Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Hyderabad Diaries - Rains in Hyderabad

The rains in Hyderabad are never like the rains in Mumbai or Kolkata or Chennai. Mumbai pours almost continuously for those three months from June to August - just non stop rain - where people bring out their umbrellas, 'rainy shoes', rain coast and all sorts of rain fighting gear. You just have to grit your teeth and go on. Locals (trains) will stop on days with heavy rain (the local people don't), roads get flooded a bit and rarely you get situations like the 100 mm rain that happened a few years ago. When inside the home, it is beautiful to watch. Outside in the rain, it can get rather painful. Rains in Kolkata were like nothing I have seen before. It rains furiously, like something burst, and in a few minutes its all over. The roads have filled up and chaos everywhere. Those few minutes however are heavy pouring rain that leave you drenched in a moment. It always catches you by surprise so you better be prepared. Chennia is a bit more predictable - but it rains on and on for those three months and then again in the retreating monsoon.

In Hyderabad rains are never too scary. No reason for rainy shoes here, nor even for rain coats really and few carry umbrellas. It threatens to rain mostly and when it happens it happens in a very manageable way. You get sufficient warning through long drizzles, enough time to hide somewhere without getting drenched. It does not rain too long so you don't get stuck for too long either. It is rarely furious and heavy rain. Its great for car rides and stuff like that.

But for such friendly rain unfortunately we have a city drainage system that seems to be utterly hopeless. How can roads get clogged up, main, arterial roads at that, at just a few mm of rain is what I cannot understand. While driving back from Gachibowli yesterday I found that the roads were jammed at various places due to large collection of rain water - at KBR, near Hitech city, near Madhapur Traffic Police station, and the worst being a jam opposite the Hyatt on Banjara Hills. The poor cops were trying to drain the road opposite Hyatt that had filled like a lake.  The hotel belongs to a powerful MP and is on the nerve centre of Hyderabad's posh places, the arterial road that links Hyderabad to the work areas of Madhapur and Gachibowli, and its a shame really that no one, not even the MP, could get some sense into the authorities concerned. It's way into July and its not the time to start worrying about draining water from clogged roads - it should have been done by May. Call it incompetence, negligence, total disregard or just plain stupidity but certain things make you wonder.

But if you ignore the clogged roads and the jams, rains in Hyderabad are fun and beautiful. Walk at Necklace road, eat bhutta, the chai cafes and endless discussions, the mirchi bajjis and other garam garam items and perhaps some soothing much that makes you go wah wah. Enjoy the rains. 

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