Remembering Mumbai’s New Orleans…26/07/05

Morning of 25 July:
Its raining since yesterday. Heavy drops of water over the aluminum sheets was creating such a sound that we thought it would break it down. Never we had seen such heavy rains. Dad was off to office. I was home. Mom wanted me to go to the shopkeeper down my apartment to buy some groceries. I waited for the rains to stop a little.image003

12 noon and there is no sign of the rains stopping. They were showing in the news how Mumbai’s lifeline,the local trains,were slowing down due to water logging over the tracks.
i finally went down with one of my friend. The moment i opened up my umbrella the water was pushing the black cloth forcefully down.

The Ulhas river which flows a two hundred meters away from my home gets flooded every time. This time too it was  going too flood. There news channels with their OB vans reporting LIVE. There were policemen directing the flow of traffic.

Back home after an hour of sightseeing my mother was just singing…let it rain..let it rain..!!(she wanted that my dad got a holiday the next day cause of the rains)
By evening the water as usual started overflowing from the river and flooded all the approach roads towards my locality.
My dad came by 8pm wading through waist deep water from the back road.

Night of 25 July- 11pm:
I saw the shopkeepers moving all their groceries. I thought it would be a precautionary measure.
Lights off. We go to bed. Its still raining heavily since yesterday night.

26 July – 3.45 am(Dad in his dream):
Water is gushing into our house. Dad is searching for the broom to wade out the water. But is not able to find it.
A crying sound wakes him up from the dream. Electricity had gone around 1am. It was pitch dark. Dad went to the balcony. He could see nothing else except a large sheet of something white in color. He went back to sleep.

Again he woke up to someone crying. This time he was sure he was not dreaming. He rushed to the balcony. Mom woke up to the commotion. Dad took a look down the balcony(we live on the first floor). He hurriedly got the emergency lights and shone it down. He ran towards the main door and went down.
I was sleeping in the living room. i wondered why dad was going down at this time of night. Mom was still clueless what was going on. Me too.

I took a looked outside my window. My eyes were still shut and was not getting a clear view in the dark. I washed my face and again when i looked down…
What the fuck!!! i could not believe my eyes. It was water and water everywhere. Chest deep water.
it instantly clicked me why dad rushed down. The people living there were still unaware that water had flooded their house. They were still deep in their sleep.
Dad went to wake them up.

I rushed down too. The scene of water rushing in still makes my hair stand up. It was a scene straight out of the TITANIC.
We kicked and kicked the main doors of their houses till they woke up.
water reached chest level within minutes.

By 9am the water was became still outside my first floor door…


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