Bad days bring out the best in us

Mumbai: 15 Sept, 2019(Hindustan Times)

People help each other make their way down a waterlogged street in Kandivli with the aid of a rope. HT file photo

On September 4, the day of the torrential downpours and flooding all over the city, I was amazed at how all of us in my office came together to help a woman colleague who was stuck at Matunga. One woman roped in her husband and they drove two hours, from Lalbaug, to pick her up and take her to their home for the night.

Other staff members opened up their homes, offering a hot meal and a bed to colleagues . Senior managers tracked every member of their teams to ensure they were safe and taken care of. And everyone arrived at work the next day.

These youngsters taught me the value of cooperation, dedication and fraternity. Rajendra Aneja

i ended up in a stranger’s home, safe and dry

It was the last day of my 39-year career and my colleagues had organised a farewell party. We were indoors so we had no idea how bad the rain had got.

I managed to reach the railway station, which was adjacent to my office, but the trains were running late and insanely crowded. I waited for almost two hours, but could not board. It was midnight by now, my phone battery had died, and I needed to call home. With utmost hesitation l asked a woman standing nearby, and she gladly helped me.

I resigned myself to spending the night at the platform; what else could I do? After a while the woman came up to me and said her husband had driven over to pick her up and would l like to spend the night at her flat, two stations away.

I ended the day safe and warm, in a stranger’s home, thanking the almighty for sending his messenger to help me. The strong bond of humanity has connected us forever. Tandra Rashid

stuck at a station, people turned up with free food

On September 4, my brother-in-law and I had headed to Dadar to buy flowers for the upcoming Ganesh pooja. We took a local train from Thane and had planned to return home before 2 pm, for lunch.

The train stalled at Matunga. There was water everywhere and no way to go either forward or back home.

We were stuck there till 10 pm, at which point people from the GSB Mandal came to our rescue with puri, samosas, modaks, laddus, tea and water, all free of cost. I felt so grateful for their thoughtfulness and benevolence. V Venkitasubramanian

biscuits and water have never tasted better

I am really proud of the fact that, while Mumbaiites are known for hectic lives and rarely have time to bother about others, in times of crisis, we always come together.

I was stuck at Churchgate station on September 4, drenched, shivering and hungry. A fellow passenger, a woman in her 60s, offered me some biscuits and water. It felt like the best food in the world. Her act of kindness reminded me that humanity still exists in this materialistic world. Richa Punmiya

it’s all about breaking barriers and being human

The monsoons are beautiful and cruel in Mumbai. The most beautiful encounters are those where people revive the true spirit of humanity. They come as strangers and often you do not even exchange names.

There was the person who helped me make it across a flooded road; the teenager who carried my bags; the bus conductors who asked every passenger where they lived and where they were going. The young who gave up their seats to the aged.

Their presence made me realise that it’s all about breaking the barriers between us, and just being human. Vandana Chawla