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Mumbai meri jaan!!!
Oct 04, 2005 07:14 PM 3160 Views
(Updated Oct 05, 2005 09:04 AM)

It?s been almost two months and Mumbaiis still recuperating from the tragic floods that took the city by surprise on the evening of *July 26, 2005.

The rains left behind many scars, unaccountable losses and nightmarish memories that haunt Mumbaikars till date. Mumbaikars braved 36 odd hours of rain that pounded mercilessly, leaving the suburbs submerged in neck high water. There was water everywhere? Pounding rains from the skies, dirty, mucky waters that rose to first floor levels, Mumbai's hopes of Governmental and Ministerial help that never crossed the high tide to reach commoners, and the hapless, uncontrollable tears of those who lost their homes, belongings and their loved ones.

No matter what, Mumbai and her fighting-back spirit is a thing of the legends. Time after time, Mumbaikars have proven their mettle, against all odds. This time it was no different! Neck deep in murky, diseased water, as roads, highways, services came to a grinding halt, stories of valor rewrote history yet again and as always, Mumbai emerged united as never before.

Time went by, and as always, we looked back and basked in the glory of being Mumbaikars and having braved yet another calamity with the same zeal and hope. But, all through this, time and again, we forget to ask one simple question?what is it that makes Mumbai special?what gives Mumbaikars the power to rise above the situation time again.

There are so many reasons, some evident and some unfathomable. Well here are few of the obvious ones:

Mumbai, my City of dreams:

Dreams of all sizes and shapes breathe in this city. Dreams of making it big, becoming famous or earning big bucks! You will get them all in Mumbai. People come from various parts of the country and the planet to get a taste of Mumbai, to achieve their dreams.

The reality of this was evident on a day like July 26, when the city came to a grinding halt but Mumbai still dreamt on, even though, this time their dreams were slightly different. Millions of eyes just dreamt of one thing?beating the traffic and getting back home to their loved ones. Nothing seemed more important than reaching home on that day. People safe at home, dreamed and prayed for their loved ones to reach back home safely and helped others, brave the waters and reach home. And that?s my city of dreams and a city of angels!

My city has the best transport facility:

Miles and miles of railway tracks, innumerable bus routes, the fast, furious and hot favorite auto-rickshaws or the luxurious cabs, define Mumbai?s and arguably the world?s best transportation facility, but all came to a standstill, where everything just failed! They floated in water?autos and cabs had their heads submerged in water, railway tracks and runways were submerged, BEST bus travelers could literally touch and feel water from the windows. Two days, Mumbai was rendered immobile, yet, Mumbakars were on the road and the spirit of Mumbaikars, was rearing to go with or without transportation.

My city never sleeps:

What NYC is to USA, Mumbai is to India! It never sleeps. People swear by Mumbai's nightlife. Some of my friends from other cities even envy it. Nobody slept on Tuesday too! People kept awake in whichever place they took shelter at. Some kept walking all night to get to their destination. Some others, who were safe at their homes, were glued to the TV and the radio-sets as that was their source of updates on the situation. Truly, Mumbai lived up to the phrase'The city never sleeps'!

My city is well connected:

There are more network providers than the handset manufacturers! Except for a few no-network areas, which can be counted on your fingertips, you can get through to anyone, anywhere. But on 26th July:

Orange went RED - with shame because of NO NETWORK for over 24 hours!

BPL was the only BPL(Blessed Phone Line) because it worked throughout the disaster

Even Airtel could Tel, I mean could connect

Tata IndiKaam bhi kaam kar raha tha.

But our legendary great, great, great grand telephone service of MTNL maintained its record of being completely inactive, even after the calamity. Some of my friends told me that their phone lines were dead? and till date remain dysfunctional!

In spite of NO Network and NO Charging because of NO Electricity, people connected with their loved ones. I know of someone who smsed from a Rickshaw driver's cell phone. Now that is what I call well-connected!

My city is the busiest:

People live in the same building for over 30 years and still do not know who their neighbours are! Well, don't get surprised that is my Mumbai. It is as busy as it gets. Speed is the keyword in the lives of us Mumbaikars. Life in my city moves faster than the light. No one has time for anyone. Somehow this trait of Mumbaikars took a back seat on the day the rains tried drowning the city. The same busy Mumbaikars were seen on the streets evacuating people from their drowning houses, pulling out dead bodies from the collapsed houses and even distributing food and water to the ones stuck on the road.

Civilians also played an important role in controlling the traffic that day. Some helped the police in stopping the Tsunami rumors from spreading whereas others where busy giving updates to the ignorant ones. Amongst the ones stuck in traffic, some lent their car chargers to the others who needed to charge their phones desperately. There were groups of people who were busy taking care of the unattended children and aged passengers. That's my Mumbai, busy yet available when needed.

Last but not the least, each Mumbaikar loves Mumbai:

Rumors of'Tsunami coming soon, rumbled through the City, off and on! People panicked, held on tight to their hopes and prayed very hard. This was the first time; something so big had hit Mumbai, actually shaking up the city by its roots. People were saddened that their invincible Mumbai had been rendered so weak and helpless, in a situation where only crisis and panic reigned.

Furthermore, what left us perplexed and angry was the indifference of the Government, the Ministers and the system towards Mumbaikars, who were left struggling between life and death, hunger and an epidemic and hope and helplessness. What?s more, these were the representatives who had been elected to power by us, only to initiate rescues operations for the ultra-rich and powerful?the big and the powerful were airlifted by helicopters from their submerged residences and checked in to five stars hotels but as always, the normal janta faced the brunt on their own.

The Mumbai support system that rests in the uneasy hands of people we elect, failed to provide basic support and infrastructure to beat the floods; but it was the compassion of the Magnificent Mumbaikars and their love for Mumbai city that, rewrote yet another chapter weaved of guts, compassion and humanity that overcame one of Mumbai?s worst nightmare?s in recent times.

Mumbai always fights back but the point is how long will the fighting spirit of the Mumbai be taken for granted by the Government that predictably disappears when the need most arises.

It is high time that we do something, it is high time that we ask some questions and it is high time that we bring the pillars of power to task if they fail, because Mumbai doesn?t deserve to drown because of an incapable government, Mumbaikar?s don?t deserve to suffer because of an incapable government, and most importantly, all those who do not respect the power of the people, by the people and to the people should be removed not tolerated.

Well, lets

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