Tuesday, November 02, 2004

RAIN, RAIN go away!

Last night on my way home after a long idle day (office is still under construction), I experienced one of the worst rain storms in a long time. With my car wiper working at full capacity, I could barely see the tail light of the immediate vehicle in front of me. Roads were quite dark and the rain was just punching straight and hard to the ground (good thing there wasn't any major wind to go with that :^)

If things couldn't get any worse, while driving I noticed a small trail of vehicles slowly moving with plenty of room for overtaking. So I slowly passed them and moved a couple of meters, to discover to my horror that most of the road had flooded upto knee length! I had gone too far ahead to turn back -- a couple of vehicles had decided to follow me :O So I slowly marched forward as I felt the water splash against the bottom of my car.

SPHhhhhhhhhh! and there it was! a lot of while, grayish smoke escaping out of the hood of my car. There was also another diesel van in front of me, also smoking out some heavy fumes, which just made my view all smoky. The engine seemed to give a tad of a miss, so I moved a couple of meters forward and pulled over, then turned on my hazard lights. For a minute, my kernel had just packed up, as I watched in horror at the sheer number of people who were lifting up their sarong or rolling up their pants and one or two tree-wheelers being pushed by their driver and a couple of more vehicles with their hazard lights on.

Next I popped opened the hood, and went out into the cruel rain to inspect my engine. The engine seemed fine, except for being extremely hot since it was evaporating just about every rain drop that touched it. I hadn't brought an umbrella (hence it rained ; Murphy's law :)), so was socking wet as I got back in.The engine temperature also looked fine so I thought I'd start and slowly move forward. Slowly I managed to get to relatively dry ground and was soon home.

That was a close call! and though this incident may seem isolated, its really not. Every time it rains hard for a couple of hours straight, the streets of Colombo and its suburbs are designed to flood! From time to time you hear politicians/authorities promising to fix the problem, to introduce proper drainages, places to dump garbage etc., but I guess those promises also get washed away during the flood. That's "Tax Payer's money at work" for you! Throwing away plastic and polythine wrappers, without thinking twice by pedestrians and driving vehicles, also aggregate the problem. So we are all to blame!

With that sour note, I end my humble blog today :)

No comments: