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Rain, Rain Go Away

It’s a little disconcerting to be wading through water 2 feet deep, on a lane right next to a national highway, in one of the most industrialised cities in the country, in the 21st century. Arjun ‘Si-Senore’ Ravi reports from MICA on the chaos in Ahmedabad during the rains.

There are somethings you take for granted happen only in places like Bihar, and little towns in Somalia, or Zimbabwe. And it really strikes you as surprising when you see it happening in a place as ‘big’ as Ahmedabad. But it really is flooded here. And I, for one, am very, very surprised!

Ahmedabad, on a dry day (pun intended – it’s a dry state) is a great city. Sure it’s difficult to find a non-veg restaurant, but there are things about the place that make it a wonderful visit:
1. Khandvi, dhokla and aam ras – how can you resist?
2. Gujjus – they have all the money in the world and aren’t afraid to spend it.
3. There’s the biggest Big Bazaar in whole wide world, et cetera, et cetera.

But come the end of June, and chaos reigns supreme. It rains. And when it rains, it floods. The city has no working drainage system, so it is not unusual to find a helpless man pushing his Maruti 800 out of what seems to be a brown swimming pool in the middle of the road, or kids practicing their backstroke on the road that the city’s seemingly ancient local buses travel.

Says Arvind, a student at MICA, “It’s really, really bad. The auto guys can’t ply. They charge exorbitant amounts. Even if you want to walk you can’t as the water is so deep. It sucks ass.” He is peeved, and so he should be. Considering that the city is one of the most prosperous in the nation, it is unfortunate to see such a complete lack of governmental efforts towards making the rains easier to handle. It’s almost as bad as the poor network coverage that cellphone operators have in the outskirts of the city. But that’s a whole different story altogether.

Even in the MICA campus, the situation is pretty bad. Thankfully, the roads are free from water, but any area covered in grass becomes instant marsh, and any area a little lower than road level, becomes instant swimming pool material. The condition is bad, but the good news is it lasts only 15 to 20 days. Still, if you’re coming here in June, make sure you bring your swimming trunks.

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