Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blogger searches for "The Spirit of Mumbai", finds slush instead

(Note: The continuation of the caste-system post shall be done at a later date. Right now we have an all-important breaking news at hand.)

BOMBAY (2nd Aug):
In what appears to be a tragedy of gigantic proportions, local blogger Rahul Gupta reports that he failed to find the Spirit of Mumbai during the recent 4-day downpour in the city. Sitting on an ambulance stretcher marked "FBI", wrapped in a blanket and sipping coffee, the blogger recounts his horrifying ordeal during those four gut-wrenchingly cruel days in the city:

It had rained almost continuously on the first day and all my laundry was far from being dry. This was a huge problem for me because of the acute shortage of dry underwear. Luckily for me, I was in the city with an indomitable spirit. Or so I thought. I went to my neighbour's house, said hi to him for probably the first time in my life, and poured my saga on him. However, my polite request for a clean pair of boxers was denied with extreme prejudice. That was a jolt out of the blue. I should have sensed something was amiss with Mumbaikars that morning. I mean, people just do not deny such a request, do they?

However, still undaunted and forced to be unfettered, I set out for my daily 15-minute journey to Powai. However, as soon as I reached the road, my worst nightmares came true. Water on the road was atleast 1cm deep and would have drowned my little toe, had I not worn my sneakers. But if 26 July has taught us something, it is the awesome concept of "human chains". Brimming with positive attitude, I beckoned some passers-by to make a human chain and help each get across the 4 metre wide road. "Leave no man behind, Goddamnit!" was my motto. Strangely, people started giving me weird looks. They looked like they would rather risk their lives in toe-deep water than form a human-chain. This photo shows a bunch of kids living on the edge, without a chain, as water surges to toe-deep levels. And I despaired. It was like I didn't even know this city anymore.

I counted each passing hour of these monsoon-filled days, alienated from all of these so-called Mumbaikars. On the fourth day of the torrential rains, I went to the market to have my lunch -- Vada Pao (ordering Pao is compulsory here. Many a times I have had Paneer Tikka with Pao). As I passed some buildings, I couldn't help but notice the plight of the ground floor residents. Sure, the water was low right now, but what about two days from now? This rekindled my spirit, and I tried to reach out to my ground floor neighbours. I volunteered to give them a room in my apartment and also offered them my services in moving their valuables to my house. Both the girls refused. Again, with extreme prejudice.

All this was days ago, and I am still battling depression. Where has the spirit gone? Where is the faith? I cry myself to sleep everyday, thinking about these questions.

And so ends the account of the blogger. This blog wishes to state that the blogger is in good spirit now, although he still winces when the dreaded 3-word phrase is uttered in his vicinity. With his mood upbeat, the blogger wishes to go to Delhi in the near futue and perpetuate the "Dil waalo ki Delhi" legend that he so firmly believes in.


Vandana said...

Wow.. so the FBI came to India to catch you?? :-) 1 cm deep water?? Dude you gotta come to Cal to see what water logging is all about..

Anyway, I sympathise with your ordeal.. especially the help you offered the girls on the ground floor... See.. sometimes girls don't know whats good for them.. he he he :-)

Funny post as usual..

Tweety said...

You really seem to be homesick this time :-)

And yeah... I think you were in Mumbai on 26th July 2005 weren't you ?
How can 1cm deep water bother you.... Its just your paws having their annual bath:p


Mudra said...

What floods? There haven't been any torrential rains this time. Second... why does the "spirit of Mumbai" and "Dilwalo ki Dilli" piss you off so much? :P Everyone needs myths to believe in... let them have them!

Asterix said...

@vandana: Exactly my words. I kept telling the girls how good it is gonna be and so forth. Somehow, they were not convinced :(

@tweety: My paws were firmly entrenched inside my shoes. Another annual bath successfully evaded!

@mudra: Arey when a Delhi-ite says "flood" it usually means ankle deep water. When he says tsunami, it means knee deep. I hope you get the drift :)
And I dont know why these media-invented slogans piss me off so much. Perhaps it is because people start blindly believing in them.

Sven said...

Good Job! :)