Sunday, July 26, 2009
Pic 1 : The police watch as a wave vanishes after leaving water on the road. The BMC people are seen working hard to keep things in control. A wall broken with the force of water can be seen on the right.
Pic 2 : Here you see Haji Ali dargah in the backdrop and officials keeping a watch on the high tide and the waves
High tides were predicted in Mumbai on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of July, 2009. The highest tide in 100 years in Mumbai was seen on 24th when tidal waves of 5.5 mts lashed Mumbai shorelines.
On 23rd July, I was back at my desk after having lunch in office pantry. One of my team members asked me, 'Ma'am aap samundar ke paas jaakar aao. Sab dekhne jaa rahein hain.' I looked at him surprisingly and asked, 'Kyon? Kya hua?'. He replied, 'Wahaan paani bahut upar tak aaya hai aur raaste par udh raha hai !' I was definately excited. But being busy, I could not immediately go. I asked a few colleagues after sometime if they'd been out. They replied that they'd just come back from watching the waves create havoc. I am transferred to our Worli office since a month and have been enjoying the rainy season near the sea at Haji Ali. It wasn't raining that day. But it was very cloudly, breezy and cool. I tried to go out, but a sudden torrent of heavy, windy rains started and I postponed going out. But I saw some colleagues get nice video shoots of the rising waves and some sweet pics too. When I tried to go, I got news that the tide had subsided. Too bad, I thought. But definately the next day was the 'highest tide' day. So I still had my chance. I made proper plans to go out with colleagues around 2 pm next day as the hightest tide was somewhere around 2.15 to 2.30 pm.
On 24th July afternoon after lunch, I set off with some female colleagues to watch the waves. But to my dismay, a huge crowd had already gathered in anticipation near Lotus at Worli. The police including the traffic police alongwith BMC workers had gathered to shoo people from venturing too near. They was a huge crowd. All office goers from almost all companies in the area had got onto the streets to catch a glimpse of the huge tidal waves lashing against the shore walls. There was a lot of excitement. We tried to go ahead. I managed to get a few haphazard pics since vehicles coming into Lotus compound kept dispersing the crowd. Morever, as soon as any wave splashed against the walls lining the shores, the police pushed the crowd away. The people who'd come impromptu the earlier day, got a better glimpse than the people who came on 24th July. Since we'd to go back to our desks and work too, we couldn't dare to venture further and watch more. So we returned back with some exciting moments and a few pictures. The next day too I had a chance to catch the excitement, but unfortunately I had my monthly Saturday off and Sunday of course, meant holiday. So it had to be next year I guess. But from what I hear, some high tides at in store for Mumbaikars in Aug and Sept 2009 as well. But to see the next hightest tide, I'll have to wait!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Can you guess which river this is! I took this picture on Saturday (18th July, 2009). And no, it's not a river. It's the west side of Mira Road station. There are salt pans on the western side. And the water logging is due to the rains! Since there is no concrete structure on the west and you can almost see the horizon, the effect created is that of a river! Beautiful, ain't it?
The unique thing about the picture is the water at the top and the station at the bottom. And the roof over the platform serves as the divider!
That was pretty fast indeed. 3-4 months, I think. I am referring to the skywalk at Mira Road. While other skywalks in the heart of Mumbai city are still struggling completion, the one at Mira Road is just waiting for its' finishing touches!
But as with public services in Mumbai, the old, the 'special' and sick people are never considered while designing any infrastructure. And the same applies for the skywalks as well. We do look forward to escalators at Railway stations and at the end of such skywalks in the near future. This will be a boon to the old people and those suffering from joint related problems.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Read about the history and geography of the Mithi river through this link : http://www.indiatoday.com/itoday/20051219/environ.html
One of my colleagues from Delhi was once commenting over phone regarding Mumbai rains. He was making fun of the drainage system and water logging and trains being effected during heavy rains. I told him that there were two reasons for it -
One : Mumbai, being on the coastline, experiences more rains than Delhi. And of course, the tides effect it as well.
Two : Most of Mumbai is reclaimed land. And a number of small rivers are silently buried within the city. During heavy rains and high tide, these rivers show their presence / wrath through increased water levels, so that we're reminded constantly of what we've done to them. Mithi river (buried in the Andheri Kurla stretch of land and going upto Dadar) is one such example. It has remained as a gutter or nalla in some places. Everyone dreads the wrath of Mithi (also known as Mahim creek).
My colleague agreed and that's how our conversation ended.
Let us understand that Mumbai as it is now is a united area of seven Islands. Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman's Island (Little Colaba), Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli. These Islands alongwith the nearby islands of Trombay and Salsette were merged to form Greater Bombay. A number of small rivers and creeks are thus buried beneath Mumbai and these rise with heavy monsoons and high tides during monsoons.
I'd further like to add here that Mumbai, being the financial capital, is more in the spotlight for any reason from heavy rains to potholes to crowded trains to buses etc. It always rains heavily along the Indian coastline resulting in flooding, rivers overflowing and the like. But in smaller places/ villages, it is never highlighted as an issue. Rains had started in Goa and Konkan region much before it rained in Mumbai. One of our relatives in Goa had called last month to tell us how rains were very heavy this year and many parts had flooded. But I never saw it on National Television. In fact, even with two days of continuous rains there has not been much flooding as previous years except in ex-river zones like Milan subway (this was also supposed to be a bridge over a river/ creek but none is seen there now), saki naka, kurla, mahim etc. Beneath these areas lies the Mithi River and maybe many more small creeks/ rivers. These will continue to show their wrath during monsoons!
Sunday, July 05, 2009
MJ ceases to live among us. May his soul RIP. From SCAMS group. More about SCAMS some other time.
MJ's death has brought yet another Christian -Muslim debate to the fore. This time, it's a worldwide debate. In all my references to any comparative religion debates, I've always noticed that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is directly attacked and abused (is it because they do not have valid scientific points to debate on?). Whereas Muslims always respect Jesus (PBUH), accept his miraculous birth and his miracles and believe in is second coming (closer to 'Qayamat' or Day of Judgement). Only difference is that Muslims do not worship Jesus (for that matter, even Prophet Muhammed) nor consider him to be 'Son' of God (since attributing human qualities to God is considered a sin). Also do not believe in his 'crucification'. But the funniest thing in MJ's death is that many Christians even alienate Jehowah's Witness (JW) followers and do not consider them 'proper' Christians.
Whether Christian or Muslim or JW, let us not 'loose talk' about a dead man (as Allah/ God would have preferred it, as HE alone is the best judge). Let MJ's soul RIP.
Refer to related article about 'Micheal Jackson's Funeral' on Archbishop Cranmer's blog and all the consecutive debates through various comments which follow it. Makes interesting reading.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Last week my youngest brother was in Mumbai from Pune. We were watching a music channel and the song ' Shut up and bounce' from Dostana came up. First comes John in small swimming trunks revealing his well toned body. Then Shilpa dances around in various revealing outfits to be joined in by more girls in swimming suits. This goes on for a while. And then apna Abhishek Bacchan enters fully dressed from head to toe. I exclaimed loudly, 'I guess he has nothing to show'! And my brother burst out laughing. Then we both giggled away!
While on the topic of Abhishek, let me add something more. I guess, everyone's seen the 'Airtel' wala ad wherein Abhishek practices speaking to Sachin Tendulkar. Finally, he ends up speaking nervously when Sachin actually calls. Whenever my Mom sees it, she says 'Yeh to yeda hai. Isko toh bolne bhi nahin aata'. I guess it's because the ad looks quite real. And to top it, she's seen him monkeying around in the 'Genda Phool' song of 'Delhi 6'. She hardly watches movies.
I watched New York this Sunday with family. I must say that it's a fabulous movie without a single dull moment. The cinematography, the storyline, the message, the editing - everything's sleek. Seen a sleek hindi action movie like that after ages. 'Dhoom' fitted the bill earlier. The film has you gripping till the end. The acting of each character is remarkable and sensitive. Overall, the film is excellent. And all without any item numbers, vulgar dialogues, loud comedy, skimpily clad women and the like.... The message is loud a clear. A good movie can be made minus these ingredients.
Go watch the movie!
'Angels and Demons' was another movie seen prior to 'New York' which had me gripping to the seat. Though, I'd not read the novel, I enjoyed the movie nevertheless. It will make more sense if you understand the subtleties and history of religion.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
One more of those comedy shairies series in true hyderabadi style. When we played this snippet in our house, everyone was in splits. Moreso, because Karwari Urdu accent and dialect is almost similar. And mom was definately amused. She's the one who's keeps the language alive in the house. If you speak or understand this style of speaking, you will enjoy the video all the more.
This is hilarious Urdu Shairi including lot of Hyderabadi style talk / drawl. What attracts me to the deccani style urdu (hyderabadi) talk is that people from Karwar/ Goa also speak a similar language. Listen and enjoy.... We all need comedy in our stressful lives.