Me , myself and industry

Friday, July 29, 2005

Rain Rain Go Away …

What started as regular day to work ended for me in an adventure … Who said Mumbai had no rains .. I take all my words back .. I did not meant to challenge the nature’s fury..

I never used to notice the honking of LOCAL trains would be what my ears would await for.. but now today morning , was relived to hear the familiar sound of LOCAL trains honking while approaching “Charni Road” station.. The out slash left the southern part of Mumbai untouched… But the Suburban Mumbai was not spared…

After reaching office on an regular afternoon duty .. fully drenched in heavy rains .. very little I knew that I would had to leave the office on this extra ordinary adventure…after a few hours..

By evening we received frm our admin office; that rains were heavy and the office transportation would leave in a short notice..
Many of use packed bags .. reached the BUS on time , to find it over crowded…
Once the BUS left the office premises under the thick cover of the rains.. the effects of the heavy down pour surfaced…..
The road had transformed itself into an never-ending muddy stream…The BUS mercilessly moved ahead cutting through the overflowing “Gutter” water…
After picking up more.. not so lucky people from our another office , our BUS turned towards the Airoli highway … traffic was creeping and the first horror pictures of the rains were seen .. people stranded in the maruti car .. which was half submerged in the water….
A tiring 2 hours slow creeping traffic stunt left us frustrated .. I usually reach home in 1 hour 30 min…keeping in mind the heavy peak hour traffic …but today it was an exception..
Once Airoli was passed the BUS .. started moving smoothly over the EASTERN express highway..unaware that we were moving into a trap..which would leave use stranded for more that 15 hours….
The highway journey was short lived .. as I remember the traffic slowly increasing and suddenly coming to a grinding HALT. It was getting darker and the only lights which showered were the headlights of the cars.. The whole area was pitched into darkness , as electricity was cut off, due to heavy “clogging” of water.
I was feeling safer in the BUS and thanked GOD that I was not in the heavy down pour.. Later read today that it was not a normal rain , but a CLOUD burst , a phenomemon.. known to happen only in highland areas… Mumbai recorded 950 mm approx rain in one night.. which broke all records till date in INDIA.
The jammed traffic left us no option than to sit tight in our office BUS…which was quite frustrating… The worst part ..None of the mobile phone service providers were working..it was only after determinant try of 1 hour I was able to get through a few sms to my friends and family to inform I was on the way home and alright…. My parents were frantically trying my phone as it was now 6 hours I had not reached home..
The “JAM” left us in no where near “Ghatkopher” which is about 15 kms away from Mumbai. So a few brave hearted decided to leave the BUS and venture on foot.. I decided against it as it was dark and foolish to move out…in such an heavy downpour..
Two of the earlier left team returned back after 3 hours which made my thought more firmer not to move from the BUS.. The water now had risen till neck high .. around 5.5 feet…
Night was not at all comfortable. But tried to get as much sleep as we could.. had by now made a few newer friends. Got down of the BUS late in the night to get a feel of the pleasant climate as rains were now not as strong as a few our back…
Morning .. breaks.. everyone in the BUS were not restless.. and all decided to leave the BUS and checkout how far we can venture away from the safety of our office BUS.
We had no idea as no communication was available .. NO Cell phone,, NO TV .. NO Internet… We didnlt knew what we were against ! Rains were back...
Water had clogged everywhere throughout the road on which we were suppose to travel..no knowing how far we can go .. we decided a group of “5” to stick together …and move on..
The muddy water was around waist high and kept praying to god for it not to increase further … one of the group member convinced that he was a good swimmer.. I said to myself .. hope u don’t forget swimming when it’s really needed.. *I don’t knw swimming*
After cutting through the first hurdle ..we were convinced to go on further .. the drowned cars and floating auto-rickshaws did not dampen our spirits.. the non stop moving people gave us the much needed confidence to carry on further .. To be frank .. I was enjoying it.. I always luved rains…
On the second intersection .. while we had already walked 3 Kms. We heard an heavy noise cutting besides us.. A trailer was carrying heavy steel rims ..we immediately like an Hindi flick climbed over it and took our positions.. It was fun filled kilo meter ..on the back of the trailer …we had to get down of it as it too got stuck after a kilometer or so.
The idea of climbing over trailer was enticing .. as I always wanted to do it. We kept walkng in the muddy water .. ever getting closer and closer to Mumbai.. we were quite sure , that once we reach Mumbai ..we would get some transportation …to reach “HOME”
Water level was slowly rising and multiple thoughts came to my mind..but kept them aside and kept talking with the group and smiling …shouting here and there to people to keep the tempo ON…
Whole of Mumbai had reached to a stand still .. never ever had seen so many cars .. still.. non moving .. dead .
Everyone.. rich ..poor .. fat .. slim … healthy ..weak .. . .. all were on the road….walking towards safety.. walking towards HOME.. it was not nearly 8 Kms which we had walked .. and after 3 hours of walking in the muddy water .. legs had started to cramp up.. I was ok.. there was a time once I used to jog for 6 kms everyday…
King Cricle was our last hurdle..which we cleared quite happily, as we knew .. we were inching closer to home…..
After all we had now reached closer to civilization ..we knew that the whole situation was gruesome.. that this was not normal..
No general store had biscuits …no mineral water…luckily found a juice shop open…
A mug of fresh juice gave some relief to the thirsty throats ..luck had started favoring us and got hold of the CAB and he asked where all we had to go..
We were Happy to deal with him for a few bucks more…for even he had been stranded the whole night in the JAM.. will write about it some other day . Mom was relived to see me back at home .. cell phone services were still frantic .. and are still today ..as I write this post…
Hope all our friends in Mumbai have reached safer back at home..
Planning to ditch the office even today .. as water clogged has started to recede. And government has declared a public holiday.

Hope u all enjoyed ur extended holiday .. god bless all who lost there near ones and the nature once again showed that human as vulnerable as always against it.

Good day …keep blogging.

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