Tuesday, September 25, 2007















DOWNPOUR DISTRESS
Wish I had a camera! I blurted out when I tiptoed from of my
uncle's house. Wondering if it was a Kodak moment. No. It was water, water and
only water that had engulfed my locality, Dum Dum Park. I had read a lot about Kolkata floods but, this time, I had a real encounter with a similar crisis.
Sept 23 (the night before): It had started raining from 6 pm or so. Or rather it was pouring, literally. But, being in a posh media office it was impossible to fathom the severity within closed
doors. My parents, by 8 pm, had already alerted that it was getting worse outside. I did not bother much. Work got over at 9 pm when I came out for dinner. Yes, it was raining heavy. I was worried, but little. At 10 pm, I took my office vehicle, a Tata Indica, and headed straight towards my home. I was alone and warned my driver that he can't take the usual route — via Ultadanga— to the destination. But, he claimed to know better. So I abided. As it had had to happen, we got stuck near Ultadanga flyover. Situation was grim — water was almost gushing inside the vehicle. The driver, somehow, managed to careen through water in a style he
was quite adept with. We managed to cross the flyover and took the VIP Road. I peeped out of the window and saw the street lights soaked in rain water. But, it was no time to romanticise. We took left from Baguihati and drove straight. Soon, we reached close to my house and avoided all the possible streets that could have been under knee-deep water. But, luck was not in my favour and I was almost close to my home and Good God, it was water again. The vehicle was unable to move ahead. He geared and drove back to my uncles's house. I stayed back there for the night.
Sept. 24 Condition deteriorates
The day started with a bitter note when a kitten was wailing for help. The sky was grey with no signs of the rain God to give us respite. From the first floor of my cousin's house, what I saw was
not a usual scene — kids were wading through knee-deep water, rickshaws were honking to attract customers and a countable few were out on the street (probably, they had no other choice). I packed my bag and was set to go home. My uncle accompanied me. And
then, it was the reality that gave me a shock. He held three packets tight— my clothes and shoes — and I started folding my pants gradually. But, it helped little. As we marched, water was
getting deeper and I held my uncle's hand tight. It was difficult to balance and walk. Fun it was being first time thrown into such a situation. But, the thrill soon oozed out and a sense of disgust set in. But, we were not the only helpless one, a dog sitting on a brick wall joined us. Finally, I trudged back home. The ground floor of our flat was already under water. I bunked office. As it grew dark, things started getting worse. Meanwhile, power went off. We had a candlelight dinner too!
Sept 25: Stuck in waterworld
There was not of water to drink or bathe. Much to our dismay, our caretaker informed of rising water level.The municipality was hardly bothered and when asked over phone said "we are trying our best and have already sent a water tank". That was it. The CESC wasn't available and the phone line was perpetually busy. On top of that, our mobiles were showing signal errors. Stranded we were and remained so for the day.
Sept 26. Sun God smiled
On day 3, water did not recede. But, thank God! power came. I rushed to the terrace and what I saw was scary. Everything was floating. It was difficult to make out where the pond nearby has merged with the road and drains. It was a mess! Women and children were leaving in rickshaws in search of a safe shelter. The sight was worth shooting — an experience worth remembering for life...







2 comments:

Sour-ing Mercury said...

Nice that you have another post .. . though sparse ..

Renee said...

Thanks a lot...