Reality is scary. All these days safe in my cocoon, I used to sit smugly with a cup of coffee in my hands and look at the news updates flying past me with reports of floods hitting every part of the Gangetic-Brahmaputra plains. I wrote essays on the how the Huang Ho and Damodar were termed Sorrows of their respective lands. I debated on the futility of our administrative efficiencies and lamented the corruption that stopped the benefits from reaching the truly needy. It got me accolades and I guess a couple of debating prizes. Today I understand, how superficial everything was, and the fact that perhaps it was unintentional and born out of ignorance is not any relief.
Having spent a considerable amount of time in Patna, it was time to move on, rather move back to my tried and tested and trusted Muzaffarpur. The Gandhi Setu is the longest bridge in the world and while travelling over it, I could make out that The Ganges was full of life. Strange, isn’t it? Water, the most potent source of life and yet with an immense capacity to destroy life at will. In North Bihar, almost all rivers are flowing above the danger level. Deaths are being reported every hour and the administration seems helpless in front of Nature’s fury. All along the journey, the National Highways seemed the only places above the water level and the town I knew so very well welcomed me with completely water logged streets. Two cities, in two continents, one in the backyard of a developing superpower, the other in a G8 Capital, were facing similar trials and I knew that I was travelling to the safer one.
The people around me displayed the calmness so customary to the regions around here that I could feel it seep into me. Displaying an unprecedented proficiency in acrobatics, I balanced myself and my bags in a peculiar exhibition of hop, skip and jump to land on the Hotel Porch from my Bolero without dropping anything in the poodle around me. I was back in a completely submerged Muzaffarpur.