rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Testimonies of courage & concern

Testimonies of courage & concern

Last updated on: July 29, 2005 16:18 IST

Readers tell us how they coped on Terrible Tuesday. Reproduced almost verbatim:

27th July 05 would always remain in my mind, as a memorable day – for the many lessons it gave us. That day I was in office, enjoying the rains from behind the windows and cracking jokes on the same. I had already gone through two raining seasons in Mumbai and was confident of facing the rains. I joked that it seems to be like Day After Tomorrow, a film on global warming and its impact on USA.

However suddenly this joke looked like becoming a reality. News started flowing in that the central line was closed; the western line also got closed. Suddenly the rains did not seem romantic any more. The roads in front of our office behind hotel centaur, near domestic airport were clogged with vehicles. People who had left office early started arriving back with the tales of a flooded Western Express way. Then reality was becoming apparent very fast.

Tension was there in the air. I had just come out of the lift, when the power went off. The Day After Tomorrow scenario was coming in place. Then the mobile lines went off.

Suddenly we were cut off from the world. No one was reachable. My friend who had got stuck up in Bayandar on a long distance train to Bombay was out of coverage on the roads. By then I was clear that this night was going to be a long one. We decided to spend the night in office and started looking out for food for the people caught up here. Running from one hotel to another managed to get food for 65 people. Meanwhile we could see hotels over flowing with foreigners and domestic passengers, whose flights had got cancelled. They were pleading for a room which in most acees was simply not available. With the ATM's cut people had no other option. Our colleagues were caught up in stations and in cars in middle of the roads, had to spend the night there without anything to eat or drink.

Early next day at 5, we conducted a survey of the stretch of high way near us and found the traffic limping back. Then by 80 the movement started towards homes. I was guided by the volunteers on the road, on to sand truck which took us to kandivlli. The people irrespective of status were seated around me, with only one thought that of getting home as early as possible. On the way heard innumerable stories of courage of ordinary people who went to extraordinary length to help the people in danger…..with food, tea, physical help….and in so may other ways.

Seeing and hearing all this was an overwhelming realisation that humanity still survives and that the sprit of Bombay endures in the spirit of so many unknown people who cam forward as one to save life's and help other.

Also it taught another important lesson that before God's nature all men are equal, the rich and the poor the mighty and the simple. It was visible all though out when simple people from slums came forward to help those stuck up in cars, buses and in station.

These three days are indeed memorable for all these testimonies of courage and concern for fellow human beings.

--Tony Joseph

After confirmin that the trains were runnin i and my friend left from byculla and caught a thane local at 2:40pm. it was very crowded from dadar onwards. it reached vidyavihar at 3:15 pm and stopped. we waited for long, called our families they told us to wait. and then the lights went out. and it just wouldnt stop pouring. we managed to go and get 2 packs of chips( everythin else over) we sat and prayed.

soon the evenin came and we could not do anythin. the level of water was steadily risin. the water level was just few inches below that of the platform. vidyavihar is a place where u cannot see anythin of the city, we could just see water flowin on all sides. it was like being stranded on an island. the entire time we were thinkin why vidyavihar, if it was any other stn we cld have gone to some1's house but why vidyavihar. but then on a more positive note we thought atleast we were on platform and not in between stns!

the ladies we were sittin with gave other to sit. we all took turns for sittin whilst we would go out on the platform to get some fresh air. some of them refused to get up once they got seats!

this was what we got in return for the kind deed we thought we were doin. anyway, we somehow managed to get through the night.

in the mornin at 5 some of us decided to go but returned coz the water was just too high.

at 6:15 am ( after 15 hrs in train) we walked on the tracks to ghatkopar stn. thr were so many ppl stranded and we were waitin and seeing if we could manage a lift. ultimately we got into a sumo goin to mulund. we were stuck in traffic jam on the ghatkopar bridge goin towards the highway for one and half hrs. we turned back and by LBS we reached mulund in 45 minutes. that uncle dint charge us anything! ppl along with us were goin to dombivili, so they hired a sumo and left, they dropped me at thane and my friend further at mumbra.

i reached home at 11:30 pm on wednesday and my frnd at 1:30 pm. a throughly harrowing experience! but i have to thank all the ppl who helped each other and us in gettin home safely!

--Mayura Naik

I must appreciate the efforts taken by only MUMBAI CIVILIANS and not Police and Fire Dept in helping the stranded people reach their destinations.

We must have seen many photos and many clips on new channels, we saw women, kids and even elderly people stranded. Did we see any photo or clip of Mumbai Police or Fire Dept? NO, because they were not to be seen only when there were real crisis.

Was Mr Vilasrao Desmukh not responsible enough to deploy Mumbai Police at the right place and not in the unwanted security of MP's and MLA's who had no bigger threat than the local people from the rains.

The PUBLIC has helped the PUBLIC and not the government.

--Ritesh Shah

Now that the watery woes of July 26 are behind us, it is time to look back and perhaps laugh it off. So I made up this song, which I am dedicating to all those Mumbaikars who left the safe cocoons of their office and bravely waded their way back home on that horrific evening.

To be sung to the tune of Ai Malik Tere Bandhe Hum
Hey Mumbai tere bandhe hum,
Yeh kaise kyun hum-par situm,
Na railways chale, na BEST chale,
Paidal chalte huwe nikle dum.
Hey Mumbai------------------
Waise office-se jaldi nikle hum,
Jamke station-thak badhaaye kadam,
Hum khade the magar, gaadi ki na khabar,
Toota ummeed-ka papaddum.
Aake baahar jab pheri nazar,
Dekha Bambai bana tha gutter,
Na auto chale aur na taxi rukhe,
Ab kaise karenge safar.
Hey Mumbai------------------
Hua baarishse yun saamna,
Na kahin bijali, koi phone na,
MTNL kho gaya, Ambani bhi so gaya,
Andheremein hamein chod diya,
Cell-phone bhi kare gadbadam,
Yeh kaisa bada sankatam,
Bhejemein fikr aur kuch na clear,
Bheegke tan man hua bahut naram.
Hey Mumbai------------------
Thoda rukhke maine saans li,
Yaad aane laga family,
Biwi tum ho kidhar, bachhee hain kya udhar,
Ya kahin phas jaayenge raat-bhar,
Ab kaise karenge aur sabr,
Kare koi na aisa suffer,
Mere dilmein fear, aankhonmein tear,
Tension chadne laga ekdum.
Hey Mumbai------------------
Chal pada public-ka caravan,
Girnewalonko kiya saavdhaan,
Hum chalte rahe, saath bhadte rahe,
Door manzil, kadi imtihan.
Man-holes bhi khule the idhar-udhar,
Upar thunder, neeche bhi no cover,
Drainage-ke tale khaddepe gire,
BMC bhi bada be-sharam.
Hey Mumbai------------------
Yeh meteorology jaaye bhaadmein,
Saara metro duba  paanimein,
Koi Shanghai kahe, future Hong-Kong kahe,
Yaaron unko hum paagal kahe,
Yeh hota hai year after year,
Kab sudhrega apna shahar,
Na Government sune, na bhagwan sune,
Rothe thairthe aa pahuncha main ghar.
Hey Mumbai tere bandhe hum!

--S V Nathan

I live in Florida, USA and I am writing this to thank each and every Mumbaikar for helping thousands and lakhs of people stuck in the rains. My father was one of them.

Without the help of local people who stood on the roads with ropes guiding people to move thorough the waters my father would have never been able to reach home. He was stuck in Borivali station and had to walk to Malad where we stay. My father told  me over the phone that in his whole life he has never seen such a terrible monsoon season. He has also thanked all the local people from borivali right up to malad who guided people and told them to walk throught the high currents by holding a rope. My father who is aged would never have reached home.

I am glad I am a mumbaikar and whereever we are in this world we still are proud to be one.

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart

--Sejal Shah

Never have experienced such turbulence in my life. I left at 4 pm from my office at Andheri to go to Vidyavihar..about half an hour journey and reached home exactly after 24 hours. Saw many vehicles overturned, left stray on road, many dead bodies, men, women and children walking on the road, no lights, mobile network down, phones down...It was a total mess.

But I am proud to be a Mumbaiite as I saw how people tried to help in such situations.

Long live our Mumbaiite culture.

--Srinivasa

My experience is not probably the "intersting" story you want to hear, but there are some things that the public probably need to be told about. So please read on:

I reached CST at 6:45 PM on Tuesday.

No sufficient arrangement at CST station to cope with the thousands that were stranded there since 1 PM on Tuesday (no matter what the government claims). You'd have thought they would learn atleast by Wed, but no such luck. Arrangements were made at Bora Bazar area for "resting and having light snacks", the authorities said. Most people preferred not to go. No information was provided about where the area is and how you reach there; and what facilities could be expected.

No comfort was provided at CST itself; I cant imagine why arangements for water, light snacks and tea could not be made at CST itself.

Sketchy and unreliable information was provided at CST. Unofficially, senior officials had their own stories; on Wednesday night, an officer told a group of agitated people that it would take 2 days for trains to run up to Kurla, because the tracks had been damaged! Of course he was wrong, because the first train to Thane ran at 5:15 am on Thursday!

Now if senior railway people are either ignorant or misinformed, it doesnt reflect well on the organization and its disaster preparedness.

Not that there was any preparedness visible in the system at all. Unless you consider the huge posse of policemen deployed at CST to 'control' the public as preparedness.

The story was better at Thane, where I reached at about 07:00 AM on Thursday, after a 90 minute slow run from CST by the first local. Voluntary agencies served the public well by offering food and water.

The railway authorities spent an undue time arranging for Vashi locals; the first train ran at 08:00 and the next one, 2 hours later at 10:05! This was despite the fact that there was NO disruption between Thane and Vashi, at least not on Thursday.

At Vashi, where we reached at 11:00 AM, the line was serpentine, and stretched all the way across the bus stand! The line moved surprisingly fast; the Vashi bus authorities pressed as many buses as possible into emergency service to Dombivli (mostly) and Badlapur. Hats off to them.

Not that the ordeal was over for us folks that left office on Tuesday noon. The entire area between Vashi and Dombivli looked inundated and there was a massive traffic jam. We finally reached Dombivli at 3:00 PM, after a bumpy 2 hour ride. Near Shilfata area, local residents offered comfort by supplying water to all. Their service is laudable and deseves to be thanked and acknowledged.

Looking back, it was the silent grit and patient attitude of the public that enabled normalcy to return slowly, and not anything the government did. Disaster management was a complete flop. Hats off to other fellow Mumbaikars for your patience and help!

--Harish

We were leaving the Consulate at about 16:00 on Tuesday when the rains hit hard. How we got home is not as important as the fact that even with all this disruption and havoc, Mumbai was a "SAFE" place. Whenever diplomatic officers leave at the end of their postings they always realise that beneath the chaos and usual hassles Mumbai is a very very safe and friendly city.

In other cities there might have been looting and increased crime but no one and I repeat no one ever felt threatened personally. I was pleasantly surprised to see some people in Mahim offering coffee to passers by. In every locality I heard of strangers who opened their hearts and their doors to other strangers and offered shelter and food for the night.

I do not think this would happen in any other city, even in India. So Mumbaikars, take a bow, you guys are the best.

I would also like to put in a special word of commendation for the Traffic Police Constables who were all over trying to help sort out the traffic and they were a very visible sign of the administration. The next morning they were back on duty, uniforms impeccably clean. This city has to have the best police force in the world, at least what we see of them on the roads each morning and night.

--Raj Khalid
Trade Commissioner, Flanders Investment and Trade

I work at Nariman point.

Yesterday after getting the news that due to heavy rain there could be train troubles I left at 3:45 pm from office for my residence at malad. Couldn't make any development from churchgate station till 7:00 pm, then went on to try my luck via BEST but they were totally saturated and overflowing, post which decided to walk down as much as I could with hope that there would be some help further. But to utter disappointment realised there was total chaos allaround.

I thought the government had some Disaster management plan for such eventualllities, but forget that there was no information coming apart from rumours that take tusli pipe rd, or take causeway rd, etc.

Shocking to know that even after having concrete evidence in terms to the Raigad belt having faced similar trouble 2 days ahead the government slept over the warning and help no "Apatkal baithak" till water rose to nose level.

Irony to the government behaviour there were some real kind people around who helped people in crisis by volunteering to offer some biscuits and tea to brave people who were walking their way home. Amongst which were "desperate Housewives" unlike the popular soap these were middle class housewives who were so desperate to reach home since their kids were still stuck at schools and there was no trace of their school buses. Couldn't do much and felt really helpless, just could console them by telling them false information that there was information that school kids were safe in schools and with their teachers. (hope that's true)

Finally after walking down till grant road couldn't muster the strength to carry on further and decided to take a cab back to office. Reached office by 11.30pm at express towers to realize the entire staff back in office glued to television sets as if it was high intense India v/s pak match on.

All were checking for any info when life would be normal.

Female collegues were seen worried and panicking. We decided to turn this into a bit of less intense environment and went for the movie  Interpreter at inox which coincidently was sold out courtesy heavy rains outside and nothing to do with the Movie which either case was a damp squimp.

Chatted through out the night thinking there would be light in the morning in terms of good news of normalcy returning.
Its 10.00am and we are still battling our fates.some who took the bold iniitative of driving dowen in the morning just called to say that they are stuck at matunga for last 3hrs and warned us not even thinking of  venturing out.

So the Saga continues, Hoping the Mumbai spirit helps us to over power the same!!! Salaam Mumbai!!!!

--Deepak Sharma
 
Thanks for your generous gesture of sending the voice of normal Mumbaikars to we who are currently outside India. I was able to locate two of my close friends in your news wherein you write the verbatim tales of rain victims. I have read all the verbatim stories that you have put. Thanks, no news agency is coming as generous as you are.

I can give you a status equal to CNN wherein they cover calamities right where it happens!!

I am currently based in Dresden, Germany. I have seen myself the flood that occured due to the rapid snow melting in the alpine mountains and flooding the river Elbe. I had participated for more than a month as a voulenteer. Why am I telling this to you? Reason is I read stories telling thanks to voulenteers who broght eatable, water, medicine to walking people. Cerntainly they need to be thanked. They were not appointed by government nor the weather was conducive that they would be encouraged to go out and help those whome they even didnt know.

It is truly humanly that so much of heart and love was shown in a city which is often thought as heartless and totaly business minded in its constitution.

I will like to share some experience of Dresden flood (famously known over here), we were all volunteering over here just as humans as the child of one god under one sun. During the times of panic all what was needed was two hands and a will to help. The important thing to note was that City administration of Dresden could not hire many people nor it has the capacity to employ German army for flood relief work for civilians. The army was employed for reconstructing bridges etc. The civilians were truly required. We all went. the city administration had arranged for our temprory stay, food and transport from our homes. The end result was, there were voulenteers as old as 95 yeas of age to 5 years kid.

We enjoyed doing it all together, I dont know german at all though, it was never realised as the compulsion. The thing I still remember is an invitation by the city mayor for a dinner to all those voulenteered during the relief work. It was an invitation to the city of Dresden by Dresden Mayor to thank them.

Like Mumbai, Dresden is not very big (just half million population) though it was running on the verge total power failure as two of the three transformers were merged in water. only one remained functional and the Mayor announced it to be used
primarily for hospitals and emergency services and rest to the city. During our voulentery work, I have noted that every person who has a car brought it to the relief work and turned on their lights during night. You wont believe this saved lot of power consumption in this high time. We were able to work under the lights of car and administration was assured by the volunteers in this regard.

I have been a volunteer though, outside India. I know how it feels like. I can just say, it gives much better feeling for all the residents when the city announces a thanks giving party where in you are seated next to strangers but you become friends just by knowing that, Yes we were all there together fighting the flood. truly, I am more attached to this place after flood, every one looks so much near and dear that I never felt Dresden as a foreign land for me.

This very high feeling is now existing in Mumbaikars as well, it must be given proper direction by city administration. When the locals and the government will be together, there will be many things that will automatically get removed. The Mumbai City administration and Mumbaikars have a very good opportunity to create a high confidence in each other. Mumbaikar have done their part on 26th and 27th, now the mayor must do.

I am not telling this because it was done over here. Rather, today the feeling I have for Dresden is like my home. It must be good, it must clean, and no of its residents should ever come across any trouble. This is the essense that Mumbaikar have got and City administration must do something to preseve it.

And, Rediff you are indeed the great news worker. Certainly if you are putting this news on your site, you are sincere for the people for their voice and for their well being. I truly appreciate that you are the only who has sent their newsmans into the water to get the news. Perhaps others have declared holiday!!

Thanks for your time and patience.

-- Bharat Vani

I was travelling from Nair hospital to Kandivali from 6 pm on tuesday and reached at 10 am on thursday, here is my experience.

There was no power from mahim and heavy waterlogging. We had to take some rest at leelavati hospital on wednesday mng. We had very good and very bad experiences as under:

BAD:- All hotels on the road were FULL but if u are ready to pay Rs.2000/- u could get a room in some shabby lodges, we nmanaged a room in khar at a hotel opp station in Khar west at a cost of Rs.1400/- the room was not even worth 300/- and I came to know that the actual charge was Rs.150/-. We checked in at 3.00 pm on wednesday and all money was taken upfront. There was no water, and even food was unavailable.

On checkout they were not willing to give a bill and on asking them repeatedly they started threatening and abusing. Somehow i managed to take some bill by paying Rs.200 more ( they say 10% will go to tax).

Burgers bisleri ws priced three to four times in shops and hotels.All would be effluent people were closing their doors and even societies had locked up. maratha mandir theatre doorman would not allow ladies to use their toilets saying they were flooded! When I talked to owner and requested he allowed just three to four ladies to use them and then they shut the doors.

GOOD:- while driving from Bandra to khar, we were offered water, tea, buiscuits, wafers and enev JALEBIS by residents of linking road areas. Thsy were patiently hearing our tales and giving us updates about traffic. It is on their suggestions only that we decided to stay in a hotel and not try to reach kandivali on wednesday.

HYUNDAI SANTRO CAR DID NOT CONK OFF FOR THE TOTAL PERIOD EVEN THOUGH IT WAS IN WATER TUESDAY NIGHT.

Radio Mirchi and all FM channels were boosting our morales whole night long, It was great.

Overall we ended up having good feelings about being Mumbaikars but still feel that the profit hungry people shuld be taught a lesson.

--Rajeev J Joshi

I was reminded of the scene from Independence day. The only difference was that in Mumbai the reason of disaster was water.My love for walking in rain vanished the moment I saw panic in eyes of children and women stuck on roads. It was growing dark and no one knew what to do and where to go. Our fragile systems crashed and flow of information creeped to its lowest.The rising level of water and the continous rain wrecked vehicles, jammed systems ,devastated life and left memories of fear in  minds of those who witnessed the disaster. The night went like this with everyone perhaps praying rain to stop.

People in Mumbai never have time to look at the fellow person stumbling or falling but this was a complete changed scene . I saw young boys helping people, trying to clear traffic and offering a helping hand.Small kids offering food, water, tea and biscuits.Number of people on Bandra station awiating trains would have outnumbered the usual rush on same platform by multiple of ten but difference was the attitude of people. So empathetic, so caring, so compassionate and so understanding.

Disasters like this have been happening but Mumbaikars have braved this calamity in most courageoues manner .We have tale to tell that we as human beings are most compassionate, we have courage to help our brotherns and we still beleive that our prayers are heard and we are blessed.
 
-- Ashish Bhat

I live in goregaon west.

http://ashishmpanchal.8m.com has photographs clicked by me of the flood affected regions.

I hope this helps. Its important to make people aware of the destruction which took place.

--Ashish Panchal

I wanted to tell u that i have experienced the mumbai rain havoc myself. we were in the office on tuesday nite and then we started for our homes in suburbs on wednesday early morning. from mumbai central to mahim not much problem was faced. but then the real journey started. we started to walk from bandra for our homes in goregaon and borivali. we were not alone. it looked like the entire city is walking. i remembered the saying "keep walking". just need to see the spirit we all have. whatever comes we shall go on & on & on.

i am sure that any other country or city in the world would have come to a halt with people losing hope but not mumbai. we
have it something in us that really keeps us all going. salute to it.

--Akshay Shah

I am fortunately not living in mumbai. But I was horrified to see and read about the Horrendous, deluge in mumbai. But I was highly impressed by the Spirits of Mumbaikars. At midnight 2 am - 4am, when most of the people must be worrying about saving their lives, here were the mumbaikars who were distributing, biscuits, water at this odd hour. Hats off to these
people.
 
I thank all the mumbaikars who kept the spirit of humanity and helped each other in this dreadful hour.
 
--Uday, Hyderabad

I am writing this mail from Bangalore, India. I got to know about the torrential rain that hit Mumbai. This is first time Mumbaikars have experienced such an devasting rain. But kudos to all my Mumbaikar friends that they have got out of this and the life is restored to normalcy.

Although i am in Bangalore my hearts go for my Mumbai city and people residing there who braved the Tuesday Cyclonic Rain.

Want to send message to all my relatives and friends to take care and put the past away.

Also thanks to Reliance and FM for providing support when required.

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

Cheers´¨)
¸·´ ¸.·*´¨)   ¸.·*¨)

--Vijey

Bombay paralysed' ran a headline in BBC. It sure was. 'More than a third of Bombay was under water after the city suffered the heaviest rains ever recorded in India' ran another. Who knows this better than an everage Mumbaikar who was a victim of the nature's fury that day. I was among them.

'Never seen such a day in my entire life in Mumbai,' said Mr Mhatre, the name should suggest his age too.

Everything stopped except the spirit. Be it the chaiwallah who made tons of free chai in Santacruz for the weary, disgruntled man on the never-ending road to their homes; or the resident in Vile Parle who allowed his-fortunately-functioning phone to be used to inform family members; or the humble, Muslim community in Andheri who, irrespective of caste & creed supplied paavs, biscuits, water and even their toilets to the common fellow-being during the calamity; the few hundred volunteers in the dangerous junctions of the city risking their lives to save the lives of many others; the innumerable schools that provided shelter & food in that testing period to the vulnerable fairer community & children; to the not-alone whole few hundred member-society getting down for 3 hours together to cleanse dirt, water-filled flats, unclean cars and of course... their souls.

I thought I had seen it all until I heard others. Everyone had a story to tell.

Other than experiences, some learnt a few things about themselves. Take for example P Pradhan. His Mummy told me as a child after crawling he learnt to sit and then directly sit in the car. Well, that day he learnt he could walk and how much?!... a cool 17 kms.

Or M Kale whos bathtubs in the name of hygiene were always filled with Bisleri cans. She learnt in the school she stayed that night, what normal water tastes like.

Ask not-home-not-office women how safe they felt. The answers should tell the story.

Nature made us humble that day. It uttered these words. 'You may be Mumbai but I am nature.'

Salaam Nature. Salaam Mumbai.

--Jnanesh Kumar

I am alive and kicking. It was a different Mumbai. Somethig that we have never experienced. Surprising to note that in a city like this one has to see the infrastructure crumble on actually a heavy shower for about five hours. Meteorological departments may talk about this in a great way so as to say that Record Rainfall breaks Cherapunji record (Cherapuni is in Assam where there is 24 hours rainfall, and the rainfall recorded in one day in Mumbai was higher than that in Cherapunji.

Why compare ourselves with Cherapunji when we are compared witht he best metros in the world. The drainage gave way, the railways gave way, the roadways gave way, and so did the phones. But what was interesting was that even peoples heart gave way -- meaning all of a sudden one could witness a Mumbai Bhaichara. In what seemingly is a selfish city where people dont bother about others and engrossed in their own routines one could see the camaraderie also flooding the hearts of people.

Such kind of mythological floods would have been experienced only in the past during the birth of Lord Krishna. I hope a Lord Krishna was born that night (But the water did not give way anywhere) because one could not cross between the East and the West in less than one hour. Stories are numerous. People walked from Churchgate to wherever and reached home in about 6 - 15 hours.

Many of them could have reached their Native places or emigrated abroad in that time period (we are living in jet age are we not?), yet every Mumbaiite was rudely reminded that dont pride your urbanness when majority of them had to get to caveman times, because every house was not a house but a dark as a cave. No electricity for 48 hours, no water at many places and people queing up at pipelines with buckets like their grand mothers would have done in the respective villages and towns.

I spent close to 48 hours and then walked home (I havent calculated the calories lost). If such incidents keep happening to Mumbai all the fitness center will have to rue their luck. This morning (Friday), the city looks compeletely normal (Even that is typical of Mumbai - dont we know of the riots, bomb blasts, floods before). Mumbai has proved that it is a responsive city and can get back to its feet the fastest.

--Sudarshan Srinivasan

I am in Pune and I have been following the Mumbai rains through Rediff and other newspapers. Even Pune got heavy showers and many parts of Pune were affected. But what happened in Mumbai is simply unbelievable. I have been praying to God that all the people should be well. I take my hats off for the spirit of Mumbaikars and how they helped each other. It's extremely bad that the rains happened, but it seems that only these kinds of incidents unite our people. Be it Kargil or Gujarat Earthquake.

I have been reading all the readers experiences in Rediff. There were many heart wrenching tales but also ones which lifts your spirits. Tales of local people helping the passerby's with food, care and love really touches our hearts. God bless these people and in fact we can see the God through them. Thank you very much guys for what all you have done even though even you were all affected.

India has to learn from these mistakes and have all kinds of contingency plans to overcome these kinds of calamities. Simply because we are a billion people doesn't mean that some hundreds can die like this and we can say the people dead are minimal. Every human life is priceless and our government should take care each one of them.

I sincerely believe the scale of devastation would've been far less if Mumbai had proper infrastructure for drainage. Its high time our politicians start thinking not only about themselves but about the people who elected them. It's a hard hitting tale but I believe our country would've learned the lessons. Salaam Bombay!!! Jai Hind!!!

--Thamizharasan Panneerselvam

This is not a story but some very pertinent questions, which I hope you will put on your web site to start getting some truth out.

I have a questions lingering in my mind which hopefully someone can answer. By Gods Grace our families were fine, however I did have a horrendous experience of moving out of the floods and returning to office.

While we were driving the water suddenly rushed up to our windows, and we were in feet of water. We have also now heard stories of kids and people drowning in their own cars. Agreed the central locks would not work, but i think if it was because of the downpour, it would take some time for the water to rise up so high.

1. Who authenticates that the rainfall was 90 cm?
2. Why did the water rise up SO FAST?
3. Why is the media not reporting the right information on casualties?
There are many such questions, which we should ask to get answered. Agreed, the Govt might have tried their best( which they claim), but were they ready? I think it was only NDTV which really covered the whole episode truly and with the right information and Kudos to them, but otherwise the Govt took a very lax attitude to this. People could have been informed earlier.

I think its time to raise some questions, but how to start and whom to approach is a question.

Can anybody help? --Manish Megchiani

More Monsoon Tales: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4- 5- 6- 7