Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mumbai floods - 1

Was just zapping through News Channels when all I could see about the rainy season was..Rain Rain everywhere! Floods at some places and No Rain at some.

That reminded me of the time when I was in Mumbai and Mumbai faced its worst ever flood - 26th July 2005.
     I worked as a Trainee Dietician at Radha Krishna Hospitality Services (Now taken over by SODEXO) at Lilavati Hospital. Like everyday I left my hostel at 5:30 am to catch my Bus No 86, got down at Bandra, got into the same rickshaw I used everyday and reached the hospital by 6:15am.
     The daily routine started: Preparing Kitchen order tickets (popularly known as KOTs), standing near the conveyor belt to send trays to the rooms; If I am remembering it correctly there were about 200 Patients on that day.
    In the meantime my other colleagues Gauri (my boss) Tejal, Nilofar, Shikha and Dutta arrived, and with every person arriving the only thing we would discuss was: It's raining heavily, this road is filled with knee deep water, that road is filled with knee deep water.
Gauri my boss came at about 11am and as usual was planning to leave early and she actually left at about 3:45pm.
     The first time she went downstairs she came back saying that roads are filled with knee deep waters, I'll wait for some time and then go. She was all set with everything ready and within next half an hour she again headed to leave but was sent back by the security stating: Madam its not safe to go water levels are increasing..She again came back..
      I swear I was so happy that she had to come back, every other day she would have to leave early due to some reason or the other and she made me sit for few more hours almost daily :P
    Then it was my time to go both theoretically and practically, so as I was preparing to leave, we got the information that all roads near the hospital are covered in more than waist deep waters and that no employee should go out of the hospital for safety reasons. I took a deep breath and continued with the work.
And then the fact dawned on all of us that: Okay..... We Are Caught in a Flood and We Will Have To Stay Back!
     In the meanwhile all of us started receiving calls from our homes and my, Shikha and Dutta's parents were all panicky....... reasons 1)Courtesy: News Channels which showed horrifying scenes of the flood 2) Because they we were in a different city and too far from them. We were instructed to switch off our cellphones so that we can save on the battery life.
    After our Dinner we went out in the lobby of 4th floor. 4th floor consisted of Kitchen and Doctors dining area and the staff's dining area.
    And the scene that we saw from there was scary...very scary..
all we could see was water water stuck..with some cars almost covered in water and some covered till the windows..people standing in waist deep waters
   And it was then we realised that the we were in a problem and we really dint know what was ahead..
But I consider myself really blessed because I was stuck at a place which was clean hygienic, had access to electricity, food and almost all basic necessities..

With the work done for the day.... we all left for the dining room where the tables were cleared to make some place for 5 of us to sleep. We were provided with 4 blankets to sleep.
And as all of us lied down..the horror stories about the Hospital setup that circulated widely by word of mouth were now being told to us, Shikha and Dutta.

For rest of the story wait for Part 2

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