We asked readers about how they coped with the torrential rain in Mumbai and this is what the early responses said, verbatim:
I work in a pvt co in Nariman Point and stay at Shahad on Central line. At around 12'oclock i received call from my sister & brother asking me to take a train back home as it was pouring cats & dogs and soon the train network may fail. I assured them not to worry as that was high tide time and after 3-4 hrs water would start rescending. Now i think it was a wise decision not to start at that time as i would invariably have got stuck somewhere in the train.
Later my office declared that we could leave our office at 4 pm and me and my colleague took a bus for CST(VT). A normal drive of 15 mins cost us 45 mins. Just before we could see two lines, one going towards the station and one (the early birdies) returning back. We were informed by fellow commuters that everything is at standstill and there are no trains. Better sense prevailed and both of us decided to go back to our office at nariman point.
We had our dinner at a nearby restaurant and went for a walk on Marine drive and then back to the safe and dry atmosphere of our office. I had a good nights sleep in the office and now i m on net writing this experience of mine.One thing is atleast now i m able to contact my family& friends, yesterday i could not get any landline nos, no satellite nos.
Just praying that all those who have got stuck, reach to safer places.--Sangeeta
We have never seen such a heavy raining......its still going on..... Our office located at Powai.... Yesterday we left the office around at 5 pm, there are no auto n bus on that time...so walked towards sakinaka...but situation was worst at sakinaka..... so we came back to office.....
Thanks to our company management, they kept office open....
I hope other collegues will be fine, who left the office yesterday. we are trying to contact them but due to network problem, we are really worried about them.
Today morning we went at sakinaka but due to traffic jam, we came to office and not have any plan to go home.
--Vishwas KasurdeMy wife Sharda is still in the office. Most of her 300 odd friends are also in the office. They must be waiting when they would get help.
I am going to take my car and will make the attempt to reach to her office and get her back home.
God is with me and going to help me reach and bring her back.
God bless all of US !!!
We went out to CST to try for trains. My husband was at VT station around 3.30 pm. The announcer announced that there is a 4 pm train to Kurla. Dishum after 5 minutes he said trains have stopped even going up to Kurla.
No other way, went to Suvidha to do some pet pooja for getting the required energy for the challenges the weather god is going to give us.
Still no trace of any respite, the rains was lashing more harder. I resigned to the fact there is no other better place than to be at your office.
When we reached our office, we found that there were 20 guys who had unsuccessfully ventured and were back at office.
The ordeal did not get over there. What about dinner. All the restaurants and hotels were running out of food stuff. Our office admin guy Mr Subash arranged food for us from colaba. God Bless him.
Today morning still no respite. Railways are giving no indiaction, when the locals will start running again.
An eventful day and night. and further struggle ahead. Children at home have started crying.
Hey bhagwan aasman ko band karde aur hume raasta de
-- VisalakshiWe all our staff of Phoenix Mills stuck up at Lower Parel, as there is no mode of transport either road or rail to reach our homes. We all sheltered in our office one day and one night. So many people are stranded at even at our Bandra office, as the situration is above the controlling limit. I request the railway authorities to start the suburban trains as soon as possible if situration permits to do the same. As all of us know local trains are heartbeat of Mumbai.
We were left early from the office but made a wise decision to stay back at the office (which was a right decision). Some of our colleagues who had left the office at 4:30 pm had a tough time at VT and Churchgate station and had to come back to the office at 10:30 pm.
I am working with LIC in central office. I and many of my collegues, may be around 200 people, are stranded in the office since yesterday . I live in Powai, many of my colleagues live in Ville Parle and Borivili. No arrangement for reaching our home. In home also no power supply since last 20 hours or so. Do not know if we reach home by evening to day at least.
I'm a resident of Bombay currently in Denver, US. At around 4:00 am today (3:30 pm IST) i woke up. Could'nt sleep for some reason. I went online and found out about the rains in the city. After about an hour, the people that I was chatting with were telling me that its getting worse. I called up my father and my brother and with some difficulty I got through to
them. They were stuck in crazy traffic on the highway and at SV Road, where some spots had chest-deep water!
I was in constant touch with them about their whereabouts. What we realised during our conversations was that somehow my international calls were connecting to them easily but local calls could not. I called up my home and told them about the whereabouts of the rest of my family stuck in various parts of the city.For the next two hours I coordinated over the phone
with relatives of my friends who could not get in touch with their worried families!
I still hear about so many people who are incommunicado.
Despite being in the US, I felt every pulse of Bombay and was almost living through the traffic and confusion and chest-deeps waters.... wading through them over the phone!
God Bless Bombay!
-- Abhishek S Gupta
I am currently in Los Angeles, California, but am a true blue Mumbaikar at heart. When I spoke to my parents last nite (around Tuesday noon India time) -- all seemed to be fine. I only got the customary "Its raining very heavily today" from my parents -- and I again took a deep breath, trying to console myself for missing the Mumbai monsoons for the second consecutive year. Little did I realize what was to follow.
As we sneaked into our offices this morning, stories began to pour in from all directions -- colleagues at work (a large bunch of us Indians out here) -- narrating updates about their near and dear ones from Mumbai. Multiple hits on rediff.com and that is when the real situation came to light. Immediately all of us were twiddling our thumbs, trying to call our families back home. Some got through. The not-so-lucky ones kept trying. And kept getting more and more anxious every passing minute. Soon everyone realized that most of the landlines and cellular networks were down - but no one gave up. Every time a number was dialed, a silent prayer went up in each ones heart -- let this call get through.
When I finally got through my residence number (@ Malad West, Marve Road), I was greeted by an unfamiliar voice at the other end. Cross-connection, I thought to myself. But then the other person identified himself and so did I - he was my neighbor on the first floor and my Tata Indicomm wireless handset was at his place. Where are my parents and sister I asked?? They are downstairs, trying to get out whatever stuff they can from your house (on the ground floor) ! WHAT !!! I couldn't believe my ears. He continued, there is about 3 feet water inside your house and they are removing whatever they can -- the TV, the sound system, your computer, valuable documents, etc. I was STUNNED. Can I speak to them, I was getting anxious every minute. Call up later after sometime, they should be here by then. Ok, I said. And I hung up. Very well knowing that I might not just get through again.
But the Gods were kind. After about 45 minutes of waiting nervously, I tried calling again. After 12 unsuccessful attempts, I
finally got through. And spoke to my parents and my sister. I was so damn relieved -- God bless the folks at Tata Indicomm ! My house was in a mess -- the sofa is floating, as dad put it, but thankfully all of them were fine and safe. There was no power and the battery of the phone was dwindling -- so I didn't take too much of their time. I couldn't have done much anyways.
I have stayed in that place for 12 years and NEVER has the water risen more a couple of feet, let alone seeping into my house. Tragic. Very tragic.
At my offshore office (near SEEPZ), people left offices but then returned back in there after unsuccessful attempts at getting to some destination. Last I heard, there were about 200 odd people stranded in my office -- and that the canteens had been opened for an all night service. Junta was having dinner and chilling out on the sheltered terrace, playing Antakshari ! Trust Mumbaikars to never give up on the joie-de-vivre of life !
Hope that the Rain Gods show some mercy and the water recedes and life returns back to normal ! Amen to that.
-- Sameer Lalwani
I work for a consulting firm based at Nariman Point.
Our team decided to leave early as we began to hear stories about heavy rains in the suburbs. So to beat the traffic we decided to leave 'early' at 4 pm. The confident swagger of being the 'early birds' slowly changed to confusion as we noticed a huge crowd already making its way down; the feeling slowly sunk in that we were not exactly early!!
This feeling changed to panic as we started to drive out, and the rain started pelting down in bucket-loads. Also, to add to our misery, the traffic came down to a crawl! We started to realise the gravity of the situation when we found out that for every passing hour we had covered only 500 metres! By the time it was 6.30 pm, we had crawled towards CST and within striking distance. We decided to take a detour via the dockyard road; this was our biggest mistake (on hindsight this may have saved us from total doom), after the first few minutes of feeling that we had made the right decision, we got caught in one of the slowest moving traffic on the planet! Nothing moved for over 45min!
That was it!! We just hopped off, realised that we were in Ballard Estate and ducked into a hotel. Decided to spend the evening and drown our sorrows in glasses of alcohol... three pegs and some mediocre chinese food later, we decided to confront mother nature again. No time for intricate details, we just beat a hasty retreat, and landed up right back where it all started... in Nariman Point... our office!!!! On the way, saw the commotion at CR2 and hopped off to purchase tickets for any available movie... it happened to be The Intepreter, starring Nicole Kidman... the idea was that the movie would start at 11.50 pm and give us something to do till 2.30am!!!
Now we are right back in our cosy office after the movie... and have decided to spend the night at the office... the work place has been converted into a quick workable bed and my bossed are already asleep... time right now is 3.30 am... I just couldn't resist writing this piece.... after seeing all what my Mumbaikar pals have gone through... no complaints mate.... three days down the line, we shall be laughing when we recount our experience of being stuck like a million others... but it will be an experience worth remembering!
-- Pavan Karimbil
I'm a student staying close to Vihar lake near Powai. I, along with my friends, stay in the hostel inside the institute campus. This is the first time we saw such heavy rainfall in last one year in Mumbai and we were enjoying by roaming around in the open. We were not aware of what's happening outside campus. Later our mobiles stopped working. Also, we came to know that some of our classmates who had gone to city are not able to come back to college. Slowly we came to know the gravity of situation. It was around 12 o'clock in midnight somebody informed that one bus is struck in road near by Moraji Nagar area due to water-logging.
Then some of my classmates and I came to Moraji Nagar to help the stranded bus and its passenger. but what we saw there is quite unimaginable. Hundreds of people are struck in various buses, cars,jeeps,trucks etc..and road is submerged in rain water, surrounded by darkness. Mobiles were not working. There was no chance of moving ahead for them till morning. It was really pathetic to see some passengers standing inside bus since last 10 hours without food and water.
We then swung into action without wasting time. We arranged stay for some needy people in our campus. We distibuted water bottles to the stranded passengers. We called other students and divided into various teams among ourselves.
Various teams are still working to provide water to the passengers in various phases.
These people are really in need of help. We were flooded with questions about what the situation is. Some people were even ready to go home by walk if water level in road is manageable.
It was really the biggest tragedy I have seen in my life.
Still our friends are working in to help them out midst heavy rain and darkness.
-- Bimal K Pati
It is 1.28 am 27th July 2005. My son who studies 4th in Ryan International Malad has not yet come back home after he left at 8 am on 26th. I am on official work to Chennai. My wife called me at 10 pm to say this after braving through waters neck deep in search and to no avail. No one knows where he is. With so much of prediction of heavy rains for a day or two more I have asked her to stop searching and park herself in the safest place and get rid of emotions. On net I have found Malad Police station and have had a talk with the inspector there and have also asked him to coordinate with other agencies like fire service etc who may possibly have the right equipment to be able to wade through waters there are tears in my eyes now I have been on the net ever since trying my best Where is my son? Any help from anyone is welcome my contact no chennai 9840496636 and 044 52113715
-- Venkataraman Ashok
Looking out for Sarah, Neelam and Sherley who have left office from Bandra Kurla Complex at 5.30 pm. Have not reported reaching home yet.
Office pals are anxious about their whereabouts.
I have never experienced such horrible rains in Mumbai since the last nine years that I have been staying and can only compare with a similar experience on 21st August 1997.
I work in a private sector bank at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and yesterday, 26th July 2005, though the HR said that employess could leave office by 4 P.M., we were waiting for the rains to stop so that we could go home. Sensing that the rains would not stop so soon, at around 7 P.M. I ventured out to reach my in-laws place at Chunabhatti.
There were no buses, autos or taxis in sight and I started wading through the water logged street towards Kurla.
I walked for 45 minutes and reached BKC Telephone Exchange. Prior to the L.B.S. Marg junction there was heavy traffic since all vehicular traffic has come to a standstill because of waterlogging. Water level started inching upwards and in no time I was in neck-deep water. I couldn't proceed further fearing a loss of life due to drowning because of open manholes and potholes. I could see people standing on top of double-decker buses trying to jump from the roof of one vehicle to the other in order to pass that stretch. I had no other option but to return to my office since I didn't risk taking any other way to reach home as I realized it was futile. I had to take a bath to get rid of the murky stinking waters that I was wading through. Fortunately I could have a change of clothes courtesy a fitness freak colleague who keeps a set of dress for his workouts.
BKC seems to be the worst place in Mumbai during these times as it is surrounded by low-lying areas all around: Kurla in the East, Bandra in the West, Vakola / Kalina in the North and Dharavi in the South.
Surprisingly, my wife and my brother-in-law could reach Chunabhatti, however late, from far-off places like Nariman Point and Lamington Road respectively but I couldn't traverse the short distance between BKC and Chunabhatti.
If it was not like this, I would not be writing this experience while staying awake in office at 1:30 in the night.
-- Sanjoy Choudhury
I am working in Polaris Software Lab.As the working hours of our office is 8.30 am to 5.30 pm I was working at the time of rain started.Our office has given warning at 4.00 pm that those who want to go early they can leave now because in 24 hr there is possibility of heavy rain.I thought that in 1hr rain will stop and i can leave by company bus which is at 6.40.But i was wrong, upto 5 pm all local train cancelled and our company buses caught in traffic.My friends who leaves the office at 4.00 pm they came back to office because of rain there is huge traffic near to SEEPZ. We wait for bus till 7 pm then we decided to stay at office upto morning.We are still in office. I am writing this incident from the office itself.
-- Vivek Olivakar
I work as an assistant administrative officer in The New India Asurance Company Limited.I came here for my first job assignment last year in the month of july. Before coming here I had heard about the rain in Mumbai.I had never thought I would be getting a real life experience of it.Our office was declared closed at 3.00 p.m. We had thought it would be business as usual. I went to Churchgate and by good luck I found a seat for myself ion Borivali-bound local, which was supposed to leave at 3.21 pm and that was the only train ready for departure.
For some time I was the luckiest person on the earth hoping to reach my home some two hour earlier than the usual time. The time now was 3.55p.m. The train was yet to move. There was no announcement either. Then after sometime the signboard depicting the departure of train time was switched off. So also my hope of going back top my home early. It was now 4.30 p.m. and there was no hope of our further journey. Then one of my colleague suggested me to come back to office and spend our rest time there until the arrival of goodnews. Although reluctant, at last I decided and came back to my office which is at fort.
It was a quite different experience as all the staffs who had left the office were coming back one by one. Seeing the condition outside we had no option but to spend the night in the office. misfortune never comes alone. I had not brought my cell phone to day. So I had to inform my family who stay in Orissa by STD. In my office I was thinking about the number of flood claims which were going to be poured in my department the next day. (We had already received a bunch of intimation by evening) and the estimate amount of loss which was going to increase our paper work in the days to come..We had no alternate source of news. Then I decided to look for internet.
And by good luck it was working.(thanks to the people in IT dept.).I could know the present situation in detail from rediff.com at about 11.30 pm I was unable to decide what to do. and it was going to be midnight with sleep far away from my eyes.Then only I decided to pen down my experience which I have faced till now. But thinking about the plight of ladies,children ,old people and other stranded passengers in various platforms i feel my self lucky to have access to comfortable chair,fans and at last but not the least internet.
-- Mohammad Rafique
Could anybody tell us what is happening out there. We are stuck in our office at Marol, Andheri (East) on Marol Maroshi Marg. The approach to the office from the main road has waist deep water. No power. Could anyone tell us what it is like on Andheri Kurla Road and on the WE Highway. Need to get to Malad West.
Any ideas ? Communications are down. Looking for any info....perhaps this is a way out.
well its.... 12.52 am 27.07.05....coping with the monsoon by staying in the
office for the whole night.
just surfing and listening songs. ...thats the life.
mobiles and landlines not working.
-- Ravi Virwani
Talk about calling in Airbus super jumbo A380, the base infrastructure at the aiports and the airlines remain archaic. As of 2300 hrs on Tuesday the Movement control/flt despatch at Air India were clueless about contacting the flights that were due in tonight, with its lights put out by AAI and landlines down, they could not even contact Ahmedabad to tell the ATC to divert the flts efficiently to AMD and HYD. All was left to the incoming flts and the Controllers enroute to feed them with the ground reality!
The state of the people waiting for their dear ones to come would be all in the dark.
At all other airlines the scene would pretty would be the same....what a mess....and talk about our carriers getting 100+ aircraft and the darling of the aviation industry's eye for the second largest order.
-- SachinMore Monsoon Tales: 2 - 3