Two hours of incessant rains on Thursday evening flooded Mumbai city. The reception area of my consulting room was packed with patients who, fooled by the balmy afternoon weather, were caught unawares and waiting for the rain to stop. Soon, all realized that, this was no passing shower but a fullblown storm with thunder and lightning and all! One by one, all trundled out, reluctantly leaving the shelter of the hospital in search of an autorickshaw to take them home.
I still had to take rounds at my nursing home situated one kilometer away and decided to walk since there was kneedeep water all around. It was a route fraught with danger but I was well prepared for a day like this. From the start of the monsoons, I had done my homework. I had been studying this stretch of road between the Milan subway signal and Podar school signal at Santacruz. Every pothole and open gutter had been mentally mapped! I started walking. Straight till the bus stop, a swerve to the right, step off the pavement till the corner, a swerve to the left, get back on the footpath, keep straight till the signal, now cross the road, walk straight till the next bus stop, now recross the road and completely avoid the pavement till the next signal, now step onto the pavement and walk in an absolutely straight line till the building gate, take a sharp 90 degree turn and….voila, I was home safe and sound. WOW, five open gutters and three huge potholes, all nimbly avoided. I waltzed into the building in my new “Gene Kelly meets James Bond” avatar. I had perfected my raindance!However, the next morning, I did a quick recon after the waters had receded. I will have to add a few more steps to my routine. The topography had changed! Well, that’s life in Mumbai! Never a dull moment…….