Friday, November 30, 2012

The day after 26/7 : Part I

2012 could've been my seventh death anniversary year; 27/7 being the date. The day after 26/7. Yeah, the floods in Mumbai on 26/7/2005 almost killed me. Its a long story. I thought of cutting it down very short. Figures I don't know how to do that. So I'm writing it in parts. I don't know how many parts I'm going to divide it into but each part is NOT one day.

Day 1: 26/7

It was around 4 pm and I was on my way back home from work, somewhere near my college. College is around 25 kms away from home (rail route). It had been pouring since morning. I normally travel by train, but since it was flooded at most areas, the tracks were under water and trains had stopped running. So, I had to take a bus home. Slowly and not so steadily, after reaching less than halfway, the bus stopped behind an uncountable number of other vehicles. Nothing was moving beyond this area. I was in Kurla, one of the most low lying regions in Mumbai. Guess the time. 9:30pm! Yeah, that's how much time it took for the bus to travel a distance it would normally cover in less than an hour.

As we all sat there wondering when the bus would move and praying hard that things would be normal soon, a well dressed, sensible looking, young man climbed into the bus from the front entrance and made an announcement.

"Buses are not going to move till 12 noon tomorrow. The roads ahead are flooded, so vehicles will not move and trying to walk is very foolish and dangerous. So right now you are in the safest place. Those of you who don't have place to sit, you can try the buses ahead of this one. There are seats vacant in there. Try calling up your people at home and tell them the situation. But remember, right now you are in the safest place possible."

He stepped out and walked to the bus behind. That was nice of him. But what I heard was not nice at all. 12 noon tomorrow??!! I was hoping to reach home by 10 pm. Today!

Dolphin (MTNL) network was still good while Hutch, Airtel and others did not work. I was a Dolphin user. So, for the next couple of hours, there were lots of people in the bus trying to call up at their homes from my cell. Some of them succeeded. I spoke to mom. She was at home. Our landline phone was one of the very few phones that worked in our area. Magic or God's grace - whatever you like to believe. Dad was on his way back home and brother was walking back home in knee deep water with his college friends. A few people in the bus started getting off saying there were many more people walking and crossing the Kurla bridge. They called me too to join them. Now these 'people' were younger that the young announcer, not well dressed and not a bit sensible looking. But still, I saw a ray of hope. Reaching home was the only thing on my mind.

Once I cross the Kurla bridge, I'll get a bus home. That would be fast.

So, I got down and followed these people. Bad crowd. Scary actually, thinking of it now :( Walking, we reached the bus that was first in line. No vehicles ahead of it. Only darkness and lots of water. And oh yes, there were people, walking towards us as if they just came out of the water. All they had to say was - "Don't try to go ahead, water current is strong. Anyone could be pulled in. That's why we're coming back."

:-O I wouldn't dare! I can't even swim :(

"Come with us, we can try. All you need is to cross the brigde. Come with us."

Why did these people always have things to do that everyone else is advising them not to? And why do they keep calling me with them? And why did I listen to them the first time? What should I do? Maybe they have good intentions? To go or not go to - was the question.

...to be continued...

7 comments:

Jack said...

Shruti,

Nice to see you back here after a gap. Curiosity is fully aroused, so please do not delay the next part.

Take care

Shruti said...

Jack: thanks :) Yeah I will!

Anonymous said...

ohhh then what happened!?!?! Cant wait..

Divya! said...

Awesome narration...and then what happened ??? Write fast :-D

Shruti said...

Anonymous: I may know who u are, but next time write ur name :)

Divya: :D thanks! After all I went thru it! Yeah I'll post the next part soon :)

Sekhar said...

Anonymous revealed!

HI said...

Good !!! Ab aaage... ;)