A few years ago, I remember being stranded in office during the height of the Mumbai monsoons.
Reading this account, I was transported to that day. There were about 12 of us. We had a small office at Fort. This was before we shifted to our larger office in Mahim.
We started playing dumb charades at about 7 in the evening to keep ourselves entertained. When we heard that the trains had stopped, most of us gave up any attempt to try and get out of office. Some braved the odds and took taxis from Fort to their far off homes. Though it turned out to be a really expensive proposition, since most of them had to shell out heaps of money. In fact, finding cabs under the circumstances were also next to impossible. The best thing, as we discovered, is to stay put wherever you are. And that’s exactly what we did.
It turned out to be a memorable night. Ordered fish curry rice from a restaurant nearby. All of us sat around the food and finished it in no time. Resumed playing DC and this went on till the wee hours of the morning. One by one, folks went off to find comfortable places : on top of the desks, joining chairs : doing the best they could. Unfortunately, the place was cramped and not suitable for overnight stay, so some of decided not to go to sleep at all. Playing DC till early morning can be a tiring experience. One also runs out of movie names. I think, by morning, we were even beginning to make up several of the names.
I remember this being a fun experience, because the next day we were back in the relative comfort of our homes. The rains subsided and things were back to normal. Not so this time around. It’s much more serious. People spending more than 2 days in the office. Stranded for hours on end in stations, bus stops, roads. Not being able to get through to their loved ones. Carcasses of animals. Debris everywhere. Cars abandoned. Phones not working. Offices shut.
Talking to friends in the city and reading some accounts, I can only imagine how bad things are. The other day, dad said over the phone that he is glad that I am now in Bangalore because they would have been so worried. They have already had their share of worries about sis when the UK bomb blasts happened.
I do hope that the battering stops soon. I think the city can only take so much. I know everyone is talking about all the brave stories that have emerged out of the disaster, but I think this is one more disaster that Mumbai can do without. Personally, I am glad I left when I did but I have to admire the resilience of the city.
On the other hand, Bangalore has hardly received any rains. While it threatens to rain all the time : overcast skies and heavy winds. There’s a small shower and that’s all. Possibly, this is all we’ll get this time around.
In a way, it’s probably for the better since we all know what happens to Bangalore when it rains! In fact, if Bangalore was battered the Mumbai has been, this city would probably not survive at all! I shudder to think what would happen. Someone commented that these kind of rains would never happen in Bangalore. But then was anyone in Mumbai expecting the kind of rains it received? Not even the Met department apparently…