Tuesday, July 04, 2006
rain rain go away & dude,we are not rude
it rains in spain mainly in the plains. but in mumbai it rains and rains.as a young boy of fifteen when i first stepped on the soil of the then Bombay,I didn't realise that i would eventually be settling down in this city which we have come to like so much.i was overawed by the monsoon.every year without fail it would commence in the first week of June coinciding with the announcement of the ssc results.and it would pour endlessly.sometimes for days together without stop.life would go on.children will put on their overcoats and continue going to school,collegians to their colleges and officegoers would take it in their stride and report for work.in mumbai,life goes on without stop. this year too it came on 1st june but then after a few days it just disappeared.it has come back with a bang and hopefully will continue till about naariyal purnima day. overflowing of the lakes at that time is an indication that the monsoon has been good and that the city will have no serious water problem for another year.
last year on 27th july we had about 1000mm of rains in 36 hours.it was an unprecedented deluge. a diaster which no mumbaikar can forget.the people's response to this was unforgettable.everyone tried to help the other person.many walked throughout the night to reach their hoimes.many were stranded in buses and cars till daybreak many citizens offered tea,biscuits and shelter to their unfortunate brothers and sisters.there was not a single criminal incident.
the recent reader's digest survey concluding that mumbai is the rudest city in the world came to me as a shock.it is bunkum.people here may not be westernised.they may not say "excuse me" or "thank you" or show niceties for women by getting up and offering their seat in a bus or a train.they may be quite crude.but that doesn't make them rude.in the last 46 years of mumbai that i have seen i have hardly come across any rude behaviour by anyone.on the contrary the average mumbai manoos is a very friendly and helpful person. he cares.the response on 26/7 last year is proof enough of the civility of the mumbaikar.new york or london or miami is no patch. i wonder how a magazine like rd could have published such a survey. were they seeking publicity to neutralise their sagging sales? readers certainly don't digest.
it has been raining continuously for the last three days.last night watching tv i had horrific visions of last year's catastrophe.hence my prayer.to the rain gods.don't be so harsh on us.and don't make us go through what we experienced last year.
bmc has become none the wiser.last year's experience hasn't taught them much.roads are clogged,traffic moves at snail's pace,potholes everywhere and people now are scared to venture out fearing getting stranded. doesn't speak highly of the administrators who want to make mumbai a shangai!