Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ten Words

Ten words a day – I was told, would suffice for the first ten days as a beginning to a glorious story. When I heard and thought about it, at first, felt that it was no big deal. But the trick was to sit down and get down to writing those ten words that would make sense! Today, as the whole world knows, would not be a good time to start, would it?

The prevarication had begun in right earnest.

No, really, I mean who would ever think of sitting down to write on a day like this, when the sun had come out and the skies were taking a respite from showering down?! There were so many things to be done which were pending all these days when it poured by the buckets to flood our neighbourhood. Just our building was on a higher ground giving us a feeling of being marooned. Had taken a lot of pictures to fill up my photo blog for the next few days but though I had a lot to say and opiononate, the words seemed to have deserted me. When I mentioned this to a fellow blogger, was advised – write just ten words a day and you will be fine and at the end of ten days you will have a hundred words essay/story waiting to be told and heard.
The flooded water had stated receding leaving dampness all around. The streets were all covered with the mess from the garbage bins. The rot would soon set in and the air reek of a stench that would linger for a few days. I know it well. Had happened before and had been traumatised by it. But this time around it was not so bad and I was determined not to be done in by nature’s fury.

Set out in my cargo shorts to ensure that I don’t mess up my trousers in the filthy waters, with a ‘point and shoot’ camera in one of the pockets. Down the road the water had already receded considerably and the regular ‘bhutta wala’ was setting up shop. Went across to him and asked him to keep a couple of juicy ones ready for me and went onward on my trip to find out how the ‘burb had coped with the floods.

Looked as if the place was coming to life after a long night’s sleep. The shopkeepers were slowly opening their shops but not setting up the window displays, probably fearing another onslaught from the unforgiving skies. The corner shops had already opened up and were doing roaring business with a flat price hike of about 2% across the board. Indeed, smart thinking as a price rise of 2% was not steep enough to hurt anyone and simultaneously the increased sales covered up the losses due shop closure during the heavy rains. Mumbaikars have never been short of enterprise.

Children from the slums were splashing around in the filthy water, taking their annual swimming lessons. People had started coming out for a breath of fresh air and also to check out the aftermath of three days of heavy rains. Flood tourism had begun!
Like a voyeur, I too, went around clicking whatever that would reflect the state of affairs. Why was I doing this? Maybe to see if my photographs can be featured in the media. It would help me share my views with the world.

Having got my cache of images, I started on my way back, picked up the hot ‘bhuttas’ that the bhuttawala had kept ready, gave a final look around for any more images that needed to be captured and reached home eager to have a shower.

Aargh! Why today and now?! Water, water everywhere, not a drop to shower! Disaster! The water supply had been cut off for some reason by the local municipal authorities. Like God they too work in mysterious ways.

The morning didn’t dawn. The black night just turned gray. Gloomy as ever in the circumstances. Even the generally raucous crows seemed unsure of what to do. The roads were still wet and the air was heavy with moisture. Muggy atmosphere. All that I could manage was to cuddle back to sleep – in the warmth of pleasant dreams. But like some dreams this too faded into some vague memory chest.


  1. You do say it so very well! You create vivid pictures with your words. I felt as though I was drawn into streets of Mumbai, could feel the humidity and experience the sense of frustration. I look forward to following your new blog.

    Have a great ( hopefully not wet again) day!


  2. Ah Deepak, you use words the way you do your camera ... such images!

  3. Excellently written, Deepak maam! Not much of a story, yet the way you managed to narrate it is remarkable! And the comparison of the muncipality to God is just hilarious!

  4. Awesome!!! Brought back the floods in 2007...

  5. Hi nice post. Thanks for the visit.