August 11th, 2008


The Mon(soon)?

We're a country that has a huge bandwidth in terms of world influence.  We're the largest and the fastest spreading country among the developing and developed nations (probably all nations, but I don't have the stats to prove that).  And yet, when the monsoon fails to show up on time, the country breaks into a fevered sweat and one begins to smile humorlessly at the domino effect of one state declaring it a "Drought" after another....  I heard one unnamed politician claim that "This is a country wide emergency, and the government has declared it so!".  He went on to add "However, we as a government are sitting back and relaxing.".  His heart was in the right place of course, and I don't blame him for his oral lashings at his comrades in politics.  In fact, I find that I support his decision to go out and say what he said.  Kodies to the dude.

Any way, the monsoons have arrived now (albeit imba delayed!) and have since been making fun of our municipal corporations. Joyful as the government seemed by the promise of the rains, we've had more fatalities since the coming of the rains than since the failure of their timely arrival.

Yesterday, I stepped out to pick up some cigarettes.  It had been alternating between heavy drizzles and pouring rain over the last day and a half here in Hyderabad, so you can imagine the amount of water that must have been involved.  Nevertheless, I was stunned and awestruck within a minute of firing up my Bolero.  Our place is situated quite near a catchment reservoir that acts as a feeder tank for the Hussain Sagar lake.  There are a few canals that drain water from other places and feed this lake of ours.  It's called the "Bon Cheruvu" by the way, and was the one shouldering the greatest responsibility for the massive and supremely destructive Hyderabadi foods of 2001.

The road (the only real escape from our current location) Goes over a bridge kind of a thing that spans one of the above mentioned canals.  There's usually about a foot (or sometimes less) of water running through this particular channel.  The bridge has a clearance of about 8 feet (I think?) from the bottom of the canal.  It was turning dark already, and the street lights were flickering in a slow, eerie strobe like manner.  I could see people up ahead near the canal.  The strobe lights, the dark and the rain made it a little difficult to make out, but it looked like there was a commotion up ahead.  My mind ran over a series of possibilities.  The most likely of which, was that the bridge had collapsed or something on those lines.  When I got closer though, I was taken completely by surprise..

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