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Thursday, July 28, 2005



July 26th 2005, A day to remember(or forget) :)

Hi All,

Tuesday, July 26th 2005, will be a memorable day for me, Ullas (Office mate) and Binda(Office mate and also Ritesh's Sister). I had occasion to observe many aspects of human behaviour. Human beings just as helpful and caring as they can be, could also be opportunistic, greedy and insensitive.

At around 3:00 pm,I received a call from my Dad asking me to leave office asap, since trains had stopped completely. After many yes and no's , finally I, Ullas and Binda decided to leave. We decided, we will catch a auto/cab from link road.

So we started walking towards Link road through narrow lanes. By now streets had became gushing rivers. We enjoyed this. But by the time we were on link road, we started realizing that this is not normal. Water was flowing from all directions. There was not a single auto vacant. So we decided to continue to walk(or push) through waters, hoping we will get a outo somewhere. After an hour or so we reached khar and decided to talk a break. We found a Mall and took shelter under it. After having some rest and discussions( Ullas was insisting on staying there for some more time, while I and Binda wanted to continue with the journey.) Finally we started again.

By this time our mobiles also started giving up. On top of it, after each call, I used to get a very nice message from Airtel. Would like to quote it here "Drenched in Rains. For hot coffee, call on this number ****". Anyways, we opted to continue with our journey, instead of coffee.

BEST Bus were stranded everywhere.We saw people just leaving their bikes/cars on the roads and running for their lives. We reached Santacruz. By this time it was getting difficult for us to walk through waist height water levels. On Santcruz people advised us to goto SV Road , since link raod was becoming worse.

By the time we reached Vile Parle it was pitch dark( with power failure everywhere). We all thought that we had passed through hard(but adventurous) time till now, And everything will be fine now. But it proved wrong. We reached a place called Irla (Andheri _ Parle). Waters levels started rising again. We were moving through road with not a single ray of light and waist height water. Suddenly we heard local people shouting and telling people to catch each others hand and mving fast. Before we could realise anything, water were started climbing on us and in no time it was almost upto our shoulders. We all were shocked for a moment and our mind completely blanked out. We decided to follow rest of the herd.(Nyways we had not other option.)

It was around 8:30 pm when we reached Andheri Shoppers Stop.We had two options. Either to goto Binda's relatives place which was nearby or walk a bit further and goto her friends place.(Since by this time we had realized it was impossible to goto our homes.) But as we went a lil ahead. we learnt that it was impossible to travel further since there was Nala ahead and water levels were too high to travel.

So we decided to go Binda's relatives place. But problems did not ended here. Binda just had a rough idea about abt building where we had to go. She could not recollect name of the building and the darkness all buildings were looking same. But a lady came to our rescue. She, along with her son and torch, helped us to search Binda's relatives place.She also gave her address, incase we have ny problems, we can go back to her place.

So at around 10:00pm we were at binda's relatives place. They gave us towel and new clothes to wear. We made calls to our homes, informing them that we are safe. Binda's relatives were like god to us. (Her Aunty and Bhabhi). After serving us a much needed tea, they made dinner for us. We really enjoyed dinner. After dinner and some rest , I and ullas decided to look for Binda's friend who was stuck in a bus at andheri. We went on road looking for a particular bus number, but failed to find her friend. Meanwhile, people had started taking shelters in buses and railway platforms .(those were only places where there was some light). There were lots of people who looked completly lost, waiting to return to their home. One thing I noticed that there was not a single Cop anywhere. We returned back and tried to have a sleep.( I found difficult to sleep with mind full days events)

In morning we had tea and lots of snacks(Thanx to Aunty and Bhabhi again). We left for our homes at around 9:30 am. Ullas crossed the andheri fly over and went his way, while i and binda started moving towards goregoan and kandivali. When we reached Jogeshwari, I started seeing real picture of yesterday's rain furry. There were dead buffalo's lying all along the road. Cars and auto's were damaged badly. Some of them were totally smashed. Roads were torn apart. And buses full of garbages(water had passed above them)lying on road.At around 12:00 pm,we reached Goregoan. Binda parted from there(not before falling once or twice while walking through broken and muddy roads).

Being alone now,it was now becoming more and more difficult to travel on foot. Meanwhile, i saw groups of people offering tea and snacks to people travelling on road. It was good to see that even in such difficlut times, people are there to help each other. By the time a reached Malad i found a auto who asked for 20 bucks from each passenger(total 80Rs.) for distance which would normally cost 9 bucks in total. But people had no option but give whatever they demand. So finally after getting down at Kandivali station road and then 15 minutes of walk i reached my home.

Despite all of this, we know that tomorrow will be a new day and life will go on.The rains may have paralysed the city of Mumbai. It had failed to paralyse the spirit of the people.

Amchi Mumbai will be back with a BANG!!!!

ps: Feel free to share your experiences.

Nikhil Sheth