Thursday, July 28, 2005

The spirit of my beloved bombay

At 7.30pm on Tuesday, when we first realized there wasn't anyway we could make it home in neck deep water flowing in waves, rain lashing furiously, we headed back to office. Totally drenched but safe.

A colleague had a 14 month baby in a day crèche. The wife too was stuck in her office at Churchgate. They couldn?t get through to the crèche or the owner. But we understood baby would be safe with someone.

Another colleague, a single mother, was glad her 2 kids get back from school by 4pm. Till her old maid left a message at 10pm that they weren?t home that day. She went hysterical. We got to know the kids were dropped on the road by an irresponsible school bus driver. Padmini Kolhapuri, a former actress, saw six lost kids on the road, piled them into her car (before the water swept them away) and took them home. After putting the kids to bed, both the actress and her sis spent the whole night trying to get in touch with the parents. Bless her.

There are hills near my place from where water was rushing down in torrents and hitting a boundary wall of an open workplace. Workers' little children often play on the private road next to the wall. In the rain, a little boy's foot got stuck on a little wedge by the wall. People rushed to help him. And that's when the wall gave way and the water crashed onto cars, people, sweeping them away. Plenty were hurt and three brave young men lost their lives. It was a tragic day in the building.

My sis has finally reached home after two days. Yesterday, she and her colleague waded in neck deep water and reached the colleague's house. The area was cut off, no electricity, no phones, no water. So. No news. Today she ventured out to make it home, found a lone rick on the deserted road and cajoled the guy to drop her. After some time, her faithful driver too drove in with her car. She had given him 800 bucks to take care of himself when she waded to colleague's house. Driver stayed with the car till he could drive it home safely!

These incidents bring tears to my eyes. Even as I see people stranded everywhere, the kindness of others around is overwhelming. I am so goddamn proud of my city! I can never live anywhere else. Sniff! Sniff!


Blogger {illyria} said...

i love you capture your emotions in this post, anumita. bravo to your bombay.

8:11 pm  
Blogger n.g. said...

bombay rocks.

8:12 pm  
Blogger Raj said...

Well written, these past few days have been traumatic I am sure, and I have been unable to get the thoughts and images out of my head of how people have suffered. Bur amongst all the chaos, the spirit of the Mumbaikar has shone through like always. I love Mumbai, and although I am so far away right now, Mumbai is in my heart....I love the city and everything that goes with it, and miss it very dearly!

8:49 pm  
Blogger poonam said...

oh my god! i had no clue about any of this. before and after our mails on tuesday night, i tried calling you and a few others insane number of times but couldnt get through.

i've a few stories this part of town too, but none as grim as yours.

anyway, you cheer up! it usually works out well in the end.

as far as that bus driver is concerned, well he's your mumbaikar too. so you see it takes all kinds of people. but yes, i won't deny there is something about bombay, a little more than many other places but a little less than we'd like.

be well :)

10:24 pm  
Blogger Parna said...

have heard some horrendous stories so far. glad that your sister is well. and safe. do update about the single-mother colleague. whether her kids are home safe and sound too.

10:43 pm  
Blogger Mint Chutney said...

I can't imagine what it must be like there right now. The random acts of kindness are really heartwarming.

7:07 am  
Blogger Mint Chutney said...

P.S. Stay safe!

7:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to the spirit of Mumbai.

8:56 am  
Blogger Hornswoggler said...

yes that's bombay, isn't it?

9:25 am  
Blogger Prerona said...

the spirit of mumbai ... spirit of people everywhere ... its breathtaking ... thats what makes one love the place so much ... :)

10:22 am  
Blogger hope and love said...

its at times like these that we remembers how we take so many things for granted..
so nice to hear abt the acts of kindness..

10:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:40 am  
Blogger Arundhati said...

Wonderful! We were worried sick about ye Mumbaikars.. I am glad you all got by so well and am feeling so proud to be Indian!

12:31 pm  
Blogger AAA said...

Glad that you are safe and sound. I saw the havoc caused by the floods over there. Not good!

12:59 pm  
Blogger Pallavi said...

I am glad you are safe.. and kudos to the brave ones who are helping the others ... :)

3:33 pm  
Blogger Rat said...

Reading it in your post hits so much more than reading the newspapers. Glad your sister is safe and back home and that you are too.

3:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the bouncing back strength of Bombay and our people. Thank you conveying what people are going through.

11:37 am  
Blogger AmitL said...

Hi,Anumita,u're so right..each time there's a calamity,Mumbai has bounced right back within record time.And,the way people reach out to help those needing assistance,is unbelievable.

1:16 pm  
Blogger junat said...

yup even sitting here in kolkata i knew that the spirits of mumbailites will take them through this tragic moment ...

well something more for ya - my mom called an aunt of mine after the downpour and at the end of the conversation this is what she says - "see how long it has taken for the rain to come ; may , june july almost gone still no rains. " people actually eagerly await monsoon in mumbai . infact i too love being there walking along the marine drive getting drenched in the seawater on the onset of monsoon . but maybe this time it was a bit too forceful on its arrival for any ones liking ..
ppl out theere are very practical in their daily life but are always on their feet to help others out ...
yeh hai mumbai meri jaan ...
i love amchi mumbai

8:40 pm  
Blogger GratisGab said...

OH GOD. Yes, Mumbai rocks. You all rock.

9:54 pm  
Blogger gulnaz said...

kudos to padmini kolahpure and her sis, she has gone up notches in my good people list. hats off to the pppl of mumbai for battling this deluge with such spirit. so glad to know that your sister too reached home safely and her driver sounds like from some other era! :)

btw, very well written! always.

12:57 am  
Blogger Ashish Gupta said...

Cool post! Captured the spirit of 'aamchi mumbai' very well.

Its been 4 years here, and off late me too falling in love with the city- the populace here is the most helping one.

have blogrolled you!
tata, good day :)

10:33 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

well I've never been a 'Mumbaikar' but for the short stint I've had in the city, I've loved every aspect of it. The city has stood testimony to some brutal incidents, but it has recovered so fast.

11:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey glad to know that u and everybody else are not a part of mumbai yet...but i do know the spirit!!

take care

5:54 pm  
Blogger @$#!$# said...

BRAVO mumbai....

Keep fighting..

6:13 pm  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

Nice to know that you are fine.. read abt u meeting sanguine.. hope she's fine too.. (she hasnt updated her blog)

6:48 pm  
Blogger Srini said...

It is tough to read such incidents and see on TV news the familiar places of my Mumbai under water and people suffering.Just now, i was telling one of my friends that despite all this problem I would still like to be in Mumbai during this time, but I am stuck here in Chennai with no means to come there.

Take care

9:36 pm  
Blogger boabhan sith said...

I am glad you're not hurt.

Well, written post, btw.

6:15 am  
Blogger anumita said...

Thanks, guys! Things are fine now. The weather is fantastic today. And hopefully those areas still waterlogged will dry faster and people will get back to their homes (those who still have homes left).

twilight fairy: Sanguine is fine. We had all been stranded at home. But am in touch with her.

3:03 pm  
Blogger AmitKen said...

your post captures the spirit of mumbai so beautifully...
I hope things are getting better now.

7:33 pm  
Blogger Nandish said...

spirit of mumbai rules but the disaster management is complete flop.

10:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anumita, the spirit of Bombay is unique and unbelievably powerful !
Im glad to hear you made bit safe and sound ...

3:47 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

The simple fact is that this city is "alive". We often speak of the 'spirit' of a city, in which we are really talking about the people that make the city. I have sensed life in the city. It has a its own will - beyond imagination.

The city lives. Cheers!

2:03 am  
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1:17 pm  
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