This is a continuation of my experience in the recent Mumbai floods. You can read Part 1 here https://ashwinkumar1989net.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/a-night-out-at-currey-road-part-1/ . The intensity of the rains reduced, but the water level was still well above normal. The NGO continued to distribute biscuits, this time along with a packet of thil laddus as well 😉 . There weren’t enough packets for everyone, and there was a mad scramble to get more packets. Thus, it was nice of an elderly gentleman to offer me a few biscuits; and a young man offered me thil laddus as well 🙂 . This humanity in face of the calamity is a blessing to mankind. Mumbai’s infrastructure is certainly poor and incapable of coping with recurring disasters, but the helping spirit and camaraderie of the people somewhat make amends for this.
The station was small and lacked facilities like food and a loo, so I had to find a quiet and secluded place; where I could answer the call of nature, away from prying eyes 😛 . The NGO brought a smile on our faces by coming to the coach and serving dinner (chapatis with vegetables – cluster beans and potato 😀 ) in disposable plates. Kudos to their hard work, selflessness, patience and fortitude in times of adversity! It was 10 30 pm, and by then it was clear that the train was not going to move an inch till the next morning! 😦 Meanwhile, my uncle had managed to reach his home by taking a bus till Mahim; and then walking in hip-deep water (near the railway quarters in Matunga Road) ! :O Half an hour later, I made a final call to my mother (I spoke to my sister as well) before switching off the mobile once and for all; for the night.
Later, I took my bag from the luggage rack; and in the process lost my seat 😛 . Meanwhile, my acquaintance messaged me that he had walked all the way to his home in Sion! :O Horror of horrors! I tried looking for seats in the other coaches, but couldn’t get one; as most people were reclined in an effort to sleep! 😦 I instead decided to sit on a slab on the platform, where most people sit. I unsuccessfully tried sleeping in various positions, but wasn’t able to manage so much as forty winks; in the next 1.5 hours. It was 1 20 am, when I finally managed to get a seat; in a First Class compartment at the rear. One thing I must mention – there was not a lot of crowd by then, as many people had left the station; but there were enough people around to make you feel safe.
I then again tried various sitting positions, but only managed naps. I never managed to sleep continuously for more than an hour, but somehow I managed to pass the hours as slowly dawn arrived. Even through my sleepy state, I managed to notice that local trains had started running towards CST; and there was also a long distance train which crawled through the non-platform line (again towards CST). Around 7 am, I finally switched on my cellphone and called my mother; to provide an update about the situation. My battery level was approaching critical stage; so I promptly switched to flight mode after the call. I again changed the coach – to a 2nd class coach nearby, and had a broken sleep yet again.
Announcements were made for a special slow local to Kalyan. At 8 30 am, we finally started moving – hurray! 🙂 We had a start-stop run till Dadar. There I saw a local originating from the station on PF 2, and thought I’d board it. Then I saw the board on PF1 showing “Kalyan” and the announcement made for the special slow local to Kalyan (again), and realized that the Kurla local by which I had come from Currey Road; had been converted to a special Kalyan local! 😉 I then quickly boarded a First class coach. The run was more or less smooth (given the circumstances) till we crossed Sion, upon which we stopped; this time for about 1.5 hours! :O
It started raining, and it seemed like there was going to be an indefinite delay; similar to that of the previous day! There was a traffic jam on the opposite direction, with many locals stranded; and it seemed there were 3 locals ahead of us! :O Many times the horn was sounded, but our local didn’t start! So we didn’t know which horn it was – such was the chaos that prevailed! :O It was a massive relief when we started moving again, and I felt sure that we had crossed the major hurdle. We then stopped again for half an hour at Kurla home signal, and here I saw a nearly 100% empty Hyderabad Mumbai Hussainsagar express didn’t know whether it was that day’s or the previous day’s Hussainsagar express! :O
The track next to us was covered in water;no wonder the section between Sion and Kurla was proving to be a major bottleneck! I observed a fast local crawl towards north in the distance, and felt we would somehow inch through this obstacle. Sure enough, we limped into Kurla station. From here onwards, we seemed to be on an entirely different track; as we raced at our usual pace; reaching Vikhroli by 11 am. Here I got a share auto and reached home by 11 20; thus ending a thorough rollercoaster of an experience. Hope you enjoyed its description! 😀