Close to where we stayed for 7 years in Alipore, a family of 3 brothers who were born and brought up there in a rented accommodation were about to split and move to their own flats.
2 of them had bought flats in Dhakuria though not in same building, while the third decided to shift to Salt Lake.
Their uncle, an old man of rich experience, who didn’t live to see them depart and separate, had earlier said they stay not in same place, because should need arise in case of emergency at anyone’s place, he and his family could shift to others’ house. Perhaps he had things like riots and strife in mind when he so suggested.
In hindsight he could also have meant the deluge Kolkata suffers from whenever there’s more than normal rainfall.
Life is out of gear in the city. Schools are closed and attendance in offices is thin. There is fear lurking that if you go out in the morning and it rains heavily after that it may be very difficult to return home, especially so if you’re commuting long distance by local trains from suburbs.
Many areas in the city are under water – some waist-deep and some even neck-deep. There is little hope soon for residents in those areas because water that has stagnated is just not moving out.
It is in times like these one can shift to close relative’s place for temporary succor. They who have them are a lucky lot. If not, there is no escaping from living in muddy water full of filth and foul smell any time soon.