A friend from Spain who is spending 6 months in China on a sabbatical (lucky bum!) sent me a mail asking: "are you OK?!"
She adds: "Nature and its elements are just inpredictable; here in China there also were floodings in the mid-south but you don´t hear that much since mostly negative things are covered up or simply not talked about".
Hmmm. I wonder - if Shanghai had received 944 mm of rain would it have coped better? Or would we just not have seen ugly pictures and hence never known about the magnitude of the disaster??
I think that kind of cover-up would be hard for a major commercial center housing so many expatriates. But then China - you can never underestimate that country!
Anyhow, I take back some of my words on the suburbs vs south Bombay situation. It did, apparently, rain far far less in 'town'.
But as I drove past the filthy slums on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar link road this morning, where kids routinely shit on the street in full view of cars, where garbage always lies in fly-infested piles, I still can't help feeling... This was a disaster waiting to happen.
70% of our citizens can't 'somehow' manage in sub-human conditions, without the System breaking down at some point. These are people who probably earn Rs 3000-4000 a month - they own small TVs, even mobiles but can't afford a 200 sq ft room with concrete roof over their heads.
And as mill lands are becoming available for redevelopment, all that developers - even the likes of Manohar Joshi and Raj Thackeray - can think about is constructing more malls...