Thursday, July 16, 2009


1. Big B is a wonderful, thoughtful writer. His description of driving through the recent Mumbai monsoon rains puts you right there with him:

"Prateeksha is inundated. The road outside is in waist deep water and the lawn, even though it is built on a rise has filled up and threatening to push the rain into the house. I prepare to move furniture and stuff from the ground to higher positions. Mini waves drift in from the road into the driveway and reach the first step into the house. Water has entered into the reception area and the staff, bare footed pants rolled up, are frantically trying to clear drains of any obstruction so the water can flow out. But flow out where ? On to the road which is waist deep itself. It shall all come back !

"I muster up courage and help and pull out the SUV. Sorry Mid Day, but thats the only one that shall go through in all this mess, and float out into the streets now jammed with people wading through and the cars blocking any movement. I open the door, well just about, to assist a few young ladies in distress who were beginning to lose their composure, and give them a ride towards Jalsa. Everywhere there is just chaos. Its a sea of water all over. I pass by the office Janak and the staff is getting ready to climb on to the tree by the gate ! Water inside the premise and the ground floor is unworkable. Water in the lift, furniture and properties moved to the first floor. Jalsa is relatively dry, the road opposite now a swimming pool, but the basement has a breach. A huge gaping hole has been punctured and buckets and water pumps are being put to use to avoid the electronic panels that are housed there from blowing up !! Making calls for assistance, getting the right people to come and repair, but its in vain. Those that stepped out cannot come back and those that did not step out remain where they are - in their homes ! I get out again to monitor Prateeksha and run into traffic coming my way on the same side that I am driving. The other half of the road is jammed with water and stranded cars. People walking randomly wherever they can can find space and a better depth. Just so tragic ! The TV informs that the tide in the sea is due in and if the rain does not stop it shall push the water in the drains flowing out, back onto the streets. At Jalsa the water in the bedrooms has leaked through despite the tarpaulin protection monsoon covers. I tell them to put towels, swabs, water resistant solutions, anything. Abhishek and family in Singapore with Amar Singhji are unaware and I quickly inform them of the deluge warning them not to come in today as scheduled. I put all the mobiles on charge and the walkie talkies. Fill up water in buckets from the rain outside and store it just in case the power goes and the pumps get disconnected. And wait, and wait and wait…"

2. He writes every. single. day. and holds back very little. Plus he calls the readers "The EF" - his extended family.

3. He has a huge heart and is essentially a yogi - although he would never call himself one (which to me means he's the real thing):

"This is my condition, what of those that do not have the facility that I do !! That shall not be able to get back to their homes because the trains have stopped and the buses are stuck. Of those who may have lost their meagre belongings in their meagre and humble abode. Of those that had made their homes on the pavement. Of those that shall not be in possession of an extra pair of clothing to change from their present drenched lot. Of those that made a daily living through their little mobile food carts and other services. Of those whose temporary huts got washed away. Of those ….

"It just never ends."

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