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Home > News > Diary

A salute to the Mumbaikar spirit

July 28, 2005 13:12 IST

Readers tell us how they coped on Terrible Tuesday.

Thanks for coming up so fast with a help line and rising to the occasion. Most of the people have returned home and at some places things are as normal as can be.

There are isolated pockets where things are still far from normal. Beyong Marol, in Saki Vihar Road, Raheja Vihar, Nahar, Powai(near IIT), its third day without power from BSES(Reliance Power).

The call center is going unanswered. The buildings have gone without water since morning as no power to pump water to tanks. The high rise residents, lifts not working is another challenge and feel stuck.

It will be nice and we will be grateful, if this is escalated to Reliance Power and we can get some concrete time by which power will be restored to this area. Else, rumours will take over and will do more damage to the image and public ire.

Once again, thanks for the wonderful idea of using technology for the best of the citizens.

--Sanga Raj

When so many Mumbaikars went through a traumatic time, the most shocking is that two of the biggest cell networks -- orange and bpl -- crashed first in an emergency, and 24 hours later are still down.

Large parts of the suburbs were without power for over 24 hours and not one Reliance helpdesk was functioning.

Thanks are due to the much-criticised MTNL, which saved the day, and much gratitude to the excellent work done by all the local FM stations.

--Deepa

I am writing this mail from Pennsylvania, US. I got to know about the heavy downpour in Mumbai on Tuesday and since then I am trying to contact my parents at Mharal (a small village in the outskirts of Kalyan, Dist: Thane). Mharal has never been on the world map and since it is a bit remote, I doubt if anybody would take the pains to enquire about the situation out there.

The last message that I could get from my parents was that the waters were rushing into our home and the situation was quite panicky out there. After that I am trying to contact my parents but in vain. I even tried to ring up my neighbours but there is no response. Seems like the whole telephone exchange has gone out of order.

I read a news article that Mharal Gaon has been submerged. I am really in a helpless situation right now and I am very anxious to know about the well being of my family. Can anyone please help me? In case you have any info, then mail me at k_john_varghese123@rediffmail.com

--John Varghese

So it seems that everybody is talking about the Great Spirit of Mumbai and heroic acts of people who got through this disaster and not to forget the counter for the number of people who died in this disaster. Yes...Mumbai will be back with a bang and within week people will start their normal life. They will forget about the incident and Government will start dreaming about making it Shanghai again.

When will they realise that Mumbai is now completely saturated with people, garbage, inadequate facilities and no infrastructure etc etc? I don't want to blame the people in Mumbai or about their greatness and courage that they showed in fighting this calamity. But what are authorities doing about this whole thing. Are they moved by this incident. Are they aware of the fact that Mumbai is nowhere near Shanghai and we still have a long way to go if we want to reach somewhere near our target.

I would like to quote a line about Mumbai from NY Times -- 'The chaos highlighted Mumbai's desperately overloaded and inadequate infrastructure. Authorities have recently begun demolishing slums as part of a hugely ambitious $6 billion plan to turn the city into a new Shanghai.'

And one more slap in NY times about the whole country - 'Flooding in the monsoon season in India, which runs from June to September, kills hundreds of people each year and disrupts life in wide swathes of land.'

So best of luck to all those day-dreaming about making it another Shanghai.

It seems that such a disaster is nature's own way to force us to open our eyes to reality and to check our books again.

--Swapnali

Like Many other people my family was also stranded in this 'RAIN OF THE CENTURY', that hit Mumbai on 26th and 27th of July. And me being very far away from home could do nothing but hope and pray that they would return home soon. My brother struggled his way back home, wading through waist deep water. He was saved by his friends when he fell knee deep in one of the potholes.

The situation was so bad that it was difficult to know if they were walking on the pavement or into an open manhole. Both my father and brother reached home after 30 hours of grueling experience. Later my brother told me that 'he wasn't even sure if he will be able to make it home'. But once they reached home safely, they couldn't stop appreciating the spirit of the people around.

There were so many people on the roads with biscuits, water, Tea, bananas and whatever they could manage to help the hungry and thirsty people stranded for hours. This was the touchiest part of the entire ordeal which brings our faith back in the camaraderie which all of us share towards each other.

It would have been difficult to walk for kilometers, through gushing and deep water without the food provided by these people. This experience has changed many of our lives and is the greatest learning experience for all of us. HATS OFF to all those people who were out there helping our loved ones.

-- Snigdha Sinha
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Yesterday (Wednesday) my heart cried.

I am working for a call centre and due to the rains on Tuesday I had to stay back in office in Malad. I opted to work the whole night so that on Wednesday I could take the day off and go home.

After spending having some 2 hrs of sleep and working for 2 continuous shift of 18 hrs my company managed to let us go by the Company bus right upto bandra. I stay near Crawford Market. By 1.00 pm two company busses were rolled out towards bandra. We had to move through west as we were informed that the whole highway along the east were blocked. We were not prepared for the gory sight we were about to see.

There was dead animals like rats, dogs, cows , buffaloes strewn about the road like diversion boards. There were people in ground floor apartments and blgdgs just clearing their house. Their clothes already filthy. All we could see for about 2 hrs were People Walking home. Thats it.

I have never seen so many people just walk. By the time we reached Vile Parle through the link road we were traffic struck. It was 2.45pm.

Thats when it happened. Thats when I saw the miracle.The traffic was stuck. We moved only about 10 meters in about 45 minutes.

Please rediff none of the news channel or newspaper covered this. This is not fair. There were residents along the whole SV road who came on the road offering us biscuits. They gave us whole packets of biscuits to eat whoever were walking by. There were people offering us bottles of water to drink. There were people giving us Wada PAv. Bananas were given to all those in the bus and cars. Khichdi rice was served in plates to all those weary. Khakdas and other snacks made it a variety.

I just couldnt stop thanking them. As i write this I still have tears in my eyes for them. I walked from Vile Parle to Dadar. It took me 5 hours. But i wouldnt have made it if it wast cos of them. There are many of us who owe them our thanx.

As the whole mumbai walked wearily these residents came running after us. Asking us if we wanted medicines crocins etc. I just looked at them. I didnt have the heart to tell them no I am ok. There must be over 200 volunteers as I made my journey.

Today I am safe in my house. But as i look at these people no Coverage has ever been given to these silent angels. Please rediff do something. Atleast a Coverage where all we want to tell them is -- Thank You. God Bless you.

--Jason R Herbert

Well, like all other readers my story isnt new.

On the morning of 27th while walking towards the office me and a frd were listening to radio and heard them quoting that its going to remain cloudy whole day but wouldnt rain as a wheather forecast and both of us were just hoping that it rains and we get a half day. But didnt imagine it to be so TRUE !! Hope we would have asked for something better at that moment!!!!

Now at office at around 2:00 pm we 13 gals were kind of having blast looking at the sky outside raining.. but then one my coleagues' mom called and stated the situtaion outside which kind of paniked us. But we then decided to inform our boss and start our way back home at around 3 pm. By the time we packed up and making all the possible arrangements to leave it was almost 3.45 pm. We started in groups of 3 according to the places we lived at.

We were about to shut our office shutters and we hear a LOUD trashing noice... wondering what the hell was that, and come to know that the main door of the galla next to ours had actually bursted. There was glass all over the corridor!!!!! just imagining the state we frantically packed up and left. Now we were standing at the gate of the building still in the premisses and realise that the kind of wind thats blowing would just blow off our umbrellas till then a swril of wind blows and we see the tapri opposite our building blow off infact blowing in the direction of our building... all we could do was just turn around that incase it hits us atleast wouldnt hit us on our faces!!!! Now the situation was out of control.

Everybody just informed whomever we could and started our journey as it is the cellphones werent just responding, but thanks to my reliance that i could keep in touch with my Brother who also had started his journey from santacruz to home (wadala). We dropped one of our coleague to byculla station as her dad was to pick her up from there. Then we were in 3 batches of 3 each. one group had indiviually left early to meet up with their parents at various spots. Then one group heading towards mulund another chembur and we to prabhadevi and all of us tried keeping in touch through reliance cellphones.

Man it was a sight to see waters above waist levels at byculla, curry road and through lower parel and the prabhadevi. Droping each friend i was the last one to reach wadala. Walking through waters above waist level at dadar TT alone with all strangers was just an experience.

Finally when i was sure i would get home in another 20 mins i called mom and asked her to make me a hot cup of coffee and some thing to eat as i was hungry like hell !!!!! Finally had reached home afetr an walk of about 2.5 hours and then trying to get in touch with the other 2 groups of my collageaues found that they had managed reaching kings circle and just didnt have the capacity to walk any further and they halted at another colleagues' place at kings cricle who had left much eariler and was safe and sound at home.

And now tomorrow thats 29th the whole of mumbai will be so normal that it just wont appear that we went through such an experience. Thats something that kicks us mumbaities!!!!!

--Priya

All praise to Almighty and the people of Mumbai. I am 3 months old in Mumbai, carrying no less opinion of millions who believe living here is just next to hell.

That evening of 26th July I was in TOI office at VT, experiencing the regular showers outside the windows. Only around 5 pm, some colleagues had come back murmuring there were no buses and taxis easily available.

Without undersatnding the seriousnes of the situation. I went out around 5.45 to Anjuman School next door for my evening prayers then I saw the students and teachers waiting for the rains to stop so that they can start.

I was back and worried, then I decided to start, when reached the bus stop to catch a bus for Matunga, I saw the road was flooded with people coming out of the VT station to catch buses. It looked like the road was an extended Dadar or Kurla platforms in peak hours.

I was back in my office then again tried at 8pm, but unsuccessful. I visited Anjuman School around 9.30 pm for the prayer then again I saw small kids as old as 4 years playing with their class mates and the teachers engaging the students without fear and worry. This really moved me and said I should take more pain than the little creatures to complete my days activity.

I was in the bus stop from 9.45 pm to 11 pm waitig for a bus to board. Finally I could squeeze in the least possible place available in the bus. I could hardly breath but continued after looking around equally pained passenger. At lower parel I could see a bus adjacent which was less crowded then I boarded into that. I was standing in the bus from 11 pm till 12.30 am, we could only get to lower parel. The Dr Ambedkar Marg had turned into many mini lakes. At one place I saw some people making announcements from the make shift announcement booth on the road that arrangement for ladies stay is being arranged in near by Mosque and the temple. We could managed to enter on the wadala road around 1 AM near dadar TT. Then the bus stopped because there was heavy traffic jam.

Within 10 minutes I saw a small boy of 10-12 years carrying a can of water from one of the houses coming into the bus. There was a middle aged gentleman with him distributing water and some small packets of namkeen. This really moved me because there were so many passengers who must have had their last sip some couple of hours back. I was also offered the noble offerings, after eating some I could not continue as there was an adjacent bus equally packed with people waiting to reach there homes. I could not stop myself being humble in offering the packet across in the adjacent bus. I could see few smiles of appreciation and introspection from the passengers, who must be thinking like me as to how weak at the hands of natures fury. At 1.45 am I decided to unboard the bus and look for means to reach home. I walked almost 2 kms among the packed crowd of all vehicles till I could reach King circle, where I stay.

All my way I saw volunteers directing people, managing traffic and helping people with what ever they can do by sacrificing thier luxuries at homes. All my way I saw young and old, ladies and teenagers facing the onslaught with courage and smile.

My salute to all Mumbaikars, who have rightly made Mumbai proud.

--Mohammed Rafiq

On Tuesday, after leaving Thane at 7 am, my car could manage to reach Vikhroli on the Eastern Expressway by 12 noon on the next day. Hours of non-movement made me wise to follow others and undertake a four hour marathon walk my home on Carter Road in Bandra. Millions of hapless Mumbaikars were obliged to do so that day and previous night. It is another record of a sort for Limca book if not Guiness Book. The Marathon was jointly sponsored by Shivsena managed BMC and Dual Congress managed Mantralaya.

The 12 mile memorable walk was enjoyable though because it helped me rub shoulders with Mumbaikars of every hue and watch them endure it all with a smile on their face. It was indeed an act bravery in a true poetic sense.

The walk also, once again, made me aware of the decadent state of the city. Had Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh or Chief Minister Deshmukh were to take that walk, they would have been gratified to see that City of Mumbai is already the city of "Shen–n–ghai" with their six decades of politican contributions of greed and callousness. In Marathi "Shen -n ghai" may sound like Shanghai but it means 'dunk and rush', the two thing that characterises my city, thank to our political baffons. The 14 mile walk, rubbing shoulders with tolerant Mumbaikars, helped me to regain my confidence in endurance of my 70 plus body but it stopped from my work of adding value to living of others.

--P S Deodhar
Former Electronics Advisor to the P M Rajiv Gandhi
Executive Chairman Aplab Group

I was at the college when at around 2 pm heavy rains started on the 26th. from 3 to 5 we were in the college building itself waiting for the rains to subside so that we can move to home. but it was just not stopping. all the huge coconut trees outside my college were swaying madly to and fro as if they were gonna fall down in a trice now.

after 4 my college gates were closed so as not to allow any student to move out anymore lest they will be stuck in the rain. after that we just sat around in the college looking at the thrashing rain.all the faculty, principal etc were stuck inside the college. slowly the ground floor of my college flooded with deep waters and there was extreme confusion everywhere..seemed like slowly the whole college was going to come down. some people were saying it was like the scene from Titanic. at around 6.30 all the students were assembled together, so as to avoid further confusion. since even electricity was not there we had to handle everything with candles. at around 8 we got our foods. dal chawal n sabzi with achar. it was heavenly.

after dinner we all moved to classroms to spend the night on benches.it was very hard and difficult to sleep on still some people managed. till 1.30 we sang songs and ate biscuits. after that many girls dozed off. some teachers kept guard outside our classrooms.we had move around in bunches of 3 to go to the bathrooms at night. then at 6.30 in the morning we started home in knee deep waters. i got a lift in the car of a friend till hiranandani,powai. i waited for a bus or a shared auto there buT couldnt get one. so i started walking home..it was so muddy but still i kept going..

i was almost gonna fall but a man helped me..htere at powai all the water was flooding the street and fishermen were having a blast as huge fishes from powai lake had drifted this side. somehow i managed to reach home in 1 hour.

--Farah Omer

Monsoon rain is one of the main factors that are having a great impact in Mumbai. It's always said that too much anything is poison. In the same way you can ask any Mumbaikar about 26/7 !! (y only 9/11 or 7/13). At least average two people in a family would have suffered by this rain (if u r strong in maths just calculate how many wud tat come to!!).

I remember last year when the monsoon delayed its arrival, mumbaikars were panicky and there were many poojas done across the city in different temple to invite God Varuna (Rain God). And we got the result this year (Guess God has also accustom procrastination habit from us!!).

I started my day as usual late to office. I was in no mood to go to office. But I had no other option. I reached my office and checked the status of the appointment that I had fixed the day before. Once I left my office to meet my customer I realised that rain was not the usual rain. Entire sky was dark it was as if like 7 pm at noon. Once I was back from my office I was really hungry hogged my food and started doing some happy calls to find the situation of rain in Mumbai( as I work in New Mumbai). I was told by few of my friends that its raining heavily everywhere.

I finally made my mind to leave office but I had to get my branch manager's permission to leave the office. I was approaching her to ask leave but she herself told me to leave for home (I was really happy;)).

I came out of my office and caught an auto and came to new mumbais main center Vashi. I was happy to see the trains running. I got into the train that goes to my place. Journey was calm till our train stopped between two stations Tilak Nagar and kurla. My place was just two stations away from kurla.

Train waited for more than half an hour. I was in the first compartment and thus was able to speak to the train driver. He told me to jump and walk to the station as the level of water in the track is increasing and there is no sign of water decreasing. By the time I had made friends with few kids traveling in the train. They were all panicked. Two of them were lived near my place and another two one station before mine. I told them that I will help them.

We had to jump from train one gentleman helped me and thus we five along with another lady got down (JUMPED!!) from the train. I have never in my life imagined in my life that I will travel in dirty water (guess Mumbai has the power to change all your personal likes and dislikes).

I was holding two kids and we were wading in the water. We reached the station. I then came to know that all trains were stopped. We then headed to bus stand. We were standing there for more than half an hour. Everybody was as ignorant as we were. Then finally we realized that there was no point just standing there. So we all started walking towards the main highway road. The entire stretch was filled with water for more than 2 feet. Kids were actually swimming. One little girl started trembling. I was bit worried. I rubbed her hands. Then we did not stop. By that time we would have walked for more than 4 to 5 kilometres.

We finally reached the highway road. Then I realised that we had to walk all the way as there were no vehicle traveling in our direction. The entire road was literally flooded. Again we had to swim. With keeping our spirits high we walked.

Suddenly I saw 2 people who started yelling at kids. I did not understand what was happening for sometime. Then I realized that they were related to kids and scolding them for not informing. I pleaded them not to shout as the kids themself were panicked.

At last I was happy that I had some people wit whom I can share the responsibility. Then we walked the rest of the way. Once I was near my station I told them that I can walk the way to my home and thanked them.

--Sudha B Iyer

I am trying to get some help to people stuck in flood waters in Kalyan, my parents and my brother are one of these stuck and the water is more than 15 ft and is reaching second floor.

I am mailing this as I didn't notice any news about Kalyan and surrounding areas and if help is available I would be grateful if someone can send it to these needy people.

Anything from basic need of drinking water to food is welcome and in case the water can rise they would require to be evacuated from where they are now.

I am helpless from out here in US and would really appreciate if anyone of you can spread the word around and get some help to these people.

--Naresh
Phoenix, Arizona

Terrible Tuesday: How Mumbai coped with a calamity

I feel really sorry for the loss of life and property in Maharashtra. I have my family in Mumbai living on the ground floor and a brother who has not returned home even after 2 days. Somehow I could reach them by phone, and learned that they are safe.

I won't ask any of the Mumbaikars to keep courage and discipline as they have already proved it. I am overwhelmed reading the stories of their selfless help. Mumbai is united with all the religious and many other harmful barriers being washed away. I am sure that none of those "heroes" have Internet access right now to know how we all admire them.

We have learnt a lesson. Mumbai needs to be prepared for such natural calamities. I am sure every citizen has realized that (or had already realized before); but its very important that the "decision-makers" understand that before its too late. I request rediff.com to bring these  messages (wherein people have expressed their views on improving the overall system) to the notice of the ministers and the decision-makers.

Rediff has been doing a great job of connecting people during this crisis, and would be really helpful if an integrated approach is taken henceforth to avoid all the chaos. I hope the decision-makers understand the importance of every life lost in this disaster, and the property damage that very few people would be able to recover.
 
-- Bhairavi Dhakras
Fairfax, Virginia

I have been reading about the rains at your web site since yesterday. I live in Ohio, USA, and I have been trying to reach my family and everyone I know in and around Ambernath with no luck till now. My fingers have gotten numb from dialing the numbers incessantly since yesterday.Can someone please let me know about the situation in Ambernath? Any help will be appreciated.
 
-- Janet <philipsb@hotmail.com>

Why does there have to be an excuse for Everything! It is as obvious as an elephant in your swimming pool -- that Mumbai, much like the rest of India, is pathetic in terms of Infrastructure, governance, emergency services etc. etc. Yet, even as people are drowning our politicians have the audacity to say "Well, even if we were prepared, we could not have prevented this tragedy". WHAT???? What sort of a nonsensical, absurd, ridiculous, stupid statement is that?? These men in white talk like they been prepared in the past on several occasions only to abandon the idea – for ill preparedness – after discovering it makes no difference either which way!

I guess those Yankees are fools too – to prepare for their frequently deadly hurricanes huh. I mean, 3 people die and that's considered a –"terrible loss" in the US. Here 40 people drown and it's like "Mumbai is a great city!"

Do us a favor – rescue the weak, the powerless, those in the slums, those parents whose children wait at home etc. But if you come across a drowning politician – PLEASE, let him be!

-- TJ

I am currently located in Toronto, Canada but my heart has always belonged to Mumbai. I have lived there all my life and today, I feel the pain most Mumbaikars are feeling - even though I am continents away. Today is a dark day for Mumbai - her oil fields are under fire (no pun intended) and the water to quench this flame has mispositioned itself over the great megalopolis. I am experiencing the familiar nightime chill that greets us during times of floods.  Rains are not a new phenomenon in Mumbai. Even the occasional flood has never surprised me.

What epitomises Mumbai is her "never stop, never say die" spirit! I am confident that Mumbai will be back, with a bang at that! I can already sense the optimism from most of the messages posted here. I pray for the loved ones of those of you who are stranded far away from home. I must add I am appalled by some of the comments broadcasted on this board. This is not the time to blame politicians and the emergency services.

Calamities demand greater maturity from the people. The denizens of Mumbai has proved their gusto in the past. We handled a terrorist attack on our great city better than the Londoners -- and our calamity then was of a much greater intensity. I urge the people to be patient and co-operate with the relief work to their fullest capacity. Do not venture out of your homes unless it is an emergency. Things will improve. My heart and prayers are with you!

Vikram

On that fateful Tuesday, my sister started for home in Dadar from her office in Andheri in the afternoon. In Pune, I got a call from her at around 4 PM saying that she was on the bus and it was stuck in traffic for long time, but nothing to worry.
 
I just thought she was doing some timepass, as she got nothing else to do in the traffic jam. But then reports of heavy rain in Mumbai started pouring, and I came to know how dangerous situation was... Then I was continuously trying to call her but it was all in vain..
 
I got a call from my brother late night saying that she managed to get in a restaurent and was safe there. Finally on wed she called me that she reached at my Uncle's place in Matunga at around 10 AM. And then she told me how fearful that whole time was..

When the Bus did not move for long time, she got off it and decided to walk till traffic jam was over or till all the way to Dadar with some other ppl on the bus. But before long she came to know it was impossible as the water on the road was neck dip... a women with her got into some pit and hold my sister for support.. It could have been the last moment for both of them.. But.. suddenly some ppl from a nearby restaurent saw them and pulled them out.. they made they stay there itself whole night and then let them go in the morning only.. My sister walked till Matunga as there was no other go..But finally at home!!
 
I cannot express in words how i felt to hear from her.. I am really thankful to all those who helped my dearest sister.. And I think Mumbaikars are the one of the bravest and strongest in the world.. with all the odds in favor, with themselves knocked
out with the rain, they did their best to save who all they could.. And there will be many to share the same feelings with me.. That day my cousines/uncles/friends in Mumbai too got similar nice experinces.. This I think makes Mumbai, Mumbai.. It's the Spirit of Mumbai.. the MegaCity. It did not go down even too the mightest rainfall..
 
All I can say is Salam Bomaby!!!
 
Amit

Many people have stucked at every railway stations and many ST bus stands, many of them are women and girls too. what about their food and water after spending all money they have. Social organizations should take initiative to help these people and i hope there wont be any help from Govt and Navy etc etc, choppers just can't fly  and without choppers how can they rescue, this is the stupid govt we have.

Sachin Nate

Amchi Mumbai will be back with a BANG!!!! There is nothing that can stop Mumbai from being itself…..the busy buzzing city. I do not say this just out of the fact that I am a proud Mumbaikar,….and no matter where ever I am, my heart is always in Mumbai……for Mumbai. I say this because we have all seen in the past how Mumbai has always come back, from no matter what problems and calamities it has faced.

I believe it is very easy for my friend to be sitting in the world's largest metropolitan City and easily pronounce the word PLANNING for our esteemed politicians/BMC people. But probably someone is not aware of the fact that this has been the highest ever rainfall in the Indian history measuring up to 94.4 centimeters (37.1 inches) in one day. And what was the previous highest and when??

India's previous heaviest rainfall, recorded at Cherrapunji in the Meghalaya state, one of the rainiest places on Earth, was 83.82 centimeters (33 inches) on July 12, 1910. Well in this year I do no believe any of our politicians were even in their mother's womb to have ever thought about Mumbai having such a rainfall.

It is always so easy to pin point to other and say what is so idealistic. My friend in the largest city is worried about his in-laws only. Agreed he has to be, also since they are aged couple. But what do you feel about the other thousands of elderly couple who are put out of their homes because of such heavy rain? Do you even feel for them? Do you even think about them? And talk about being embarrassed and ashamed. Are you friends ever ashamed or embarrassed of telling you about the earthquake that hits their cities??? .If you feel so embarrassed, you should tell you friends from that big city of yours to get you a citizenship there so that you can be there for the rest of your life where there is no drop of water 15 mins after the rains.

I truly pray, from the bottom of my heart, for all those who have been affected because of the rains and pray that the spirit that Mumbai has shown in the past keeps alive the same way and Mumbai comes back to normalcy as very.

I have been out of Mumbai for the past one and a half years and I miss Mumbai so much. The trains, crowd, the vada pav, kanda bhaji and the true spirits of AMCHI MUMBAI.

A proud resident from Mumbai
Rikhav

We need a dictator to rule Mumbai.  We do not want   Shiva Sena or congress or NCP but surely no CPI or no CPM.  We need a Deng Xiaoping in Mumbai for atleast another 10-20 years. No Bal Thackeray no Rane no Pawar please.   

P S P Rao

As am going through all the horrifying experience which Mumbai people are going through right now, am a bit scared and skeptical also. Scared, because my in-laws, who are traveling to Mumbai and suppose to reach home today early in the morning, still out some where, miles away from this watery grave (they are a elderly couple). Skeptical, because am sitting in worlds largest metropolitan City, Tokyo, which is also seeing heavy rainy reason right now, but without a single drop of water after 15 min once rain stops. No traffic snarls, no power cuts, no telephone network jams. That's called "planning', if our esteemed politicians/BMC people ever heard of that word!
 
This is also an island city! in a totally island country itself! I wonder, how these people plan such thing for a city which has a
population of 3 crore?  You will not find any chaos be it traffic, rain or come what ever it may be.  Should I tell my Japanese friends over here that one of the most advanced (?) city in India is cut off from rest of the world since last two days. I'm embarrassed.

Should I tell them that phones/trains/road even Airports are closed down in a city which pays 40% of entire India's tax revenue ? Am ashamed.  This coming from a country which says it wants permanent seat in UN and also a growing power and an IT superpower? I cannot stop my self to be self critical and abusive. Yes, Mumbai, it is we, who are to blame for this shoddy condition of our city (am a mumbaikar). We have allowed power-that-be in our city to fool us and allowed them to take us for granted for so many years.

Come on lets take revenge and make sure that people who made our life miserable, people who made fools of us, people who are sitting somewhere in cool and dry confine, do no return back and grave power again. Lets make a pledge today.
 
Wish all the best to My in-laws. may they come safely to Mumbai.  And wish all the best to Mumbai, which still keeps mum despite being raped and mauled by its own people. 
 
Rajesh Jain
Tokyo

These are my experiences of the rain and floods of Mumbai.
 
I am an MBA student from NITE. As I came to know there were a few canceled classes next week, I thought of going home - Hyderabad. I started for Andheri, which is the nearest Railway reservation counter, at 2 PM on the dreaded date of 26th July. I would not have been writing this tale, if either of the following things had happened: if I had read the climatic forecast carefully OR if there was no bus to take me to andheri. Sadly (or not ??), none of the above things occurred and I reached Andheri by 3 PM - pretty much hassle-free ride I must say, which didn't put any doubts on my return trip. I got the reservation for the day-after, i.e, 28th July. I am writing this commentary on 27th, so I cant say with any certainly whether I will be able to take that train or not.

But anyway, I reached Andheri bus-stop waiting patiently for my bus. The rain which was strong all the while picked up force from about 4 PM. There was no source of commutation, as local trains were canceled and BEST buses frequency gradually decreased and stopped completely from 5 PM. I had no where to go and waited there for another 2 hours. Then at 7:30 PM BEST, trying its best to help out the hapless people, brought out some extra buses and I managed to get onto a bus to go till Sakinaka - about half-way to my destination. I was on the bus for 2.5 hours only to travel hardly 1 KM !! At 10 PM, I decided to take the fate into my own hands. I jumped out of the bus and started walking towards Sakinaka. There were about 5-6 pools of water en-route till about 1 KM from Sakinaka junction, each one about waist high. Managed to walk that 6-7 km
stretch in 2 hours.

At that point, there were huge torrents of water flowing across the road with great speeds. I tried to cross it till the water was chest to throat high. The water level kept on increasing, so was the speed of its flow. I thought there is no point risking my life in such a situation. I again walked half a KM backwards to reach a building which was a bit dry. I had about 150 companions there and we all waited for about 2.5 hours. Then rain subsided a till and the water levels too. I again started my walk at 2:30 AM, now with more success. The speed of water flow didn't lessen, but the height substantially decreased - now only till waist to chest. Also, some people managed to tie up a rope in the middle of the road, which made things a whole lot easier. I managed to cross the torrent, with some difficulty, but risk-free. After that, it was pretty much up to me -

How long I can I walk, without any food or water for almost 11 hours ? But, The Almighty was with me and I managed to
gather all the energy I had to walk the 5-6 km distance to get to my hostel, even though the rain again picked up half-way through my journey. I should also thank The God for saving me from any severe health problems, because I am an Asthmatic and these were near-perfect conditions for an asthma attack!
 
Later I came to know all facts of that day - The Highest ever rainfall in a single day in the country ! An 'experience' of a lifetime !!

--Raghavendra Sarma

I am a Rotary Exchange Student to Germany... I was supposed to be at my home in New Panvel today i.e. 27th July.....But my flight to Mumbai was cancelled. My visa is valid only for 50 days i e till 28th July and I cannot go back tomorrow because the flights are already booked and the weather forecast indicates more rains in the next 48 hours...   

It is really hard for me to think about the situation in my city... I hope to come back early and start with my college. I think we Mumbaikars will come over this incident and make the public infrastructure more powerful to cope in such difficulties...

-- Priyanka

This is the time for us all to unite and pray in unision for our brethren in agony in Mumbai. There's no point blaming the govt or the administration. They are just useless (as usual!!!!).Tragedies do happen and this is another one. I am sure we Indians will overcome this with the same striving spirit, winning vigour and compassion as we did the Gujarat quake, the Orissa Supercyclone (I belong to Orissa), Latur Quake and the much recent the southeren Tsunami.

How much ever these stupid politicians having vested interests try to build disturbances both within and beyond the frontiers, we have always stood together and prayed for each of our brethren in distress, and therein lies the victory of mankind.

Mumbaikars, the entire nation (even people from Pakistan) are praying for your safely and well-being. Have the faith this nightmare too will pass by and make us all the more stronger and brin us closer to humanity. Come on Mumbai, live up to your spirit !!! CHEER UP. We all are together and are praying for you. Sab theek ho jayega. Ameen.
 
P.S: Where have all the Aishwarya Rais and SRKs gone, who claim to have deep compassion for human beings in pain and distress?????? Maybe they will come forward only when the camera and media manages to reach the flooded parts and frame them doing the grear deeds!!!!!!!!.......Oops just a passing thought........ 

Namrata Giri

I was a participant in the "get-home-asap" brigade..and i would like to share with you how i fared!!

i and 3 of my friends, started from my office in SEEPZ at around 7.45 pm, towards anushaktinagar, my home. The gameplan was that we would try and reach Gandhinagar and catch a bus or auto from there. Obviously, it backfired...the usually busy LBS marg seemed like a village with no visible roads !! we then walked to the eastern express highway, in knee-deep water. The flow of traffic at kanjurmarg was good, so we thought we would be able to reach home soon. what we didnt know was that traffic had started building up in ghatkopar. We took a lift from a tempo till Godrej, Vikroli, from where we faced the huge traffic jam.

We got down there and walked till Chheda nagar, hoping we might get an auto or taxi there, but even the mankhurd-chheda nagar link was jammed. by this time, our feet were "marinated" to the max and although we werent feeling tired, we could definitely use some transportation !!

we then went on to IOC nagar, near Shivaji Nagar, reaching there at 11.45 pm, and spent the night at a friend's relative's place. In the morning, we managed to catch an auto and come to anushaktinagar.

All in all, we covered about 20 km in 4 hours, pretty good speed considering it was raining heavily and traffic was dead !!

lessons from this adventure ?? never ever raise your expectations with regards to mumbai traffic, especially in the rains. Even now, my friends who decided to stay back in the office, are struggling to reach home !!

but what was bothering was that at such a time, when it is required of motorists to be disciplined, they were cutting lanes, even getting on the other side of the road, to go ahead. this caused a major 10-km-stretch traffic jam on the Eastern express highway. if only people would have been more disciplined and less anxious for getting home "as early as possible", traffic would have been fluid and although slowly, everyone would have managed to get home, and not spend the night in their cars !!

lets hope its better the next time round !! (although i hope there isnt a next time !!)

Mudit Srivastava

This not to rub salt on the miseries being suffered by Mumbaikars, but a wake up call for Indians, aspiring to be world leaders. Don't we talk too big about ourselves???

While sitting here in Tokyo, that experienced a Richter Scale 6.0 Earthquake last saturday followed by a Typhoon on Tuesday...we are at a loss to explain to our Japanese colleagues when our Mumbai office shuts down..becoz of Heavy Rains....as..life goes on normally in Tokyo.
 
Japan too, is amongst G-4 and they aspire for the UN seat as we do..but they deserve it..do we???
 
Where are our Bollywood Stars?? Our Shiv Sainiks, Our esteemed Leaders. Plz stop dreaming..have a reality check....
 
This is not an intent to malign those who are doing their bit...but the problem lies with our system..planning and foresight...only we are to be blamed.

Jai Hind...

M P Rattan
Tokyo

I stay at Charkop - kandivali west Mumbai and my office is at Malad, while returning to home on Tuesday evening we saw that the Dahanukar wadi nullah was over flowing with about 6foot to 7 foot of water.
 
Many school buses were stranded on the M G Road, with kids inside them. I would really like to appreciate the residents of SAI NAGAR on M.G.Road for immediately preparing thepla, dhoklas, patras & khichidi within no time and scores of youngsters of sai nagar who were distributing this foods in school buses [for the kids] and other vehicles as well.
 
A SINCERE APPRECIATION & THANKS to all the residents of SAI NAGAR. This is what we call "The Spirit of Mumbai"
 
Kalpesh

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kudos to brave Mumbaikars, Having based in NZ for 4-5 years from Bombay, I have seen how governments abroad work in all situations and how ...


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