Tag Archives: Mumbai

Flashback: The Mumbai floods of 2005

This day, 11 years back, was when Mumbai came to a standstill. Rainfall reached the 1000mm mark after showering 22 hours non-stop. Power was cut, people were stranded and cars were submerged. For the first time, the Mumbai Airport remained closed for more than 30 hours. It was my third year studying engineering away from home, at the hostel. Below is my experience surviving alone and getting back home as jotted that day in my 2005 journal.


26th July, 2005 – Day #1

14:00 Heavy rains have just begun. College was as usual. Dad reported heavy rains in Mumbai. Reached hostel & went to sleep.

17:00 Woke up. No water supply. No electricity since 15:00. Water has risen 1/2 ft above the road. Trains have already stopped.

Submerged railway station
Submerged railway station

19:00 It’s raining heavier. Water level up to 3.5 Ft in some places. Going for early dinner. No way to speak to Mumbai with mobile & landline networks already down.

20:00 Finished dinner at the only one open. Shopkeepers are busy applying plaster of paris or white cement on the shutters. Water level has risen to 1.5 ft on the road.

21:00 People living in the A-type houses & B-type apartment ground floors have begun evacuating as water level inside the rooms is above 3 ft. Nothing else to do, so off to sleep.


27th July, 2005 – Day #2

01:30 Heard people screaming & animals crying. Lot of noise in the hostel. Woke up to find water was already 1.25 ft into the house, about 4.5 ft above road level. Together with the boys, we started moving the landlord’s refrigerator, washing machine, dressing table, television, computer, clothes, mattresses, grinder & other things to the 1st & 2nd Floors. Continue reading Flashback: The Mumbai floods of 2005

Mumbai style vada-pav in Dubai

Last week, Aditi & I had a killer craving for Mumbai-style vada pav. There was just one key ingredient that bothered us for a while – the typical Maharashtrian kanda-lasun masala. Lucky enough, Al Adil Trading was the only super-market in and around Discovery Gardens to stock this. The result was nothing short of mouth-watering. But we still miss Mumbai and all our people 😐

Thanks for your efforts Aditi
Thanks for your efforts Aditi

And the busy man has found time for his lost love

Apologies! I know that I have been away for quite some time now – but there are reasons! Work being the major sucker 🙂 followed by personal interests. Moreover, my boss paid a visit 😀 I tried hard to spare time, then reversed some – but nothing worked! Anyway, the good news is that I’m back.

Census 2011 Logo
Census 2011 Logo

I did miss writing all this time & kept noting them as they happened. To begin with, I hope you are aware about Census 2011. Most state & central government employees have to compulsorily participate in this, over & above their routine responsibilities (pl note 0+1=1). The lady who was doing it in our area was an innovator! Instead of visiting each house & collecting data, she took an iterative, outsourcing model. She took the lift to the first floor, and walked down distributing a form in Marathi to each house. She very calmly told people that the form was very simple (I don’t know of a single govt form that is simple) & that one didn’t need to know Marathi to fill it (I don’t know how Bengalis & Malayalis bought this idea?) Suddenly people realized the importance of Maharashtrian neighbours, and fortunately each floor had one. After putting people to the job, she again took the elevator up to start collecting filled forms. I’m sure with this trick she managed to get home in time for lunch, which otherwise she would’ve had to couple with dinner. Just to note, that innovation is not necessarily rocket science.

Rickshaw Meter
Rickshaw Meter

Two notable things happened in the near past, both of which have affected our lives in one way or the other. The first thing: revised auto-fares. As Shubhojit said, this is one thing that makes you feel real poor. What I used to spend both way is what the 3-Tyre boogie now takes away one way. All thanks to the revision graced by skilled instrumentation engineers at garages.

Rupee Sign
Rupee Sign

The other thing – the symbol that our national currency got – actually makes me feel very proud. It is the symbol of globalization, equality & finally a distinguishing factor from other currencies with the same name. Some websites, like Burrp, picked up the symbol in no time. I’m just waiting for it to show up on currency.

Ambedkar Memorial, U.P.
Ambedkar Memorial, U.P.

After news about the symbol hit the stands, people questioned the kind of money that must have gone into its making. But I say, what’s wrong? If someone can spend tons of money raising statues in a city where people don’t have enough, Continue reading And the busy man has found time for his lost love

Bhutan Diaries – Day 5: The Tiger’s Nest

Day 05:

As instructed by Kinley, we were ready to leave the hotel for Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest – by 8am. Breakfast again was typical; only bread, butter, jam, omlette, porridge for Indians. From the point we began trekking, we could see the Tiger’s nest right in front. But to get up there, we had to take a long & winding road up the mountains. You can rent a horse for Rs.500 for a return trip, and also buy a stick for support. At some points the path really gets narrow and with the horse’s tendency to walk at the edges, you’d be convinced to not take a horse ride. We were instructed to move towards the inner-side as soon as we saw a horse.No one is allowed to a take a ride on the way down; the horses come down empty, charging like bulls – almost without any control.

At half-way, there is a government built cafeteria that offers a clean view of the monastery. You will be served tea/coffee with amazing cream-cracker-like biscuits, and on the way back can also choose to have lunch here (not recommended for Indians). The journey from this point gets a little difficult: first you have to walk up a steep path, then walk down 500 steps and finally climb another 200 to get to the temple. With some motivation from Chibu & Kinley, I agreed to go. Some of the photos taken on the way are perhaps the best ones from the trek. Most of the steps have no railings, so you really need to be careful. Before you descend the 500 steps, you are at a point that is right opposite the monastery; they could have a bridge. In fact, several people have suggested, volunteered and even contributed to building a rope-way to get up there. But the Bhutanese love Bollywood, and totally believe in ‘kuch pane ke liye kuch khona padta hai’. They believe that nothing comes easy, and that the pleasure of visiting such a holy & refreshing place and getting close to God, should only come after some effort. Continue reading Bhutan Diaries – Day 5: The Tiger’s Nest