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Monday, 26 July 2010

Memories of an another day

Doctor says I need to walk but I am lazy, always too lazy, and have various reasons for not going out for a walk…endless reasons…grin*....sometimes I have to push myself to walk in order to remain in good health.

And now-a-day I have some excuse too…It’s raining and the roads are slippery…hahaaha*.. I know, its not a good reason and on my way back home from my class of web-designing, I force myself to walk one-way.. it’s 20 minutes walk I save some auto fare…heeheehe (No, I am not chingoos…don’t get ideas) but this walking through these streets with pollution everywhere, is not healthy, I know, but it is a walk. Right?

So today I decided to walk and it was jeopardized once again. Heavy showers again with strong winds that blew my umbrella clockwise, giving it a nice dancing swirl and folded on the wrong side..(*how embarrassing*), soaking me in rain. I looked for an auto and got into one that was waiting at a signal.

"Get in fast” said the driver, “I am scared, today is 26th July”.

"So what about 26th July? Huh?" I said

“You don't remember 26th July? Every time it rains heavily, I am reminded of that horrible day when the water had touched my chin as I waded through the floods. I had parked my auto at Versova and went walking to Chembur.” He said

"You walked all the way from Versova to Chembur? That is quite a distance.” I said

“Yes it is; I walked through those dirty lanes, filled with filth and scum, wading through water for more than fifteen hours. It was a nightmare and those memories haunt me till today. Every time it rains I am scared and am reminded of that horrific day.” he said

Five years ago, on 26th July, I was on holiday in Hongkong and had escaped that deluge. I had watched the Mumbai rains on TV from the comfort of my family home. The flights were getting cancelled and there was more commotion at the airport. I had extended my stay in HK and came back after one month.

After I returned back to Mumbai, everybody had a horror story to tell. "There was no light and water for two days" said one neighbour, "Our lane was submerged in chin-deep water "said another. The stationary store down my lane had to buy a new photocopy machine, all the stationary was destroyed and he had to start all over again. The next shop, a cyber cafĂ©, had all computers destroyed. A woman next door was mentally depressed as she reached home only in her petticoat and blouse and her sari was blown away. She was so rattled that she didn’t talk for days after that episode and had to be treated to normalcy. My maid, who lives in slums, talked about her how her family had perched themselves on the roof of their house and waited for rain to stop. Every person, whom I met, told me different story and each was a horror story. I was saddened to hear their woes.

I think schools should give a holiday today” said the auto driver, “The things have not changed. During last five years there has been no improvement. The people still use plastic bags, the infrastructure is still poor and there is no guarantee that 26/7 will not re-occur, I have lost my faith in my government.” He said.

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