Yesterday was a Holiday for our company. Most sensible people took Monday off and made the most of a five day weekend since Tuesday was a holiday as well. Since I dont belong tp the sensible crowd and due to the way our project is going we had to come in and play the game of catch-up. This game is very difficult to play especially when the weather was what it was yesterday -cold, gloomy and raining non stop. I came in to work around 10.20 in the morning and worked till around 6.30 PM. Heard the rain hit my office window and heard lightling as well and decided to wait for a bit and catch up on some blog reading. Finally headed out at 7.30 PM. The first 5 km was okay with not much water on the roads. But as I headed towards the city I started noticing a lot of standing water on OMR & ECR which had to be navigated slowly like a boat going over rocks. Only thing was I was in a car and didnt have to worry about getting wet but of course had to worry about stalling in the middle of the road in water. No issues till the road connecting the Thiruvanmiyur signal to the Canal bank road. This road had disappeared under water and there were stalled cars and buses there. The road has a central divider which makes sure one cannot turn right and head back. The left half of the road was dug up so one couldnt turn left and head back either. So had to grit my teeth, get the car into first gear and gingerly drive through water that seemed atleast knee deep. Luckily it wasnt that deep, just the dirt and vehicle oil had turned it black. Plus it was dark with no street lights. Made it out in one piece with just problems with the brakes as they were now fully waterlogged. Pumped them till some semblance of brake functionality returned. Another really bad patch was on the Koturpuram road near the planetarium. The last and final and the worst stretch was on the main road just outside of my home.
This morning heading out was crazy. I wanted to turn around and head back to bed but forced myself to stay on the road. Drove (seemed more like boating) through muck starting from just outside the house through to Gemini. I was dreading the two spots where there was a lot of water yesterday but surprisingly they were not waterlogged. Patches of Canal Bank road were submerged and a good distance along ECR as well. The connector between ECR and OMR with water filled, vacant land on both sides of the road . Another foot of water and the road would be covered. The distant skyline was a dark brooding menacing mass of rain filled thunderclouds and the whole horizon as far as I could see was just grey and miserable. I wished I had my camera with me. The view was both beautiful and worrying at the same time.
The worst was yet to come. OMR with all the construction was a pitiful mess with only water and no road. It took close to 40 minutes to cover the distance usually done in 10 minutes. The rain had by now become really heavy and the wipers of not much help. Put on the headlights and just followed a caravan of vehicles slowly making their way down OMR. Office buses decided to be adventurous and drive through the water on the left side of the road totally covering the slow moving vehicles in the center of the road with water. More soggy brakes.
It seemed to take forever driving at around 10 kmph (the car speedo starts at 20kmph - but it felt really slow) till I finally made it in to the office. I reach the covered car park and then realize I dont have an umbrella to go to the next building where I work. So managed to get soaking wet walking to the building in the rain !
Though the rain has not been all that much but still made me stop and think that I am grateful it was not as severe as the ones in the US due to the hurricanes and tornados this year. Really love the cool weather in Chennai due to the rains. Also realize the city needs the rains but wish the heavvy rain part would fall over the catchment areas :-) ...and not mess up ECR and OMR and screw up the commutes of the poor IT sad sacks like me who have to drive/ride/swim to get to work each day.