her ankle into 3 pieces. The imaginary warnings of Appa kept ringing inside my head. I tell you, when you left to fend for yourself also, parents' warnings and Dos and Donts don't leave you alone......gr.....! So there I was busy contemplating whether should I jump....well not technically jump, hop out of the train.....hehehe! But then I finally decided that instead of staying inside the train and rotting away the time, I might as well hop down and walk my way to the station. I positioned myself properly and was all geared upto get down, but my legs couldn't find the stairs and I chickened out. I was way too afraid tog et down. Also when you are scared of heights, it doesn't help matters. I stood there looking like a fool. Gradually the number of ladies began to dwindle which prompted me to think about it again. I decided that I would try for a second time. Again I chickened out. Feeling like an absolute loser, I came inside the train . I was all drenched with all my stupid histrionics. (How irritating. Got all drenched but still did not get down.) I enviously looked at the ladies who were all down and walking their way. Then I saw this 60-yr old lady getting down. That was it! Now my ego was hurt. I had to get down. I had a point to prove.....to myself. So I mustered all the courage and decided, ok....I am getting down. Suddenly one gujju lady who had got down, took the initiative of supervision of the remaining ladies' climbdown. My legs again started searching for the stairs and I again panicked. However, this lady grabbed my leg and placed it over the ladder. Thank god, bless her! Finally I got down and I walked up to my way to the station. I finished my work and then went to my relative's place who stayed closeby.

I should confess that this has been one of the most disastrous rains ever faced. It's the not the magnitude of the rains which is alarming, it is the way the infrastructure has literally crumbled is a cause of major worry. In my 20 years of my existence I have never seen the infrastructure crumble like this. Take the railways for example. The lifelines of Mumbai. Heavy rains are not unusual in Mumbai. Neither are the stalling of trains. However usually, the train services resume the next day after an event of a downpour. The torrential rains hit Mumbai on July 26th. The railways have not yet resumed their services properly and there exists only skeleton service for the time being. This is worrying because for the first time I am seeing the city being brought to a halt. No matter what, Mumbai has always bounced back, that's the unique feature of the city. However this time, I see schools, colleges closed. Many people have not been reporting for work. I am afraid that the undaunting spirit which Mumbai is known for has been hit badly. Not because that Mumbaiites have suddenly chickened out. It's because the infrastructure has just tumbled like a pack of cards.

It's the biggest irony that after raining COWS AND BUFFALOES AND HIPPOES, there is an alarming water shortage. I mean isn't it funny....it's the biggest joke. My house has not received water for the past4 days. We received water only today only for 10 minutes :| There are power cuts galore.

There is anger, there is frustration. The administration did not come and help anyone. The people helped each other and that is the real story of the disaster. The feel good factor of the tolerance of Mumbai shouldn't be taken for granted and I am afraid that's what has been happening now. If care is not taken to rectify the situation, I really don't know, it would escalate into something really disastrous.

16 comments:

Pravin said...

aww scared of heights >:D<

these days have been much worse for me :P. i choose not to tell though. here after a really really long time.

The emotionally challenged said...

Hey !!!

I liked the way u wrote that train experience :):) ... These rains have really been a tough experience for all ... but yah I was one of the fortunate ones ... had food , water , and a roof on top for those 2 days .. so consider myself very very lucky .:)

cheers

Wig-nes said...

It's the biggest irony that after raining COWS AND BUFFALOES AND HIPPOES

lil correction che. It is raining dead cows & buffaloes :|
Hippos also from neighbouring Sanjay gandhi national park :P

Puneet said...

hey hi just came by searching

Yeah it been raining too much… another bad part is with all phone and etc all communication down.. When u need them the most they were available

hope things return to normal

Puneet said...

oh typo... Unavailable*

Anonymous said...

Russ: i saw u freak out @ bbles ka house seeing the dogs :s good u had relatives.....jondhale also badly screwed in the rains :D

Buckwas said...

Gud to hear u are safe and sound...we will be able to hear more Amma-lessons soon!LOL @Appa,amma warnings rotating in brains when alone...so true:P

Anonymous said...

Yes the way the infrastructure crumbled should be a worry. Thats what i noticed in Bbay. There is no overall planning before anything is built, shopping malls are being built on top of each other with no parking, shortage of drainage and so forth, just to name a few. The lack of government support over the past few days has been alarming to say the least...the value of life is very little in our country, do note, only 50 unfortunate people died in London, and it caused Havoc, we have more then a 1000 people dead and counting and the government has been so unsupportive during this phase...

pathetic..do take care of yourself..

Ridhish

satosphere said...

Yeah, evne I have heard horror stories about many people getting stranded in the trains, and other low lying areas.

Imagine the flooded condition in Dharavi, or for that matter, people living in the ground floor of apartments, they would have all lost most of their possessions, considering the ferocity of the rains.

Has the rain calmed down, and the city returned to normal now?

andy said...

yo.. yeah lotsa stories toh the.. raining hippoes?? :P:P i read in paper today that they are having a ball at teh zoo with all the paani...
...
tuesday and wednesday was horrible yeah. but after that the flood news was mostly melodramatic hype.
yes i agree water and electricity are still not restored. but, i think NOW for once the powers that be will understand that their bombay is not invulnerable as they thought it was.. and we aint gonna let them get away with doin nothing.. &%(^%&^%

visithra said...

glad you're ok gal :))

Vidya said...

Hope things settle down and that life gets back into order!!! Do stay in touch pa!

Anirudh said...

You've been linked.

reiya said...

true, only the common ppl helped each other out. rotten politicians shud rot some more in naale ka paani :|. hope water situation has improved @ ur place. ya @ andy, the hippos were havin a gr8 time in the rains. the lions and other creatures were't too happy tho. if the buffaloes hadnt been tethered, they wudve been able to swim to safety.

kpowerinfinity said...

Well, I am sure Bombay will bounce back. But what is more important is what the government is going to do to prevent such incidents again.

The story is the same in Cal, a couple of years back, we had such torrential rains that our schools were closed!

And Delhi is no better, i am sure it will crumble if it ever were to rain that badly. Hell, it doesnt even have experience in tackling such downpours!

The point is -- we really need to worry about how our cities are doing. The infrastructure of our cities really needs to be spruced up if we want to keep progressing as we ahve been doing. At the same time, we also need to pull up our villages.

Perhaps, the idea of city states is not all that bad. Then teh cities and the hinterland can focus on their own development...

Pranshu said...

Me and Ridz had a narrow escape from it. Hows it now shobzz. And ur bhai has a blog.. n its just updated ;)