Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Irony man

I hated the rains even when I was back home.It gave me the feeling of being captivated in my own home,with the rain drops substituting for the iron bars.And probably my parents as the jailors :D .

And then I came to Bombay.I had heard it rained a lot,but with no jailors so to speak,I could do the occassional jailbreak.Soon I found out that there were too few of the adventurous lot who did not let a few drops of rainwater come between their playtime.But at a place where the playground is substituted by a virtual network of computers with the self proclaimed "warriors" sacrificing proper sleep and a real life,finding a few mates to play outside is a tough task even when it does not rain.I wished it stopped at that.

Last Tuesday changed it all.New levels of hate hitherto undiscovered were revealed.It rained close to metre.I have a modest height of less than 1.70m.One more day like this and I am submerged,with lots to spare.The worst part is that I wondered how people at Cherapunji coped with all that nuisance,and that part of the world was on my "worth-visiting" places just to figure that out.Now it's struck-off in a flash.And Bombay creeps into my "never-stay-here" list,too tough to get that out now.

It's not that I haven't seen flood.I have been through 2-3 floods at my Dadaji's place,and once at my Nanaji's.Strange as it may seem,my memories are pretty merry ones.I remember venturing out on a float made of bamboo sticks with water snakes floating around (I was reassured that they were harmless) and other people on similar makeshift boats joining in on the ride.I also remember holding out a fishing line from the 2nd floor of the house into the water which had crept upto the first floor ledge.I don't remember catching anything but I do recall feasting on the river fish that other experienced members(mainly the driver,the servant and other village folk) had hooked.Another thing that stands out is me as a 6 year old joining in on the efforts to lift up the submerged Maruti-800 of my Nanaji to some safer place.All of that was great adventure for me.

If I had visited more often,I would have many more tales to tell,for river Kosi isn't called the Sorrow of Bihar for nothing.Maybe then it would have become boring routine.And maybe I would have been more aware of the seriousness of the calamity that I was in the midst of.

Even a high lying area like my hometown Jamshedpur wasn't spared of the floods.It rained a lot (seemed like a lot!) even there,which made two until then dry rivers roar into action.The habitats near the rivers were the ones hit hard,so strictly speaking I wasn't a part of the action,although minor respites like school holidays surely made for a slightly better image.

Here everything is different.Just when you think it can't rain any more,or any longer,something happens.And this was a special one.Bombay is not a suburb or small town like other of my mentions.So when something like this happens,it takes ages for things to crawl back to normal.

Our internet facilities were upped after a week,we are still served "flood-special-food" at the makeshift mess area(our original swank mess was vitually submerged),we can't go out because there is fear that we might not come back in the same state of mind or body.The transportation-both rail and road,are hit badly,shutting down temporary escape routes out of this madhouse.I don't want to sound like front page of newspapers so I must stop here.

And ironically amidst all this,with Government issuing holidays and notices for educational institutions to remain closed,our classes still go on.

Thank God the internet is back.

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