July 28, 2005

Does not recede

I think I may have to start an occasional Mumbai Mirror fix series. Here's something from the Mirror today (Thursday July 28): from a column titled "What rains! Why this was the worst deluge the city has ever witnessed". It lists 5 reasons. I began reading thinking, there must be some serious science in here. And I found:

Reason #2 is: "TIDE DOESN'T MATTER: Even during low tide, the water did not recede into the sea as it normally does. This was due to the high amount of water collected."

First of all, the rains coincided with a high tide, not low; and that was offered, as it always is, as an excuse for the severe flooding. Second, "even during low tide the water did not recede into the sea as it usually does", if I'm reading this right, is not news for a column on page 3 of the Mirror, it's world-changing news. The day we have a low tide during which sea doesn't "recede" is the day of a serious apocalypse. Tuesday was bad, murderous, unbelievably wet. It wasn't, however, that apocalypse.

The water always recedes during low tide, to greater or lesser degrees. If that had something to do with the deluge on Tuesday, it wasn't this odd explanation.

Reason #3 is: "LACK OF COORDINATION: There was no big scare in the weeks preceding the incessant showers that hit the city. Because of this, the coordination between various governmental agencies could not be assessed."

Ah. Enlightening. First of all, what impact did this coordination, such as it was, have on the deluge? Second, what impact would an "assessment" of this coordination have had on the deluge? Third, and most important, if this "assessment" needs to be done, does it need a "big scare" to do have it done? Why not simply do it? Do we need to lurch from "big scare" to "big scare" so that this coordination can be "assessed"?

Reason #5 is: "LOOK WHO'S TALKING: This was the first time that personnel from the armed forces had to be called in for relief and rescue operations in the city. Just goes to show..."

Just goes to show ... what? Besides, the armed forces have been called in before. One time: during the riots in this city in 1992-93. What's the point here?

Or is this little column what I think it really is, just some random thoughts thrown together to fill some space? That may be true, because this column is right next to a much bigger item that fills most of the page, and it is titled "Is this where you were stranded?" What it is, is two maps. The road network of the city. The rail network of the city.

"Try figuring out where you got stuck!" says the Mirror.

Is it just me? I'm trying to think of a person stuck for 24 hours in a local train, let's say, turning excitedly to this page in the Mirror and pointing to a spot on the map: "There! I was stuck at Churchgate!"



km said...

I think ToI and MM are now way past the point of ridicule. They are actually sublimely ridiculous. So bad that they are good. Generations of readers and writers shall fondly remember this newspaper's contribution to the fall and decline of the Indian Empire.


Anonymous said...

Very true, Krishna. Haven't ever read the Mirror, but I guess that's because its reputation precedes it. ToI has gone way past the beginning of its end. I suggest we observe a moment of silence for ToI.

- Vijay