Category Archives: similarity with mumbai

[PICS] Dealing With A Super Storm – Wow!

October 29, 2012.

I watched and listened in horror as CNN and The Weather Channel broadcast the anticipated arrival of “Super Storm” Sandy onto the densely populated northeastern shores of the United States.  

I may have been half the globe away but it felt like my world was shaking. I hoped that the forecasters were wrong, as so many have been so many times. I hoped that the media was simply hyping a bad situation as they are apt to do. But I was wrong on both counts.

It is hard to imagine how the storm could have been any worse or affected any more people.  The economic damage estimate so far exceeds $50 billion!

More than 80 lives lost, millions without power, untold property damage, massive infrastructure destruction, huge business losses…the selected photos below capture some of the rampage. 

[Click on a picture below to view as a slideshow. If you are reading an email post, click here for the gallery below to be more accessible and to view photographs showing off Sandy’s terrible wrath and aftermath].

What stands out for me out of all of this though is how the country responded. How, especially its governments (at all levels) and its people rallied, came together and dealt with the disaster when Super Storm Sandy came bearing down on the most populous regions of the United States.  Before. During. Soon After.  The best example of this was seeing how the first responders worked day and night to help the people affected.

As bad as the crisis was, the immediate situation was brilliantly managed and executed.

I watched in awe.

And I will always remember.

[And if this is the so-called “big government” that the GOP has demonized and been railing about…bring it on! In fact, bring it on, on Nov 6th.]

It’s not over yet. Not by a long shot. Recovery, restoration, rebuilding – the country has pressing needs for these critical efforts to continue, now more than ever. But what we have seen demonstrated so far shows promise – that the administrators will deliver a lot of what is required at this time.

Two days (just two days) after the storm, state and city officials started taking steps toward considering major infrastructure changes that could protect the city’s fragile shores from repeated disastrous damage.

And private industry stepped in too, such as in the form of the media. Communication was paramount throughout. And it was nonstop and uninterrupted, as it should be. 

Another example was Google with its Google Crisis Response team (part of it’s non-profit arm) who assembled a Hurricane Sandy map to help anyone track the storm’s progress and provide updated emergency information. Wonderful!

Live updates like this one had to have been essential and incredibly informative for those who were directly or indirectly impacted.

All of this got me thinking…

I have previously compared Mumbai to New York City, including it’s physical geography on the coast of a country. This is my temporary home now.

What if we had a Super Storm that barreled down on Mumbai? How would we face it here – the anticipation, preparation and communication, living through its disastrous wake, and the aftermath?

And, most importantly, how would the government have helped?  Just how would we have handled it here?

Frankly, it does not bear thinking!  So, let’s just change the subject, please.



Photo credits: All photos from The Weather Channel and Huff Post

Taking a Breather from Maximum City

What’s happening to Mumbai?

Leave it to Pritish Nandy to elaborate in his inimitable way. His post on this topic, published in the Times of India, is very well written and says it all. It’s called (in it’s tongue-in-cheeky tone) Why I love Mumbai.  

Just in case there’s not enough of an incentive for you to read it, I have included an excerpt here:


Muslims have got Satanic Verses banned. Hindus have banned Husain. So no gallery dares to show the art of the city’s greatest son. You can’t show sculptures with genitals, not even Michaelangelo’s David, though you can see any number of genitals on the streets where people openly pee. You can’t watch The Dirty Picture on 9 pm TV. That’s outlawed though it won Vidya the National Award and every kid has loved it. You are lucky Donald Duck ain’t banned because comics and cartoons in text books are banned. My Savita Bhabhi is too. So are, sneakily, many websites.


Read more here.  Now you will, right?  [And how do you like all that genuine purple prose? 🙂 ]

This write-up by him was followed by another article of the same ilk (by Nandy again) a day later – Don’t you dare sing, dance, eat out, watch films. Welcome to Mumbai in 2012. Obviously he has strong feelings about the new era of moral policing that is emerging here. As he should.

I mean, this kind of stuff happens only in cities like…Bangalore, right? My intuition tells me that the people of Maximum City will not stand for it and sooner or later, it will be nipped in the bud.

Combine this with the despairing populace of India who are wondering how and why India Shining got so tarnished, so quickly. 

With a government that is called paralyzed yet is able to introduce funky finance “reforms” (retroactive taxes, anyone?) while taking the country back to the low days of the early 1990s, with inflation that doesn’t seem to have a cap in sight, with foreign investors intent on fleeing, and the light at the end of the economy’s tunnel nowhere in sight…why, America looks downright luminous!  🙂

All of this combined with the city’s inherent humidity that gathers even more steam (literally!) in anticipation of the grand entry of Monsoon-2012 and I decided – what a wonderful time to break away, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks!

To break away and escape from madness by heading home – to my modest-sized, quiet, pristine, lovely city in the southern United States. It’s where a bright and sunny Summer, as well as friends and family await me with open arms (I hope!).  And it’s where I certainly won’t get busted by the moral police if I decide to go out for a late night drink. (Chill already, Mumbai!). Far from it.

What a welcome change it will be to go from the mega-city that never sleeps (or used to not) to one that is quiet and peaceful, if somewhat sleepy at times. The yin and the yang. 🙂

So, home sweet home, here I come!



P.S.  As I was reviewing the post, I noticed that I have three of these 🙂 (this makes 4) embedded in my writing. That’s unusual for me…must be something about my mood as I head home, eh?  🙂 (and that’s 5)


P.S. #2.  As I make my way out of Mumbai, it appears….ah yes, I hear it.   The monsoon of  Mumbai has arrived.



Photo Credits:

Mumbai Skyline at Night: By Cididity Hat (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Smalltown USA : By User:Anivron derivative work: Spyder_Monkey  [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons

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