Frustrating, exhausting week

It almost the end of a really tiring, frustrating week.

Monday was a nice day at work. Didn’t go for practice as I had to work in the evening.

Tuesday the 26th will always be remembered as one disastrous day in Mumbai history.

Terrible Tuesday - 26th July 2005

It is the day that Mumbai received the highest rainfall of 944mms in Indian history since 1910 when Chirapunji got 830mm of rain.

The simple result was flooding of all low lying areas and several others which normally do not get flooded.

To make matters worse it was high-tide and the waters couldnt recede into the sea. Adding to this, several dams were opened to prevent overflowing of the lakes and so the water levels just got higher.

Even my area which seldom gets flooded had water upto waist level in certain areas.

The flooding all over Mumbai and Navi Mumbai left thousands of people stranted at their offices, schools and other places.

I was at work on Tuesday when the torrential rains began. Around 4.30pm our UPS tripped which meant no work that day. I didn’t realize why, but I think because our basement got totally flooded.

Though we wanted to go early, the buses weren’t available and so we had to wait till 6pm to leave.

The Andheri bus (in which I travel) driver was stuck in Mankhurd, which meant no bus for us. Got into the Borivali bus and though I would make my way home from there.

Rhea called (surprisingly she got through because all the phone lines were jammed and several places the network was down) and told me that the situation in Andheri was bad and I would be better off staying away.

Thankfully, I was in the Borivali bus and was able to stop over at Abhijeet Jana‘s house in Thane.

Spent the night there. Most of Mumbai didn’t have electricity as the power companies had switched off the supply to prevent electrocuting people.
As a result almost all of Thane was closed. We were able to find a restaurant and have our dinner there.
After getting back home we chatted for a while and hit the beds.
Jana lent me a pair of his shorts for the night, so I didn’t have to sleep in my wet trousers 😀

It wasn’t hot because of the rains but the flys were irritating.

Woke up a little later than I do on weekdays, mainly because we knew there wouldnt be work on Wednesday.

We went for lunch around 1.30pm and then I headed for Mulund Checknaka Bus Station to catch a bus for home.
Unfortunately the BEST buses were in major shortage as only 450 of their 3000+ buses reported back on Tuesday night. Many were unable to because of either breakdown or were stuck in traffic.

So, that meant a long wait of over an hour before I finally got a bus to get me home and then had to stand in the crowded bus for more than an hour.

On my return journey as we passed Powai lake I could really see the effect of the rains, because the water level had risen several feet.

Near Saki Naka (which is the scene of a major landslide where the deathtoll is very high) there was a large number of abandoned cars and buses lining the streets.
The death toll in Mumbai as of today stands over 400 and way over 1000 for the state of Maharashtra.

My bus which was supposed to go to Andheri East suddenly took the route to Andheri West and I ended up walking a good deal to get back to the East bus stop only to find that there were no buses there!

Rickshaws refused to come near my area (which is really sick attitude especially during such troubled times) and at long last I found a person willing to take me home 🙂

On getting back home, heard Mum‘s experience of Tuesday. I had been able to get across two SMSes to them informing that I wont be coming home, so they weren’t that worried.

She walked a home from Santacruz on the flooded Western Express highway, because her bus couldnt move any further as the highway was blocked with many people having abandoned their cars.

Wednesday and Thursday were declared public holidays by our Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

We didnt have work as a result. Besides, we wouldnt have been able to as there was no electricity nor water.

Had work on Friday and Saturday to compensate for the holidays.

Needed to work those days as my project delivery dates are nearing and I must confess am in a bad state.

Saturday especially was pretty bad. Though we didnt have Internet for most of the day, I didn’t need it at all.

Day ended rather rough as well and I was rather irritated with myself. Well, it’s work. I won’t complain about it.

Have spent the whole of Sunday at home today (except for mass in the morning) and I don’t think I will be leaving the house as well as the rains have begun again and warnings have been issued to stay indoors.

I do hope I have work tomorrow. Lots of things to set right!

And I really hope that the week to come will not be like the week that went.

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