Cats and Dogs

What do you do when the road you are driving on has got two feet of water on it? I drove through all of it. Ditch or no ditch. Road or no road. I drove through it all.

Last weekend was a test of my patience, driving skills and luck. Luck above all.

One of my friends, Abhinav, Biwi and I went on a joy ride to Mussorie. The ride up to Mussorie was an almost good one. I say almost because of various diversions on the road. We couldn't read the omens right and still pushed our luck. Reached Mussorie, on the map some 280 kilometers from Delhi, in 10 hours after clocking some 350 kilometers. This was the first time I drove on the Himalayas and I was thrilled. It was a nice ride with the driving duties shared between Abhinav and I.

The stay there was awesome, with the mercury down and rains all day long. We strolled down the Mall road in the evening and did some shopping. Came back, enjoyed a great dinner and went to bed.

Luckily Biwi decided to watch news before going to sleep. This was when the enormity of situation hit us. Whole of Uttarakhand was under onslaught of rains. Tehri dam was already surging upto the danger mark. Rivers had over flown and the highway and the Ganges was threatening to submerge the whole of western UP.

We were scared. We made a decision of leaving Mussoorie first thing in the morning. Good for us that we stuck with the decision.

Driving back is now a flurry of memories. Going down in ditches, crossing roads with people standing on both sides of the road to guide people from falling into the surging rivers, zooming past Har ki paudi inundated by the mighty Ganges and taking some roads we knew would never take again. This was not the first time we had driven in monsoons, having covered NH 17 in last year's monsoon, I was confident that we would make it. However, I was not prepared for the helplessness and despondency in the people affected by the floods.

Here I was inside a tin box, with the AC running, separated by the glass from them. The people of the land who were forced out of their houses by the furies of the rain God. I remember once reading in my childhood that Indians are totally dependent on the vagaries of monsoon. Never before had I understood the full implication of this phrase. Maybe I don't understand it even now. After all, I was inside a tin box, with the AC running, separated by the glass from them.

I truly feel lucky to have survived the journey and writing all these here.

All these and more forced me to reflect on a totally unrelated issue: Did India really need to spend some 80K Crore Rupees on some gaming event when this could have been used to alleviate much poverty in India? Do we really need to be so jingoistic?
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4 Comments:

Pratibha The Talent said...

really these flood are outcome of furies of the rain god.great post and keep it up.

Mohammed Musthafa said...

Good post! Never been in such a situation but could understand how you'd have felt.

Paritosh said...

@Pratibha

The rain Gods look quite furious these days... Have been facing a hell lot of rains in Delhi lately. BTW welcome to my blog.

@Mustafa

Well... I would pray that you never face such a situation ever.

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