For the first time, I felt like I experienced Mumbai like a ‘Mumbaikar’. I saw the city in shades and states unlike ever before. For example, I walked past the Dadar flower market, where the street sellers were selling their wares while water poured over their wafery thin plastic/tin sheets like little waterfalls. I have walked past the same street a hundred times before. But not like today, ducking ever so often as streams of water fell on you at every turn. Dreading at my next step as I waded through exceptionally murky water, wary about what I would step on. My hand close to my head as a barrage of umbrellas battled around me. And the hawkers continued to sell their wares in all the mess, like all the outcry over the civic mess was a daily affair. They saw this every year.
That was Dadar west. From Dadar east, it seemed like one had stepped in another world. People were slowly wading through knee deep water as cars lay dead and submerged in water. Once I reached Dadar Parsee colony, it almost felt like I was in some post apocalyptic movie, where the last ones alive were being evacuated to a safer area. The main road that runs through the colony & then goes to Five Gardens which is usually teeming with vehicles too close for comfort, was nearly deserted. There were no cars. Just people strugging in waist deep waters.
I live seven kilometers away from office and have often kidded about how given Mumbai’s traffic, it will probably take me the same time to walk to reach office or home. Today, it seemed smarter to walk than take a cab and be stuck on the road forever. I could have waited for the rains to subside, but I was sleepy, tired and am still recovering from a bad throat. Starting for home would mean, at least I would finally get my bed. So I started, with some money stuffed in my raincoat’s pocket, in case a cab did agree to take me home. It did not. But turns out I was right. It took me one hour, forty minutes to reach home. Ten minutes more than it takes to reach home or office in peak traffic time.
So I made it home. Safe. To my bed now…