Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Mumbai rains

It has been one week since I returned to Mumbai after my two months trip to West Africa and Middle East. I was expecting to catch up with the back log of my work that has piled up during these two months but the Mumbai rains have imprisoned me in my house. It has been raining since last five days. It is the worse rain since last seven years and there is no sign of clear skies as yet.

But some of the important works cannot be postponed; therefore I have been walking carefully, very carefully on these slippery floors in these wet, wet days to complete my important tasks. We have auto service in the suburbs, so it is convenient to take point to point service to the banks and the shopping malls. Shopping malls are the blessing too during this season and they are quite crowded these days. Then shopping malls have multiplexes too, so going for movie is also no problem.

But, are the American citizens walking down the streets of Mumbai during this weather? Don’t they have AC cars to transport them to their work place?

American citizens in Mumbai have been asked to follow "commonsense precautions", like avoiding low-lying areas that appear to be flooded. They are warned that BMC workers are likely to open manhole covers on roads to ease flooding but not to place warning markers around them. “You should also pay attention when walking, since sidewalks are non-existent in some areas or used for other purposes in most parts of the city. It’s possible that you could inadvertently step into an open manhole,” the advisory reads, adding that all of city’s drains empty in the Arabian Sea.

I think Americans are used to more dangerous situations than stepping into an open manhole of Mumbai streets. They have witnessed Katrina disasters, Floods, Tornadoes, Heavy Rains, River-overflows, Earthquakes, Power Outages, Wile-fires in every other random State of the US.

Last year’s water-logging in Mumbai due to heavy rains had caused inconveniences to many working people in Mumbai. Some were stranded due to non-availability of transportation (trains were canceled due to water logging on train tracks), and other problems. This time, corporate India has come to the rescue to ensure that their employees don’t face similar problem, in case the entire city gets water-logged due to heavy rains.

Some of the corporate houses in Mumbai have made arrangement of food and accommodation for their workers, while others have arranged for safe transport and some of them have even the best option of allowing the employees of working at home in case of emergency.

People who are really affected by these heavy rains are the hawkers and the people who live on the streets. It especially affects the common man who travels by bus or train to reach their work place. These people have no choice but to brave this discomfort and reach their work place. And they are careful too. The memories of 26th July 2005 is still fresh and haunts many Mumbaites

That was the terrible Tuesday when Mumbaites learn to cope with one of the worst calamities.

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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