Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Spirit of Mumbaikars

Tuesday, 26th July 2005 will now be remembered as “Terrible Tuesday”. It was the day when skies opened up. The day when it rained more than it rains in cherapunji in a single day. To be precise it rained 94 cms. Actually no metropolis in the whole world has received so much rain in a given single day. Mumbai witnessed the unthinkable and mumbaikars, history.

To add to the woes, Arabian Sea was on high. Immense rainwater and high tide assured that the city was flooded like never before. Water levels rising as high as 8feet!! The rail lines were the first to get flooded and the so-called lifeline of Mumbai came to a grinding halt. Then the roads started getting clogged due to excessive water. Traffic came to a standstill and the situation got worst. People got stranded at nowhere. And with so much water around the power supply was cut off due to the fear of short circuit. Darkness fell on the city and people got hold of any thing, which can bail them out. Many of us like me, wiser souls, stayed back in their offices and spent the night.

The rains stopped the next day, but the suffering didn’t. The trains didn’t start for more than half the day. Roads were littered with cars and buses abandoned by the commuters. Many owners left their costly cars and walked their way home. Truly, Life is a great leveler. I have met guys who have walked for more than 5-7 hours to reach their homes. As I was making my own treacherous way back home, I saw some ghastly scenes. Cattle carcass floating in water, garbage strewn over and destruction all over the place. But amidst death, I saw life struggling and helping each other out. On every nook and corner of the city, people where helping out each other. Residents of that area distributing free drinking water, hot tea, and biscuits to eat. They also guided the weary motorist, on which way to take so as to reach home.

What comes across is the spirit of mumbaikars, and the collective spirit of Mumbai. The spirit, which refuses to die. The spirit, which floats in the flooded murky waters of Mumbai. The spirit, which has survived the deadly bomb blasts and the riots. The spirit, which has survived various scams and scheming politicians.

The Spirit, which can never be broken.

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