mood: thoughtful
Dated.. but still..

Wednesday,
27-Jul-2005,
INFOSYS guest house,
Mumbai.

It all started on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon in the outer areas of Mumbai.I was seated comfortably coding away the requirements of ICICI bank HQ, BKC.All was fine. Some of my colleagues smoke, so I advised them to do it quickly as it was threateningly cloudy. The heavens were issuing warnings every few minutes and finally it came….it came with all it could, the one above used all his might.It was as if he was bent upon showing his supremacy and reiterating that we are nothing without his mercy.Cats and dogs would be very euphemistic, I should say even dinosaurs would have feared that lashing downpour. BKC is quite highly perched on the Mumbai terrain. But it too could not escape the fury of ‘The One’.FM radios started issuing warnings. That was the only source of information. The internet was down, the phones weren’t working either.I just about managed to call one of my friends before the network went off. She said she was leaving and had no idea of how’s she’s going to go back.I was still too indifferent to understand that the situation was already alarming.Most of the people in my office were having a good time looking at the water logged roads from the HQ of ICICI. I too didn’t find it foolish to be a part of them.Finally I went for snacks and then, common sense, for the first time came face to face with me. I heard people saying that their cars were floating in the basement.Then I took a decision, my colleagues were still in a party mood as none of us had seen such a thing before…I told them that I would be leaving irrespective of their plans.They too took notice of what I said.We were 7 people in all. All of us left the building in a jiffy only to be stranded at the bus stop for 2.5 hrs.There was absolutely no sign of autos or taxis, the taxis that were visible were flooded and the drivers had left.I took a brave step and crossed over to the other side of the road hoping to find some auto. I was knee deep in water. But the kid in me was not complaining. I never managed to find anything on that side of the road too.Despaired, I came back. It was very dark. The clock had gone well past 8pm.I just jokingly mentioned it would be fun walking down all the way to Santa Cruz….not realizing that my fantasy was just about to come true.We finally started walking on the main roads to avoid water and invisible manholes. We knew that it would be the toughest walk of our lives but we also wanted to prove that software engineers aren’t that bad at anything apart from programming. We walked, walked, walked…it was tiring, troublesome, really irritating and very very dangerous.We saw all kinds of accidents on the road… but kept on walking. After walking for about 1.5 hrs we reached the linking road, we were a little happy, we could call that our home ground. We lived and died by it everyday.Kept walking and walking. The water was getting dangerously high but we dint bother.Finally after about walking 1 hr on linking road we reached santa cruz. That was the worst place someone could ever buy a house at.The water started to climb over my neck. Absolutely dark, and everything covered by water. I even climbed over the bonnet of a car accidentally which was totally underwater.Few drops of water tried to enter my mouth too, but I somehow sustained.My bag was on my head and I was in water.I knew that my guest house was close, I could even see it, but reaching it was not as easy.My PL and I were holding hands, together we reached guest house. As we climbed towards the gate our bodies came out of the water. It was such a victorious feeling to have walked 11.5 kilometers and have reached safely. We were shouting, people were looking at us!! Mostly Infy guys and gals… cheering us on.There was a huge pool of water in our reception but we were too excited to notice it.My PL almost fell down in the water but I managed to hold him up.Finally when we reached upstairs, it was celebration time!!Most of the Infy guys had the same story like ours.Guys and gals reached home walking from BKC, neck deep in water.One by one everyone was back.Today things are much more peaceful, the water is still there but we are safe.I thank God for this.
Terribly exhausted still, I remember all those moments, I feel that yesterday was hell, but one hell of an experience…
This was ‘THE EXPERIENCE’ of my life.
An experience which teaches the value of human life.
An experience of a lifetime