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.