Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rain Diary - more of the (squelchy) same

Saru in her orange raincoat bringing us our dinner from grandmother's place (where the kitchen continues to function)

July 4th

Today is the third day of the downpour. The sky continues to frown on us and the latest news is that the roads are all clogged and traffic is moving at a pace slower than a snail's. Glad I'm in here, not out there. Poor Tuks has got caught though. Tukaram is our odd job boy - our Man Friday - the most important guy in this family's joint lives. He fixes our electrical problems, our plumbing (when he can), my computer occasionally and today he fixed our DVD player whose connection with the TV seemed to have been screwed up. Then he went off to help someone else with cleaning out the water with which their flat had got flooded and just five minutes back his wife called to ask what time he had left here. Well I didnt like to tell her it was a while back. Hope he doesn't have to wade through mucky water to get home.

The horror stories of last year are still making the rounds - how during the floods last July over a hundred people died, through being trapped in their modern cars or just drowned because the water in many areas was more than neck deep.There is not a soul in the compound at the moment other than Govind the sweeper, togged up in a bright yellow raincoat and rubber slippers, gathering up all the rubbish which people chuck down from their windows and dumping it into the garbage bin. Govind is asthmatic and always looks quite ill - now more so since he has begun to sport a seven day growth. But he gets around,is immensely cheerful and says "Please" and "Thenk Yew" at the drop of a hat. Have to remember to give him money for his months supply of medicines.

Off to have a little post lunch snooze now. and now that the DVD's fixed maybe I'll watch a film later this evening.

5th July

Watched a pretty dumb movie on TV last night: Legally Blond. Just the kind of thing for rainy weather though. In between I kept hopping channels to catch the local news and saw shots of waterlogged areas in Bombay and cars being stuck in several feet of muddy water, urchins screeching and jumping around in the rain, commuters trapped in traffic jams. One of the municipal corporators being interviewed by a belligerent anchorwoman bumbled and fumbled and err-ed and ah-ed through the questions she shot at him about the state of the city's roads and drainage system.

The sky has still not cleared up. Grey clouds continue to obscure the view. The buildings across the bay which normally loom up like Frankenstein’s monsters are invisible today. And when it rains it comes down in sheets. The papers this morning have life size pictures of people wading through streets which have turned into rivers. But .... yes Tuks our Man Friday reached home safe around four o'clock in the afternoon yesterday and not only that, has actually turned up for work again today. I told him to bring a change of clothes and that if the rain continued he should probably stay overnight rather than risk falling down a manhole! Half of Bombay is sick. Either coping with bad stomachs or with the flu. My mother is slowly recovering from a three day bout of cold and fever. Today is the first day I see her up and pottering around again and dispensing advice on various things.

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