The 'Laila' storm left the city cool for a couple of days, and our total lack of civic sense left the roads flooded and the beach(es) dirty. We were in for some surprises though...
H had to attend office that day and could n't take out his bike and did n't want to be stranded in the car in traffic. He made a call to the local call taxis (how he did n't mind staying put in a call taxi beats me, trusts the drivers more I guess) and was left listening to the message 'No taxis available'- It was about eight in the morning.
The only option was to call for an auto rickshaw. I asked him to to be prepared to pay anywhere between Rs.160-200 for the normally Rs. 130 route...
He ended up paying Rs. 130 and Rs. 120 while coming back.
We had to drop V's grandparents at the Egmore station the same evening, and the rain had abated, thankfully. We had booked a call taxi eight hours before time and since the traffic was not heavy we had a smooth ride. Mount Road, which is normally brightly lit near Teynampet was 'brighter' thanks to decorative tube-lights, the occasion being some politician's son's wedding. A few meters beyond, after we had crossed over the Anna fly-over, the area was plunged into darkness. There was no power at the railway station too. Worse, the train was to boarded from the fifth platform, to reach which one had to climb the stairs. The place was slippery, dark and the old couple and to climb the stairs. The predicament was same for hundreds who were gathered. H appointed a porter and they went towards the train and I rushed towards the platform ticket counter, pulling V along. The little one was co-operative until he saw the crowd. The counter had n't opened and there were some twenty people people waiting before me. There were other reservation counters too and the long queues only added to the madness. V wanted me to carry him, as the place was dark and scary. Nobody wanted to leave the queue because the general belief was that 'you can't take a risk on any given day, and what if it is a bad day and we get caught?' I knew that once the counter opened, the queue would move fast and it did.
Before that, a couple came and stood behind me. the husband asked his wife to go ahead and that he would join her with the platform tickets. She was carrying a child of about two, and the following conversation ensued...
Wife: What is the matter? Why is this place so crowded?
Husband: The counter has n't opened and there is no power...
Wife: Why is there no power?
Husband: We saw while coming here did n't we...
Wife: Why is the counter closed... Why can't they keep it open?
Husband: They' ll come
Husband: *remains silent*
Wife: This happens in this city wonly..
I make a mental note to add her in the 'Some people are like this only' series!