Call me a freak but I love college SO much that I went in spite of the Met department’s warning. I wasn’t the only one though. There were 45 other people AND the teacher. Well… after lecture 1, it was 26/7 all over again. We were SO psyched out!!! All of us in the foyer chatting and laughing about how cool it would be to be stuck in college again.. all jokes that in some twisted way CAME TRUE!!! Frantic calls from concerned parents, boyfriends, girlfriends and anyone who cared about you!!! MUMBAI WAS IN ACTION!!! Last time the spirit of Mumbai manifested itself in the outpouring of help and support. This year it was the same if not more.
So here are my adventures…
Lectures end at 10.30 because of dire warnings of “THE DELUGE”. So we convince our enthusiastic teacher (Vara) to take a rest and hurry home. She sportingly agrees. Considering the experience I had last time (stuck in a car for 22 hours with four wacky friends) the same four (Ipsita, Ranjana, Reuben and me) decided to go home together (because we stay 5 minutes from each other). So with our 18 year old wisdom we go to the foyer and stuff ourselves with food… and we weren’t the only ones!!! Talk about people who think alike!!! Everyone who attended that day was eating like it was doomsday!!!
Fed and watered we decide to brave the journey home with the spirit of adventure and a feeling akin to what the three musketeers had. But hopes of making a safe way home came crashing down with parents screaming at the other end of our cell phones that the trains had stopped. So with no other option left but to either stay at college OR go to a classmate’s house we choose the latter. Poor guy (Thapas)!!! We pounced on him like a tsunami and he had this look about him that “what the hell did I get into???” he was a close friend and we had crashed into his place many times before but never dripping wet… and the best part was… no parents!!! That didn’t mean anything coz his bro and sis were there with his cool, hip grandma. We had fun… not total fun because Thapas’ brother beat me at chess. But we ate, danced, talked and basically had ourselves a whale of a time!!!
Parents call frantically again : (( [those cell phones should never have been invented. they are like tracking beams!!] they say, no scream, leave and leave quick before it starts raining again. So we bundle ourselves out as fast as possible into a cab and ride to Mumbai Central station. Trains arrive with a frequency of one every half hour so we quickly get into the first one. Full isn’t the word for it!!! Overflowing, bursting at the seams, call it anything. It was more than full. It looked like the exodus!!! We made our way back safely though. The usual journey that took us 40 minutes took us 2 hours. But looking at the bright side we made it back to our station in one piece!!!
Then we are waiting for a bus at the bus stop. One bus every hour. Then the good news cell phone rings again proclaiming that the place where I stay is safe but all roads leading there are flooded. A collective groan from the three of us is interrupted by the arrival of Ranjana’s bus. She ditched us and ran for it and jumped on with the agility of a gymnast. Ipsita had ditched us at Mumbai central station in favour of her best friend’s house close by. So Reuben and I are waiting helplessly at the bus stop because we don’t want to walk home. The adventurous spirit was wearing down. We just wanted a warm bed and hot coffee or tea. Ruben (another friend) to the rescue!!! He surfaces with his bike and I vroom away leaving Reuben to his destiny. I promise him I’ll send transport soon enough … translated as Ruben will pick him up. I LOVED going on the bike through knee deep water!!!
So I get back home safely, silently cursing the rain Gods and my parents’ vocal chords. Whoever thought there was an age limit to be grounded!!!
NOTE TO ALL WHO READ THIS: this isn’t as horrifying as what happened last year. Oh the AGONY!!! I’m emotionally scarred for life!!!
I’ll post that next time!!!