Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Rained Out Mumbai

The romance of the rains has given way to despair. Prosperity traditionally brought by the rains has turned to devastation. Hope, joy and optimism that the rains bring have become frustration and disbelief.

The questions on everyone’s mind are: How much longer will this chaos last? How much damage to life and property will be caused? How will we recover from this? And the most important of all, how will we learn from this, so it is not repeated?

The news channels and newspapers are full stories of the indomitable spirit of the Mumbai-kar. There are a slew of incredible stories; of auto wallah’s escorting their passengers home even after deserting their vehicles and wading in waist deep waters, of people taking in scores of stranded travelers into their homes for a meal and a quick respite, of strangers lending mobile phones to anybody and everybody, of youngsters feeding stranded motorists.

These stories are selfless and inspiring but now we need to go beyond them. We need to know if the city is going to be ready next time this happens. We need to be proactive rather than reactive.

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