Aug 1, 2010

26th July 2005 - - part 2

Read Part 1 here.

Four people. Two umbrellas. I was mentally doing a jig, wonder if everyone could hear it. I mean come on!!!! Anyone who stays here in Mumbai knows how romantic the rains are - its grey and windy and there is this slight chill in the air that feels quite nice. I am really short (barely 5 2") and I was walking on the divider, one hand over Nik's shoulder, hunched up under the umbrella. The water was rising, though it was just drizzling.. Our other two friends (Bhavik & Rupesh) were walking behind us, discussing Mechanics - I.(?!)

That month, there was this new newspaper that was breaking into the largely monopolized market of TOI - DNA (haven't heard of that since then actually :P but they did come with a bang..) They had this survey thing, where people wearing boring blue shirts caught you at bustops and stations, asking "Kya aapke paas saath minute hai?". There we were soaking wet, given up on the umbrella, walking with a crowd of people, and Nik, very well known for this stupid PJ's says, "Yeh loh mujhe maarenge na, if I ask them, kya aapke paas saath minute hai?". "If you don't shut up, main tujhe maroongi" I say, giggling nevertheless :P

We take a left from the road, walking onto the road that led to the Bandra Promenade.. stopping over at a half-submerged shop on the way to make calls home. (anyone else notice there are no PCOs these days!) Told mom I was walking home, she was a little worried, but then it was ok. I was pretty sure I would reach home max by 10. (I was having a ball of a time - actually jumping in the water :P ye I do that, even now :P)

By the time we reach the beginning of Linking Road, the rain is no longer drizzling, its properly pouring now. And there is simply no use carrying those umbrellas. Its almost 6.00PM and the guys are hungry. We spot a small restaurant that looked like we could get place to sit in. I don't remember the name of that restaurant but I remember what it looked like, and also that we all ordered pav bhaji's. Which were really spicy :P We left in some time, and since it was raining like crazy, we switched off cells and put them inside my empty tiffin :P, safely packaging it away in a plastic bag. There, we were ready to wade through the water now (knee-deep now). And crap, its realllllyyy cold when you get wet, dry a little and then have to go into water again! :|

Walking along that road that leads north from McD's, in the pouring rain, everyone else walking along with us.. that was actually fun. We were talking about random stuff, laughing and joking.  We actually thought that we will reach home in a couple of hours - I mean, how far is Borivili from Khar anyway? Atleast after Andheri, we will get into a bus or something. Or so we thought.

As we progressed from Bandra onwards towards the suburbs, we realized not only was EVERYONE walking along with us, all the vehicles were at a standstill - autos, taxis, buses, cars, trucks. Everything. Stopped in the middle of the road. And this is that part of Mumbai that always has a lot of vehicles and traffic. There was just too much water (It was starting to reach me mid-height by now! and Jesus Christ, i thought starting to panic, I AM REALLY SHORT!!!!) I kept joking to my friends, ok if you suddenly stop hearing my chatter, then start searching - surely I'm down some manhole. But yea, that idea was seriously scary (as much as I wont admit it then :P)

Now for people who are unaware of the anatomy of Mumbai, the two major roads here are Linking Road and S.V.Road, they run parallely almost, north to south of a majority of Mumbai. Linking Road is towards the Arabian Sea side and nearer to the sea, the most famous location on it being ofc SRGay's Bungalow - Mannat, Bandstand & Carter Road.  S.V. Road on the other hand is mostly towards the Western Railway Line side and usually is right outside any of the suburban stations. By the time it was 8.00PM, we were trudging along Linking Road, which because of its proximity to the sea, was getting water logged alarmingly soon.

And by the time we reached somewhere in Santacruz, I was struggling to keep myself from completely drowning, and we saw people returning back from ahead us. "Dont go ahead, the water is continuously rising there.", they said. So we stopped in the middle of the road unsure of what to do, and where to go. While we were contemplating what to do now, a group of ladies were passing by us. One of them for some reason, ordinary looking, South-Indian I'll hazard a guess, stopped and asked us where we wanted to go. We told her where we were headed and she said, "Theres just one way, we will have to take one of the bylanes/connecting little roads between Linking Road & S.V.Road and reach S.V.Road. They say the water is less there and besides you can reach some or the other station. Come with me."

Without actually thinking further and agreeing to her theory of taking the S.V.Road route, we followed the woman out into one of those connecting roads. It was dark and windy, no electricity, no phones, no network. It was steadily raining, and the water showed no signs of going down. It was actually pitch dark, and it was getting difficult to walk along with the crowd. 

And that woman... "There is something strange about her", said Bhavik under his breath. We followed her anyway right onto a road that noone else seemed to be taking, was shrouded in darkness and I couldn't see anything beyond five feet of what was in front of me. Oh crap..

(To be continued)


Anwesa said...

You kept me on tenterhooks last time. You did the same this time too. Now go ahead, post the next one soon. (I might die of anxiety if you do the same again :P Just kidding ! Give me more !)

Kanishk said...

I dont think you cared much abt your romantic date as soon as things became difficult :P

Meher said... finished that with a dramatic end..full of suspense.Part 3 needed soon.

Onward said...

You really do know how to weave a web annieee :) what you are conjuring up with this web u talented spider..:)

Waiting patiently for part 3 coz this is a story even I havent heard :)


Destiny's child... said...

Gulp. The lady surely sounds a bit creepy. Did you turn a dark alley and find her leaning against a tall post? Did she turn around and...omg...I am waiting for the next post!!!

Blunt Edges said...

I read part one too now, but all I can think of now is that queer lady! Waiting for the rest!

Ire said...

I have some bad memories related to the same day. I was stuck near the international airport as well.

Waiting for the next part... :)

Haddock said...

When it rains in Mumbai, its better to be indoors......

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