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A rainy night and a driving nightmare!

I got to see the ‘not-so-glamourous’ side of Bangalore yesterday.

The rains came lashing down creating havoc on the streets. And I happened to be in the middle of it all.

To make matters worse, I chose yesterday to put my driving skills to test. I had not ventured anywhere far with the new car. But I thought it was about time. What luck, I must say!

When I started off from home, it was nice and clear.

But the Gods were looking. And decided to put me to test. Or something like that.

After driving for about a kilometre, it started raining.

Then, it began pouring in earnest. Cats and dogs, like they say.

On 100 Feet Road, I began to panic a little. Parked the car and waited. No respite.

Blinding lights. Fogged-up windows. Crazy traffic. And I couldn’t see a thing! Was wondering what on earth possessed me to be so stupid.

Finally, reached my destination. Indiranagar. Spotted one parking space and breathed huge sigh of relief. Ahhhh.

Madhu’s nice cocktail and the amazingly yummy food at Shiok’s (dumplings, garlic pepper prawns, flavoured rice, spicy prawns curry and fried fish) and my dinner date got my mind off the rain. But not for long. It was time to head back. Lavannya had to drive for about 20 kms on her bike. I had to cover a fair share too.

Just as I was contemplating my journey home, I got an SMS suggesting I take out the new car for a short ride in the rains. And I just couldn’t help smiling 🙂 I sure did, but it had definitely turned out to be more than a short ride!

It was worse than I imagined. There was knee-deep water in some areas. Water was gushing out of the strangest places. I was petrified that Ma Chérie would stall and refuse to move further. I could picture other drivers abusing me in the middle of the road! But she behaved beautifully and I was so proud of her. Through all that water, muck and slush, she drove like a dream…

When I reached the road in front of my house, there was another obstacle awaiting me. One side of the road had become a river (there were cars that had stalled in the middle) and all the traffic moved to one side of the road. So there was a total commotion. Cars honking here and there, stuck in totally opposite directions. And of course, water everywhere. It was my driving nightmare come true!

Was I glad when I finally parked Ma Chérie safely in her slot.

Rains, I realised can be so romantic, as Pallavi writes in her post! But so ‘not’ romantic when you are caught in the ensuing mess!

Personally, I love the rains. In fact, Pallavi’s post also reminded me of the endless rainy spells in Shillong – they used to go on for days. We used to live in a house, which had large French windows nearly all around it. And it was on a hilltop. My little room in the corner of the house gave me a lovely view of the streets below and the hills around (now of course, I appreciate it so much more!). And what a view. It was the best place to be during the rains. The best part was no slush and muck after the rains. No water logging. Being hilly sure has its advantages.

But now, when it pours, and I’m stuck in a city not known for its drainage system / road planning / traffic sense, I think I’d rather be curled up inside, reading a novel or watching a movie, and sipping a nice red in front of the fireplace! (I know the fireplace is a little much for this weather, but I kind of like that idea).

It’s kind of ironical that the city touted to be India’s Silicon Valley is reduced to this state after a bout of rains. Apparently, some areas around Banerghatta Road were so badly flooded that people couldn’t get out in the morning. I’ve been on that road once, and I must say it’s in such a bad state that I wonder how people travel that side everyday.

It’s full of potholes and frankly, in stretches, there is no road. Surely, the government has enough money to complete/repair the major roads and flyovers in some kind of a decent timeframe. Taking more than a year in today’s time, I think is an absolute sin. And especially in a city of the size of Bangalore.

The city boasts of so many advantages. But this is one side that really stand out like a sore thumb.

Today’s paper had reports about the areas badly affected by the rains. And of course, two areas mentioned was where I was headed last night and where I live currently.

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