Some cabbies asked for 1500 rupees for a 150-rupee ride. Robbers looted abandoned cars. Upmarket hotel lobbies offered stranded people neither a place to stay, nor even water to drink. They turned them out. “Otherwise they will never leave,” said a minion to his boss.
We need to come together as one people again, and realise that every life is precious. We need to realize that just as it’s not acceptable for our roads to get flooded with the least amount of rain, it’s also not acceptable that our people have to live in flimsy shanties – or out on the streets. If it’s not acceptable for us to have garbage lying on our streets for two days at a stretch, it’s also not acceptable that our urban poor should be living surrounded by filth, or that their children grow up playing in mounds of refuse. We need to take a long hard look at the way we live, and then we need to come together to change it. Surely the same ordinary heroism that braved the rains can make this city an example of a better world?
It’s interesting how calamities turn even the most erudite into eyewitnesses.